Date of Award

Fall 1-6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Rebecca Connor

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Allred

Academic Program Adviser

Janet Neary


Agatha Christie’s name is synonymous with the Whodunit. She is without a doubt one the most popular and best selling authors of all time. Christie’s work built upon the first examples of detective fiction, including Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, Christie’s embrace of the traditionally female spaces, her subversion of expectations, and her unlikely detectives set her apart from her predecessors with their focus on male intellect, patriarchal superiority, and absent female characters. Christie’s novels established recognizable patterns still used today in books, television and movies. This project examines the arc of detective fiction and the role of women within the subgenre, contextualizes Christie's work within the Women’s Right Movement, and explores how Christie subtly, but effectively brought more women into detective fiction.



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