Agatha Christie and Isabella Muir

I read my first Agatha Christie novel when I was thirteen years old.  I don’t remember which one it was, but I do remember that it led me to read another and another.

Like most authors I am a voracious reader.  Having worked my way through Agatha Christie’s crime fiction I moved on through other genres, immersing myself for a time in science fiction with John Wyndham and Frank Herbert. 

My dad’s laden bookshelves provided me with all I needed. Alastair Mclean took my fancy for a while and then, as I worked my way through ‘O’ and ‘A’ level English Literature, I discovered Thomas Hardy and set myself the challenge of reading every one of his novels and adored them all.

Roll forward many years and I am now writing my own novels and have returned to Agatha Christie for my inspiration. It feels as though I have come full circle.

Earlier this year I achieved a long-held wish when I visited Greenway, Agatha’s much loved holiday home, set above the banks of the River Dart near Dartmouth. I wandered around the house and gardens and imagined how she might have spent her days when she was there. 

Many of her experiences found their way into her stories.  We know, for example, that the boat house at Greenway was the inspiration for the setting in her novel, Dead Man’s Folly.

It was fun to see The Tapestry Bag sitting on the shelf beside David Suchet, television’s much-loved Hercule Poirot, because of course it is Poirot who inspires Janie Juke – librarian and amateur sleuth – lead character in my Sussex Crime series.  Like me, Janie spent her teenage years reading Agatha Christie novels and when she decides to attempt to track down her missing friend, Zara, Janie is grateful for all she has learned from that great detective.

So, Janie and I have a lot in common!  If you would like to know more about Janie Juke, the Sussex Crime series and Agatha Christie then you are in the right place!

This blog post is one of a series, which leads up to Agatha Christie’s birthday and national #cozymysteryday on 15th September, as I enjoy the opportunity to be Chindi’s ‘Author of the week’.  Chindi is a network of authors, both traditionally and independently published, based largely in West Sussex.   Between us we publish a wide range of books, from historical and crime fiction to romance and children’s books, from humour to self-help. 

And as a birthday present to you on Agatha’s behalf,  you will receive a FREE Sussex Crime novella, Divided we Fall, when you sign up to receive Isabella Muir’s newsletter – with cozy mystery news and views, special offers and so much more. Just click here.

To find out more about the great Queen of Crime and to help celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday, then look out for the other blog posts in the series:

Agatha Christie – a child of her time

Agatha Christie and the sixties

What is a cosy mystery?

The good, the bad and the ugly

Investigating the past

Agatha Christie and Janie Juke

And for this special week only, I am pleased to announce that the first book in my Sussex Crime series – The Tapestry Bag – will be available on Kindle for just £0.99p – grab it while you can!

You can find out more about each of the books in the Sussex Crime Mystery series by following the links below:




My latest novel is: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN

I would love to hear from you with your thoughts about my stories, about Agatha Christie, or about any of the articles in this week’s series, which focus not just on Agatha, but on life during the sixties and all I have done to research that iconic era.

You can follow me on:

Twitter: @SussexMysteries


Or on Goodreads

Published by Isabella Muir

Isabella is passionate about exploring family life from the 1930s through to the 1960s and beyond. She has published six Sussex Crime mystery novels set during the 1960s and 1970s, a standalone novel dealing with the child migrant policy of the 1950s and 60s, several novellas set during the Second World War, and two short story collections. All available in paperback from your local bookshops, or online as ebooks. Her novels are also available as audiobooks, and have been translated into Italian.

6 thoughts on “Agatha Christie and Isabella Muir

    1. Hello Kay – thanks so much for your message, it’s great to hear from another Agatha Christie fan! So pleased you enjoyed the article and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Sussex Crimes!


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