Agatha Christie death commemorated at Oxfordshire graveside
A wreath has been laid at Agatha Christie's graveside to mark the 40th anniversary of the author's death.
A ceremony at St Mary's Church in Cholsey, Oxfordshire also included readings from her autobiography.
Christie died aged 86 at nearby Winterbrook House in Wallingford, which had been her home with archaeologist husband Sir Max Mallowan since 1934.
The book topped a poll to mark the 125th anniversary of the writer's birth.
The Reverend Andrew Petit and Judy Dewey, curator of Wallingford Museum, led the ceremony, which included a prayer and readings from Christie's autobiography and poetry collection.
"Her death was of worldwide interest, but her funeral in Cholsey Church on a bleak, cold, winter's day was a quiet family and friends affair - apart from the scores of press, some from as far away as South America," Ms Dewey said.
She added: "Last summer, in one month alone, the grave was visited by about 300 people."
Things you might not know about Agatha Christie
- She was a surfing pioneer
- She had a penchant for poison
- Her husband was suspected of murdering her when she disappeared for 11 days
- She was the best-selling female writer of all time
- She did not have a formal education and taught herself to read
Source: BBC Arts
An exhibition to be held at Wallingford Museum from March until November will include photographs and letters from Christie's later life, including correspondence with the chairman of the local amateur dramatics group the Sinodun Players.
"She watched many of their performances and was given special seats, and she particularly liked their pantomimes - she was an absolute pantomime fanatic," said Ms Dewey.
One letter from Sir Max to the players following Christie's death said: "What was truly valuable in Wallingford was her privacy and freedom from social involvement, for in this way she was able to devote her time to creative work which gave pleasure to millions."
Christie's novels have sold roughly two billion copies and she is still the world's most-translated individual author - having been translated into at least 103 languages.
An event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of her death and her connections to Cholsey and Wallingford will be held at the museum from 9-11 September.