Christie's talents have much in common with those of the conjurer and the stand-up comic. She is the queen of carefully controlled narrative. Her skill as misdirecting the reader amounts at times to genius. She distracts our attention at the crucial moment; she toys with our stock responses. Her puzzles are rarely dull and over-complex – unlike those of Dorothy L Sayers and many other Golden Age crime writers. The best ofthem not only fool the reader but, afterwards, they give us the supreme pleasure of thinking that "I should have got that myself."
Agatha Christie is not a great writer, and her 66 novels vary widely in quality. But the best of her books are well worth revisiting. There is a clarity about them and a shrewd understanding of the vagaries of human nature…
We will never know the precise secret of Agatha Christie's extraordinary success. But the simplest, though not the only, reason for it is this: she understood the power of story and how to exercise it on her readers.
Krish Ashok charts out why outrage is such an integral part of our national identity