Agatha Christie's career as a mystery novelist is one of the biggest in history. With a whopping 66 novels to her name, including massive hits like Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, and The Murder at the Vicarage, she's even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling author of all time!
Like any great mystery novelist, Christie has inspired plenty of people to become detectives or police officers in order to solve murders and make the world a safer place for people to live. Who knows how many lives might have been saved because of her stories?
Well, it turns out we know of at least one case! And the craziest part of it? This case happened a year after Christie's death!
Turns out you can learn a lot from mystery novels...
In June 1977, a 19‐month‐old girl was flown to London from Qatar along with her parents, and appeared to be suffering from a mysterious condition nobody could identify. Doctors at Hammersmith Hospital were baffled by the case, as they had no idea what could be causing the symptoms the child was suffering from.
This is where Christie comes in.
As it turns out, a nurse attending to the baby had been reading Christie's The Pale Horse, in which a character ends up suffering from thallium poisoning. Thallium is a bluish‐white metal that can have poisonous salts growing from it, and the nurse noticed that the child's symptoms were eerily similar to those of the victim from the book.
Acting on this hunch, she notified the hospital, which turned out to lead to another issue; they actually had no way to test for thallium poisoning. Thankfully, Scotland Yard was able to provide one, which proved that the nurse's hunch was correct! They were able to treat the child, and she recovered from the illness.