Queering Agatha Christie

Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction

  • J.C Bernthal

Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 1-24
  3. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 25-74
  4. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 75-120
  5. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 121-159
  6. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 161-211
  7. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 213-261
  8. J. C. Bernthal
    Pages 263-269
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 271-304

About this book


This book is the first fully theorized queer reading of a Golden Age British crime writer. Agatha Christie was the most commercially successful novelist of the twentieth century, and her fiction remains popular. She created such memorable characters as Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, and has become synonymous with a nostalgic, conservative tradition of crime fiction. J.C. Bernthal reads Christie through the lens of queer theory, uncovering a playful, alert, and subversive social commentary. After considering Christie’s emergence in a commercial market hostile to her sex, in Queering Agatha Christie Bernthal explores homophobic stereotypes, gender performativity, queer children, and masquerade in key texts published between 1920 and 1952. Christie engaged with debates around human identity in a unique historical period affected by two world wars. The final chapter considers twenty-first century Poirot and Marple adaptations, with visible LGBT characters, and poses the question: might the books be queerer?


popular crime fiction Detective Fiction popular literature queer studies Gender Sexuality homosexuality Murder Mystery Television and FIlm post-war detective fiction gender performativity gender parody gender constructs societal norms Hercule Poirot Miss Marple LGBT

Authors and affiliations

  • J.C Bernthal
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarNorwichUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information