Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller (1890–1976), commonly known as Agatha Christie, was an English crime writer of novels, short stories and plays (including the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series); she also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott. In 1914 she married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps who was beginning to earn a reputation as an aviator ace. In 1920 she published her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles featuring Hercule Poirot. In late 1926 Archie revealed that he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce.
In December 1926 Agatha disappeared from her home after a quarrel. Despite a massive manhunt she was not found for eleven days when she was identified as a guest at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, registered as ‘Mrs Teresa Neele’ from Cape Town. She gave no account of her disappearance and although two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia, public reaction at the time was largely negative with many believing it was all just a publicity stunt, whilst others speculated she was trying to make the police think her husband killed her as revenge for his affair.
She was divorced in 1928. In 1930 she married archaeologist Max Mallowan after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was happy in the early years and endured despite Mallowan’s many affairs in later life – notably with Barbara Parker whom he married the year after Christie's death.