Agatha Christie, in full Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, née Miller, (born 15th September 1890, Torquay, Devon, England - died 12th January 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire), English detective novelist and playwright whose books have sold more than 100 million copies and have been translated into some 100 languages. Educated at home by her mother, Christie began writing detective fiction while working as a nurse during World War I. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, her eccentric and egotistic Belgian detective; Poirot reappeared in about 25 novels and many short stories before returning to Styles, where, in Curtain (1975), he died. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Christie's first major recognition came with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), which was followed by some 75 novels that usually made best-seller lists and were serialized in popular magazines in England and the United States. Christie's plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theatre (8,862 performances - more than 21 years - at the Ambassadors Theatre, London) and then moved to another theatre, and Witness for the Prosecution, which, like many of her works, was adapted into a successful film. Other notable film adaptations include Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film 1974 and 2017) and Death on the Nile (1937; film 1978). Her works were also adapted for television. In 1926 Christie's mother died, and her husband, Colonel Archibald Christie, requested a divorce. In a move she never fully explained, Christie disappeared and, after several highly publicized days, was discovered registered in a hotel under the name of the woman her husband wished to marry. In 1930 Christie married the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan; thereafter she spent several months each year on expeditions in Iraq and Syria with him. She also wrote romantic nondetective novels, such as Absent in the Spring (1944), under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
Eleanor Bron is an English actress whose stage career includes many productions, such as The Clean House, All about My Mother, and In Extremis. On television she has appeared in Fat Friends, Ted and Alice, Hippies, Vanity Fair, and as Patsy's mother in Absolutely Fabulous. Her film credits include Wimbledon, Iris, and The Little Princess.
Jason Hughes is Professor and Head of the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester. His first book, Learning to Smoke (2003, Chicago Press), which synthesised aspects of the work of Howard Becker with that of Foucault and Elias, won the 2006 Norbert Elias prize. He has also coauthored with Ruth Simpson and Natasha Slutskaya Gender, Class and Occupation Working Class Men Doing Dirty Work (Palgrave, 2016), and, together with Eric Dunning, Norbert Elias and Modern Sociology: Knowledge, Interdependence, Power, Process (Bloomsbury, 2013). Other works include the edited volumes Visual Methods (SAGE, 2012) and Internet Research Methods (SAGE, 2012), and coedited volumes Contemporary Approaches to Ethnographic Research (SAGE, 2018), Documentary and Archival Research (SAGE, 2016), Moral Panics in the Contemporary World (Bloomsbury, 2013), and Communities of Practice: Critical Perspectives (Routledge, 2007). His current research, funded by Cancer Research UK, is investigating the "careers" of adolescent e-cigarette users.