Agatha Christie did it first

And I’m here to prove it.

Note: Mild spoiler for Three Act Tragedy.

You think the characters of Dr Strange, Hermione and James Bond are creations of Marvel comics, JK Rowling and Ian Fleming respectively? Welllllll, not necessarily. They were all created by the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie.

Or it depends which ones!

In book Three Act Tragedy, (also published as Murder In Three Acts in USA) there is a character named Dr Strange, namesake of the Marvel character Dr Strange.

Although he’s referred to as Sir Bartholomew throughout the story, he is a doctor and his surname is Strange.

Three Act Tragedy was first published in 1934. It’s a Hercule Poirot mystery, which also features Mr Satterthwaite, who appears in the Mysterious Mr Quin stories. (Speaking of which, Mr Quin’s first name is Harley, so he’s Harley Quin–a very similar to the character in DC comic universe, except hers is spelled Quinn, therefore I have not included this in the post.) Dr Strange’s first appearance in the Marvel comics was in 1963, almost three decades later.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe he’s played by Benedict Cumberbatch–who is also well known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, the other famous detective! (He was also in Murder Is Easy, but that was incorrectly adapted with Miss Marple, who is not in the story.)

In the same book, we meet a character of Hermione.

Okay, so I admit this one is a bit of a stretch, as it just happens to be a character with the same first name as the beloved witch of Harry Potter fame. But it’s not like it’s a very common name, is it? Besides, if you took the character of Hermione Granger and put her in a murder mystery, you’d have her do some sleuthing, wouldn’t you? Just like the Three Act Tragedy Hermione, nicknamed Egg, does. Well, Hermione Granger does a sort of sleuthing in Harry Potter too; I always insist that the HP books are in the most part mysteries, it’s just that they include the elements of magic. It’s no wonder that the author turned to writing mystery novels. Though I for one wish she’d rather shut up… Sigh. But let’s not get derailed.

The first HP book was released in 1997.

Save the best one for the end.

One instance of the same surname, one of the same, unusual, first name–but now we have the full name.

Yup, that’s right, it was Agatha Christie who first introduced the character of James Bond! In the short story The Rajah’s Emerald, published for the first time in 1934. Same as Three Act Tragedy, as it happens.

It’s a different James Bond, of course, but it’s interesting.

The famous spy James Bond made his first appearance in 1953 in Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale. These days he’s better known from the films. James Bond of The Rajah’s Emerald is but a humble man–but he does stumble upon a mysterious jewel, the titular emerald, while holidaying at a seaside resort, not exactly enjoying himself.

And so my mind goes on a wander…

James Bond was last (as of this blog entry, July 2022) played by Daniel Craig. And Daniel also plays the detective Benoit Blanc in the film Knives Out (which is shortly to have a sequel), one of my most favourite films of all time. If you’ve seen it, you know it’s pretty much an Agatha Christie mystery, set in modern times in America (it’s its own thing enough so as not to cause trouble with the Agatha Christie estate). It also stars Ana de Armas, who made appearance in the latest (as of this blog entry, July 2022) James Bond film No Time To Die. And Chris Evans, who was Steve Rogers aka Captain America in the above mentioned Marvel films!

Thus I come the full circle.

Anyway, the point of this blog post was:

Agatha Christie was a trailblazer.

7 thoughts on “Agatha Christie did it first

  1. I’ve been reading and watching some of Agatha Christie’s works. I enjoyed your post. I enjoyed the one movie that was about Agatha’s missing days – where she goes off on her own to solve a mystery. Two of the series that I watch staring her charactor are played by two different women. But they are both very enjoyable to watch.

    I’ve been reading a series of murder mysteries in the 1800’s – Charolette and Thomas Pitt by Anne Perry. I don’t have all the books, and they have gotten to be just a tad (sort of) predictable. So I’m not sure if I’m going to finish the four or five I have.

    I just watch one that was possibly called “Murder on the Train”… where Aunt Agatha, with the help of her niece and a young police detective help solve that mystery. I enjoyed the ‘twist’ ending.

    I think sometimes when we read something the names (maybe other details too?) get stuck in our memories and we might not recall where we read them but we know that they are ‘special’ and maybe those other authors… borrowed from Christie? Who knows. Are there such things as coincidences … maybe not 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The movie where Agatha solves a murder during her 11-day disappearance is called Agatha and the Truth of Murder. It appears there are two more films set in the same universe, though with different actresses (I imagine due to Agatha aging). Strangely enough, despite being such an Agatha fan, I don’t read much mystery, aside from Sherlock Holmes. So I had not heard of Anne Perry until very recently, and that was thanks to a true crime podcast–did you know she did time in prison for murder when she was very young? Her birth name was different, it was changed to Anne Perry after she was released. It looks like she’s indeed a prolific author.

      Ian Fleming actually took the name for his protagonist from an ornithologist James Bond whom he knew in the Caribbean. (The adaptation of The Caribbean Mystery with Julia Mckenzie as Miss Marple has a scene showing Fleming going to the ornithologist’s lecture and thus getting the idea for the name–more references!)

      It’s interesting what you say about the ideas, I wrote a story (it’s over on my writing blog) titled The Pursuit, in which the main character has a dream about her love interest, and how she first met him. This is exactly how Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl starts–Elizabeth having a dream about how she and Will met. I was not trying to copy it, because I forgot about it… and then I did a rewatch and was like, whoa… I did that too. And keep in mind it’s one of my favourite films!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Speaking of Bond, I wonder how they are going to do more films with James going ‘poof’ in that last one. Probably some inbetween stories. Always hard for a new actor to take that role when we have our favorite ‘Bond’ men 😉

        I had learned about Anne Perry from of all folks a banking official. I do like the details and the history tossed in her 1800’s series. But sometimes it can get just a tad too much as a series… but then as in real life there really are just a limited number of charactors and plot lines. So I wouldn’t worry about similar story lines.

        Some folks have had issues with thinking others stole their works. But it can be hard to prove. Especially when the ‘second’ author does things better and
        expands with more creativity.

        Even watching the different mysteries… different series… crime doesn’t pay in the end. There are just so many ways to try and get away with…murder. ;D

        Do you have a link on the blog I can get to – to your other writing blog?

        There’s a commercial I’ve seen about a movie where romantic interests are dreamed about and found. I think there was a Star Trek episode about that kind of meet up too. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My writing blog is at Posting there isn’t as frequent as here, writing doesn’t come as easily to me as photography.

          There’s only so many types of stories you can tell, so there’s bound to be similarities between different works. As long as you’re not ripping off someone else’s whole story, it should be okay. And then there’s always the public domain works, which are fair game.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I used to have four different blogs. I narrowed it down so everything is at one place.

            While I’d like to do more with my own photos… I’m a bit tech challenged. …One of these days.


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