Poirot sets himself a challenge before he retires - to solve 12 cases which correspond with the labours of his classical Greek namesake...
In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet - reasoned the detective - like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters.
So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed `Labours'. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.