Agatha Christie's Mysteries Unlocked: Experts Reveal Three Key Clues to Spot Story Culprit
There are prodigious mysteries in the world of books and the greatest of which are concocted by best-selling crime novelist Agatha Christie. However, a group of experts are here to claim that a formula in unlocking all those whodunits without breaking a sweat exists.
These academics revealed the results of their research commissioned by UKTV Channel Drama on the 125th birthday of the distinguished crime author, The Guardian reports. The experts dissected 27 out of all 83 books Christie published.
According to one of the panel, Dominique Jeannerod from the Queen's University in Belfast, there was always belief that Christie had a universal pattern in which her crime mysteries and their solutions are grounded upon. It was his group who looked for it and eventually found it.
"We were able to discover patterns emerging in several aspects of Christie's novels: trends formed when we grouped our data via year, detective, gender of culprit, motive, cause of death," Jeannerod told The Guardian.
"Murder on the Orient Express" and "Death on the Nile" are two of the books the real super-sleuths looked into. As per Telegraph, the culprit will be introduced before the book runs its second half. He or she is almost always a relative or a spouse of the victim too.
Most tips the group discovered help in finding out the gender of the perpetrator. As simplified by Telegraph, a crime involving a strangled to death victim is most likely a male's doing. There's 75 percent chance that a killer is female if the murder happens in a country house.
It also helps to follow how Christie describes the characters. The author typically uses negative sentiments for female killers while more neutral or positive sentimentalities go towards male perpetrators. The expert used a sentiment analysis program called Semantria to crack this.
Panel member and data analyst Brett Jacob said that this is easier to spot from the reader's perspective. He revealed that even the means of transportation associated will help in determining the killer's gender. A female killer likely travels by land on a car or train. Air or water travel points to a male killer.
As for easily discovering the actual identity of the killer, it helps to know who's in charge of the investigation and the cause of death.
If Belgian detective Hercule Poirot leads the case and the victim was slain by stabbing, the killer is likely going to be mentioned by Christie more frequently at the beginning of the book. If the crime was instigated by money or an affair and Miss Marple is tasked to crack it, the criminal will be a major broach in the latter part of the story.
"Given her on-going popularity, we wanted to know her formula for success, especially since the whodunit is such a classic of the crime drama genre," General Manager for Drama Adrian Wills told Telegraph.
"We hope that her legions of dedicated fans will revisit their favorite whodunits with a better understanding of how to crack the ultimate code," he added.