Cover image for The body in the library
Title:
The body in the library
Author:
Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976.
Publication Information:
Toronto ; New York : Bantam Books, 1987.

©1942
Physical Description:
183 pages ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553350586
Format :
Book

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Summary

Author Notes

One of the most successful and beloved writer of mystery stories, Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie was born in 1890 in Torquay, County Devon, England. She wrote her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, launching a literary career that spanned decades. In her lifetime, she authored 79 crime novels and a short story collection, 19 plays, and six novels written under the name of Mary Westmacott. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language with another billion in 44 foreign languages. Some of her most famous titles include Murder on the Orient Express, Mystery of the Blue Train, And Then There Were None, 13 at Dinner and The Sittaford Mystery.

Noted for clever and surprising twists of plot, many of Christie's mysteries feature two unconventional fictional detectives named Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Poirot, in particular, plays the hero of many of her works, including the classic, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), and Curtain (1975), one of her last works in which the famed detective dies.

Over the years, her travels took her to the Middle East where she met noted English archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan. They married in 1930. Christie accompanied Mallowan on annual expeditions to Iraq and Syria, which served as material for Murder in Mesopotamia (1930), Death on the Nile (1937), and Appointment with Death (1938).

Christie's credits also include the plays, The Mousetrap and Witness for the Prosecution (1953; film 1957). Christie received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for 1954-1955 for Witness. She was also named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.

Christie died in 1976.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These are the initial eight volumes in what will grow to 24 over two years in Black Dog's new "Agatha Christie Collection." The books are all decent-quality hardcovers for a bargain price. If you're regularly replacing your Christies, gives these more durable editions a try. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Body in the Library Chapter One Mrs. Bantry was dreaming. Her sweet peas had just taken a First at the flower show. The vicar, dressed in cassock and surplice, was giving out the prizes in church. His wife wandered past, dressed in a bathing suit, but, as is the blessed habit of dreams, this fact did not arouse, the disapproval of the parish in the way it would assuredly have done in real life. Mrs. Bantry was enjoying her dream a good deal. She usually did enjoy those early-morning dreams that were terminated by the arrival of tea. Somewhere in her inner consciousness was an awareness of the usual noises of the household. The rattle of the curtain rings on the stairs as the housemaid drew them, the noises of the second housemaid's dustpan and brush in the passage outside. In the distance the heavy noise of the front-door bolt being drawn back. Another day was beginning. In the meantime she must extract as much pleasure as possible from the flower show, for already its dreamlike quality was becoming apparent. Below her was the noise of the big wooden shutters in the drawing room being opened. She heard it, yet did not hear it. For quite half an hour longer the usual household noises would go on, discreet, subdued, not disturbing because they were so familiar. They would culminate in a swift, controlled sound of footsteps along the passage, the rustle of a print dress, the subdued chink of tea things as the tray was deposited on the table outside, then the soft knock and the entry of Mary to draw the curtains. In her sleep Mrs. Bantry frowned. Something disturbing was penetrating through the dream state, something out of its time. Footsteps along the passage, footsteps that were too hurried and too soon. Her ears listened unconsciously for the chink of china, but there was no chink of china. The knock came at the door. Automatically, from the depths of her dream, Mrs. Bantry said, "Come in." The door opened; now there would be the chink of curtain rings as the curtains were drawn back. But there was no chink of curtain rings. Out of the dim green light Mary's voice came, breathless, hysterical. "Oh, ma'am, oh, ma'am, there's a body in the library! " And then, with a hysterical burst of sobs, she rushed out of the room again. Mrs. Bantry sat up in bed. Either her dream had taken a very odd turn or else--or else Mary had really rushed into the room and had said--incredibly fantastic!--that there was a body in the library. "Impossible," said Mrs. Bantry to herself. "I must have been dreaming." But even as she said it, she felt more and more certain that she had not been dreaming; that Mary, her superior self-controlled Mary, had actually uttered those fantastic words. Mrs. Bantry reflected a minute and then applied an urgent conjugal elbow to her sleeping spouse. "Arthur, Arthur, wake up." Colonel Bantry grunted, muttered and rolled over on his side. "Wake up, Arthur. Did you hear what she said?" "Very likely," said Colonel Bantry indistinctly. "I quite agree with you, Dolly," and promptly went to sleep again. Mrs. Bantry shook him. "You've got to listen. Mary came in and said that there was a body in the library." "Eh, what?" "A body in the library." "Who said so?" "Mary." Colonel Bantry collected his scattered faculties and proceeded to deal with the situation. He said, "Nonsense, old girl! You've been dreaming." "No, I haven't. I thought so, too, at first. But I haven't. She really came in and said so." "Mary came in and said there was a body in the library?" "Yes." "But there couldn't be," said Colonel Bantry. "No-no, I suppose not," said Mrs. Bantry doubtfully. Rallying, she went on, "But then why did Mary say there was?" "She can't have." "She did." "You must have imagined it." "I didn't imagine it." Colonel Bantry was by now thoroughly awake and prepared to deal with the situation on its merits. He said kindly, "You've been dreaming, Dolly. It's that detective story you were reading-- The Clue of the Broken Match. You know, Lord Edgbaston finds a beautiful blonde dead on the library hearthrug. Bodies are always being found in libraries in books. I've never known a case in real life." "Perhaps you will now," said Mrs. Bantry. "Anyway, Arthur, you've got to get up and see." "But really, Dolly, it must have been a dream. Dreams often do seem wonderfully vivid when you first wake up. You feel quite sure they're true." "I was having quite a different sort of dream about a flower show and the vicar's wife in a bathing dress--something like that." Mrs. Bantry jumped out of bed and pulled back the curtains. The light of a fine autumn day flooded the room. "I did not dream it," said Mrs. Bantry firmly. "Get up at once, Arthur, and go downstairs and see about it." "You want me to go downstairs and ask if there's a body in the library? I shall look a fool." "You needn't ask anything," said Mrs. Bantry. "if there is a body--and of course it's just possible that Mary's gone mad and thinks she sees things that aren't there--well, somebody will tell you soon enough. You won't have to say a word." Grumbling, Colonel Bantry wrapped himself in his dressing gown and left the room. He went along the passage and down the staircase. At the foot of it was a little knot of huddled servants; some of them were sobbing. The butler stepped forward impressively. "I'm glad you have come, sir. I have directed that nothing should be done until you came. Will it be in order for me to ring up the police, sir?" "Ring 'em up about what?" The Body in the Library . Copyright © by Agatha Christie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.