Among the bottles of poison, the daggers, pistols, corruption and corpses of Agatha Christie’s 78 crime novels, 150 short stories and 19 plays are words of wisdom not about how best to commit a murder… but about how best to LIVE. Here are some of her best life lessons


1. Never do anything yourself that others can do for you.

The Labours of Hercules


2. Do not argue with obstinate men. Act in spite of them.

The Mystery of the Blue Train


3. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.

The ABC Murders


4. Courage is the resultion to face the unforeseen.

Death Comes as the End


5. Fear is incomplete knowledge.

Death Comes as the End


6. Imagination is a good servant and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles


7. Never tell all you know – not even to the person you know best.

The Secret Adversary


8. Women can accept the fact that a man is a rotter, a swindler, a drug taker, a confirmed liar, and a general swine, without batting an eyelash, and without its impairing their affection for the brute in the least. Women are wonderful realists.

Murder in Mesopotamia


9. The young people think the old people are fools — but the old people know the young people are fools.

Murder at the Vicarage


10. I know there’s a proverb which that says ‘To err is human,’ but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.

Hallowe’en Party


12. To every problem, there is a most simple solution.

The Clocks


13. Everybody knows something. Even if it’s something they don’t know they know.

Cat Among the Pigeons


14. An appreciative listener is always stimulating.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles


15. To rush into explanations is a sign of weakness.

The Seven Dials Mystery


16. Life does not permit you to arrange and order it as you will. It will not permit you to escape emotion, to live by the intellect and by reason! You cannot say, ‘I will feel so much and no more.’ Life, whatever else it is, is not reasonable.

Sad Cypress


17. There is too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that man does of his own free will. God doesn’t really need to punish us. We’re so busy punishing ourselves.

The Moving Finger



18. It’s what’s in *yourself* that makes you happy or unhappy.

A Murder is Announced


19. Be sure, your sin will find you out.

And Then There Were None


20. People who can be very good can be very bad, too.

They Do It With Mirrors


21. The human face is nothing more nor less than a mask.

Sad Cypress


22. A weak man in a corner is dangerous.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding


23. Don’t go in for being sorry for people. For one thing it’s insulting. One is only sorry for people if they are sorry for themselves. Self-pity is the biggest stumbling block in our world today.

Destination Unknown


24. To care passionately for another human creature brings always more sorrow than joy; but at the same time, one would not be without experience. Anyone who has never really loved has never really lived.

Sad Cypress


25. Evil never goes unpunished. But the punishment is sometimes secret.

Peril at End House


26. Do you not realise that each and everyone of us is a complete mystery with layers? We each try to judge each other, but nine times out of ten, we are wrong.

Lord Edgware Dies


27. Conversations are always dangerous if you have something to hide.

A Caribbean Mystery


28. I have often had occasion to notice how, where a direct question would fail to elicit a response, a false assumption brings instant information in the form of a contradiction.

Dumb Witness


29. Never get bored. Life’s not long enough for that.

Murder in Mesopotamia


30. Everybody is very much alike, really. But fortunately, perhaps, they don’t realise it.

The Thumbmark of St Peter


31. When you’re in love, you think you’re invincible. It blinds you. And you don’t seem to care.

The Body in the Library


32. You cannot give to people what they are incapable of receiving.

After the Funeral



33. The secret of existence is that we’re all a little mad.

They Do It With Mirrors


34. Anybody who can believe six impossible things before breakfast wins hands down in this game.

Murder is Easy


35. People will quite often do anything for money.

They Do It With Mirrors


36. Never part with information unnecessarily.

The Sittaford Mystery


37. It is good for one now and again to realise what an idiot one can be! But no one relishes the process.

The Man in the Brown Suit


38. It is fundamentals that matter — not the trappings.

The Labours of Hercules


39. Nothing is duller than dull pornography.

The Clocks


Never a truer word written!