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HomeAt Home & BeyondAcademia Hernando: Agatha Christie, Queen of Murder Mysteries

Academia Hernando: Agatha Christie, Queen of Murder Mysteries

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Agatha Christie is known as the best-selling author of all time, with her works rivaled only by the Bible and Shakespeare in terms of sales and popularity. Dive into the life of this brilliant author at 10 am on Oct. 28 when the Academia Hernando community learning series will present Nan Colton in the role of “Agatha Christie, Queen of Murder Mysteries” at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill.

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Academia Hernando is a not-for-profit lifelong learning organization providing quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond. Their goal is to inform, educate and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics.

Agatha Christie drew on her observations of the world and people surrounding her to become the literary world’s “Queen of Crime.” Agatha Christie herself once said, “At my time of life, one knows that the worst is usually true.” Come and watch Nan Colton become the “Queen of Crime” right before your eyes!”

Colton promises a cohesive and educational look at the life of this literary great. “She is one of the very best selling mystery authors of all time and the only writer that has captured the modern audience’s imagination with two major fictitious detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Her work appeals to all readers and lovers of a good mystery,” she said. “This presentation is designed to represent a possible conversation Agatha may have had in 1956 at a book signing. She graciously reveals how she thought her happiness was complete when Rosalind, her only daughter, was born on 5th August 1919. By 1926, her life was in tatters: her mother Clara died and Archie Christie, her husband, left her for another woman. The mysterious 11 days in 1926 when she ‘disappeared’ and had all of England searching for her, are hinted at but the secret reason for her flight remains a mystery. And then, just when she hit rock bottom, everything changed.”

Indeed, this particular life story had a very happy ending. “She humorously tells of her life and times with world famous archeologist Sir Max Mallowan and her subsequent climb to fame as the world’s most widely read author,” she said.

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Colton is both a historian and a performing artist. A professional playwright, director, storyteller, actress, and literary, and performance teaching artist, she has performed and lectured professionally on stages throughout South Africa, Great Britain, and the United States.

“As the sole proprietor (small business owner) of Solo Productions, I am committed to create and present theatrical solo performances and workshops that are both interactive, educative and entertaining. I’ve been working at this form of theater since 1994 and have a collection of 50 characters I have scripted and performed. So when I approach a person who had a writing career lasting more than 55 years, such as Dame Agatha Christie, I have a deep respect for her work ethic.”

Colton has a deep and abiding respect for her subject. “She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – ‘The Mousetrap,’” said Colton. “Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation. In literary circles she’s credited with creating the modern murder mystery. And her second marriage was a success by all accounts.”

Through her presentations, Colton brings the strong women of history to life.
“I choose to portray women who are not victims; who overcome life’s challenges and have something relevant to say such as, and I quote, the author: ‘Very few of us are what we seem,’”
Sharon Printz, board member of Academia Hernando, looks forward to welcoming the return of Nan Colton to the program’s musical stage. “Nan Colton has appeared on our stage before as Georgia O’Keeffe,” she explained. “She becomes her characters, in words and costumes, and is a delight to see. Her brand of living history is one of a kind.”

Coming up soon at Academia Hernando will be Ross Tarr, M.S. and Wanda Stuart, M.S will present “Storyteller of Old Tampa” on Friday, Nov. 4, at 10 am, and on Friday, Nov. 11 a Mystery Bus Excursion will culminate the series.

Academia Hernando, formed as a division of learning in retirement of the University of South Florida, was originally entitled “Mondays in Brooksville” and met in the Commission Chambers of the Courthouse. It was Incorporated as a 501(c) 3 domestic non-profit business on November 18, 2010.

The Academia Hernando lectures begin promptly at 10 a.m. and lasts for 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. To register for the entire lecture series in addition to a mystery excursion, print the registration form found at https://www.academiahernando.org/fall-series and mail with your check for $80 payable to Academia Hernando, Inc. and mail to:
Bev Nuzzi
15027 Middle Fairway Drive
Brooksville, FL 34609

Checks also can be brought to an Academia Hernando presentation; in addition, walkin admissions are available at $15 per presentation. Visit https://www.academiahernando.org/ for more information or call (352) 345-8345.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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