Many people know of Agatha Christie as the ‘Queen of Crime’ but make the assumption that the ‘crime’ in question is fictitious. However, Agatha was an avid reader of true crime cases, a stickler for detail and a qualified dispenser; a mistress in the art of poison.
Agatha Christie was also a founder member of The Detection Club; a group of golden era crime fiction writers who were initiated via a ceremony which involved swearing an oath upon a human skull called Eric.
During their meetings they would discuss contemporary murders, real detection techniques and more, all of which found its way into Agatha’s books.
Because of the time period in which Agatha was writing, which coincided with the burgeoning of ‘forensic science’ as we know it today, it’s possible to trace the fascinating history of criminalistics through her work. In this talk Carla will discuss Agatha’s use of blood spatter analysis, deadly poisons, firearms and autopsy procedures as well as how they link to Christie’s works, and to some of the most gruesome true crimes of her day. Her second book, ‘Murder Isn’t Easy: Agatha Christie’s Forensics’ will be released in October 2021.
Martin Edwards, the Detection Club’s current president and detective fiction writer said of Christie, “They explored miscarriages of justice, forensic pathology and serial killings long before these topics became fashionable (and before the term ‘serial killer’ was invented.) – The Golden Age of Murder by M.Edwards
Carla Valentine is a qualified Anatomical Pathology Technologist (APT or mortuary technician) who carried out autopsies for nearly 10 years after studying Forensic Science at university. She is currently the technical curator at Barts Pathology Museum, where she conserves and repairs historical human remains. Much of the collection is designated Forensic Medicine, and dates from the late 1800s, which gives Carla an incredible insight into early forensic science.