In recent years, texts once dismissed as lowbrow (such as Stoker’s Dracula and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories) have become staples in the university classroom. Despite worldwide fame as the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie too often appears as only a generic example of classic detective fiction.
This is at odds with a recent surge of critical interest, beginning, perhaps, with Pierre Bayard’s work on The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. A recent edition of Clues (Vol. 34, No. 1) highlights current Christie scholarship and calls for irreverent re-readings, “teasing out the genuinely experimental and decidedly nonpatterned aspects of Christie’s writing” (Rolls and Guldal 8).