Agatha Christie, the bestselling author of the Hercule Poirot detective novels, is so popular that her books are outsold only by the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. When Christie died in 1976, the news made global headlines.
The archives of the Norwich Union reveal that, in 1959, Christie took a life insurance policy under her married name Agatha Mallowen. Christie was then approaching 70 years of age and had already penned her most famous novels including Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express. When she died in 1976, the policy paid £29,970.05 (= £180,000 today). There is no record of who benefited from the claim amount – It is likely to be either her second husband Max, who lived till 1978, or daughter Rosalind.