Books

Wisdom From Agatha Christie Novels

There is seldom a more entertaining narrative than that of a detective pursuing their mark - and there are few more satisfyingly crafted than those by the Queen of Crime herself.

From Miss Marple to Hercule Poirot - soon to return in Sophie Hannah's The Monogram Murders - Agatha Christie has contributed more classics, more page-turners, more... bodies, to the canon of crime fiction than any other.

To mark the return of one of Christie's most popular characters, we've trawled through her considerable bibliography to compile a collection of intellectually-enhancing quotes. Prepare to stir your little grey cells - and let us know if we missed your favourite in the comments below.

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“It is really a hard life. Men will not be nice to you if you are not good-looking, and women will not be nice to you if you are.”

The Man in the Brown Suit

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"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."

The Last Seance

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“Never do anything yourself that others can do for you.”

The Labours of Hercules

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"Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely."

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

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“I know there's a proverb which that says 'To err is human', but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.”

Hallowe'en Party

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“A woman who doesn't lie is a woman without imagination and without sympathy.”

Murder in Mesopotamia

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“A man when he is making up to anybody can be cordial and gallant and full of little attentions and altogether charming. But when a man is really in love he can't help looking like a sheep.”

The Mystery of the Blue Train

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“It's what's in yourself that makes you happy or unhappy.”

A Murder Is Announced

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“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory - let the theory go.”

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

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“The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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"Everybody always knows something," said Adam, "even if it's something they don't know they know."

Cat Among the Pigeons

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“Everyone is a potential murderer - in everyone there arises from time to time the wish to kill - though not the will to kill.”

Curtain

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“What good is money if it can't buy happiness?”

The Man in the Brown Suit

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“To rush into explanations is always a sign of weakness.”

The Seven Dials Mystery

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“He laughs best who laughs at the end.”

The Big Four

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“A great many men are mad, and no one knows it. They do not know it themselves.”

The Secret Adversary

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“Fear is incomplete knowledge.”

Death Comes As the End

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“There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.”

Murder at the Vicarage

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“One never quite allows for the moron in our midst.”

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

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“Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.”

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

(Image: Rex)