Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Agatha Christie’s centenary celebrated with eerie noir postage stamps

AC A Murder is Announced stamp 400%.jpg

A hundred years ago, Agatha Christie wrote her first mystery – The Mysterious Affair At Styles – and introduced the world to Hercule Poirot for the very first time.

The author went on to pen another 65 detective novels, 14 short story collections, six romances, and the world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap.

She has sold over two billion copies of her books worldwide – one billion in the English language and one billion in over 100 different languages. Her books have never been out of print, and, more pertinently, she is the the first crime writer to have 100,000 copies of ten of her titles published by Penguin on the same day in 1948 - A Penguin Million.  

So it makes sense that the Royal Mail wanted to celebrate the legendary queen of crime’s career in style.


Read more: How Agatha Christie's mysterious disappearance resembles Gillian Flynn's hit novel, Gone Girl


“With more than two billion book sales worldwide, crime writer and playwright Agatha Christie has been outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible,” said the Royal Mail.

“So it’s fitting that we mark not just the centenary of her writing her first crime novel, but also the 40th anniversary of her death with a stamp issue that’s full of intrigue.”

The Body In The Library

The Body In The Library

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

With a little help from designer Jim Sutherland, they created six stamps, each of which is devoted to a classic Christie novel.

However, unlike most stamps, these are extra-special; each contains a hidden clue, crafted with microtext, UV ink, and thermochronic ink.

Which means that, yes, you’ll need a magnifying glass, UV light, or body heat to reveal all of their secrets.


Read more: Iconic Agatha Christie cover art


“As ever – there’s so much detail in handcrafting for such small canvasses,” explained Sutherland.

“The books themselves are beautifully written with such clever plots and twists – we were keen to reflect that in the scenes chosen from each story.”

Each stamp also contains a hidden letter, which combines across the set to spell out a very special word…

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

A Murder Is Announced

A Murder Is Announced

Included in the set are:

  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • The Murder of Robert Ackroyd
  • A Murder is Announced
  • The Body in the Library
  • And Then There Were None

Read more: Kim Cattrall confirmed to star in BBC One's Agatha Christie thriller


Murder On The Orient Express

Murder On The Orient Express

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

There is also a a 3D animated version of the artwork on The Mysterious Affair at Styles stamp, for users who download the Aurasma app (via the iTunes App Store). Here, they can explore the scene being played out on the stamp, interact with the lighting, and take a direct route to the Royal Mail online shop. 

Speaking about the designs, Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, said: “I am delighted that, 100 years after she wrote her first detective novel, my grandmother’s works are being celebrated in such a unique way by Royal Mail.


Read more: The cast for Agatha Christie's Crooked House is beyond incredible


"The ingenuity of her mysteries is cleverly represented in these distinctive designs, with the use of cutting edge technology - a welcome alliance of the traditional and the modern - adding to the delight. I am certain that Agatha Christie and mystery lovers will relish the puzzles that each stamp presents.” 

The stamps are available from 15 September via the Royal Mail website.

Related

gillian anderson.jpg

The cast for Agatha Christie’s Crooked House is beyond incredible

kim cattrall smiling.jpg

Kim Cattrall confirmed to star in BBC One’s Agatha Christie thriller

Opener_rt.jpg

How to write a short story: our essential guide to getting published

Comments

More

JK Rowling invented Quidditch to ‘annoy men’ after row with her ex

The Harry Potter author is such a badass

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Watch Emma Watson star in chilling new trailer for The Circle

We’re getting serious Black Mirror vibes from this social media thriller

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Read an exclusive extract from 2017's most hotly anticipated novel

Devour the first three chapters of the psychological thriller here

by Sarah Biddlecombe
06 Dec 2016

Stylist's pick of the best new books for 2017

From family sagas to crime thrillers

by Sarah Shaffi
05 Dec 2016

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: First look at new TV series

Elisabeth Moss dons Offred’s famous red gown for the first time

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

The Girl on the Train author, Paula Hawkins, is back with second book

In a Stylist.co.uk exclusive, here's everything you need to know

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now spend the night in the world's first library hotel

Why not cosy up in your own book nook?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now read Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s own handwriting

A luxury edition of Brontë’s original manuscript has been reprinted.

by Moya Crockett
28 Nov 2016

Mary Berry to meet with ‘civilised’ bookworms who shun #BlackFriday

Forget #BlackFriday; Mary Berry is all about #CivilisedSaturday

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

10 beautiful books to buy as Christmas presents this season

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Nov 2016