In a bizarre turn of events, 2020, a year most would pray to forget, is a most auspicious year for fans of detective fiction worldwide. As of 2020, Agatha Christie’s Poirot has completed 100 years. Whereas there is no dearth of mystery novels nowadays, the era of good old fashioned detective mysteries has been ushered out and replaced with often perfunctory thriller novels. Miss Christie’s scintillating mysteries have never come close to being challenged and have sold over 2 billion copies at the time of writing. However, a sparse few attempts have been made, by writers such as Sophie Hannah, who continue Christie’s legacy. And even then, they aren't at odds, rather one is a mere continuation of the other.    

But why is this? The lavishly set mysteries of old are now faced with extinction in the face of racy thrillers that offer no room for any mental deduction. Perhaps the old, archaic novels of Agatha Christie are a veritable dinosaur in the modern age. Or perhaps, since they’ve been around for 100 odd years, people have grown blasé of them, and wish for something more. The universal nature of Miss Christie’s novels is a modern-day phenomenon, a dinosaur prospering in the age of cavemen.   

So clearly, in a rapidly changing world, tastes in books are also changing. Whereas this may be interpreted as a loss of an old culture, some may argue it births a new one. Whereas this is a development that has occurred gradually, slowly but surely it is a ubiquitous one. From your local Waterstones to your local cinema, thrillers are taking the world by storm. But why? Are the qualities of today’s slower detective novels subpar?   

Perhaps, more plausibly, people just don’t relate to old detective stories anymore. Gone are the days of country manors and family estates. Not every Tom, Dick, and Harry have any sense of resonance with these outlandish and fanciful customs of days gone by, and unfortunate as it may seem the numbers of those that do are rapidly dwindling. A highspeed chase in the streets of New York seems to have more resonance with today's population than a poisoning in some arcane mansion.   

Why then, have Christie's novels survived the ever-evolving test of time? As many an avid reader would testify, Christie’s novels have an air of lavishness and exuberance about, like an abandoned island (And then there were none) or death in exotic foreign lands (Death on the Nile). Whereas it seems almost a vulgar form of blasphemy to distill a career of so much more to these well-known books, it is these books that jump to reader’s minds when the name “Agatha Christie” reveals itself. To a country recovering from war, Christie bought escapism. And to readers of today, Christie brings something arguably more valuable; a window to the past.