September 15 is the birthdate of Agatha Christie, British author of 66 detective novels, most of which involve the investigations of Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies; she is one of the most widely published and translated authors ever. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), featured Poirot and launched her career. Like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes, Christie became increasingly weary of her own detective, calling him “insufferable" and "an ego-centric creep." She killed him off in the novel Curtain, published in 1975 but written during World War II. Poirot is the only fictional character to have been given an obituary in The New York Times (appearing on the front page).