SHE remains the undisputed "Queen of Crime", beguiling readers for nearly 100 years with her classic 'whodunnit' novels. Now fans are celebrating her life and work at the International Agatha Christie Festival 2019 which begins today.

Isn’t she the best-selling author of all-time?

Outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, according to Guinness World Records, and best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap.

In all, her novels have sold a staggering two billion copies.

And she remains famous in particular for Poirot and Miss Marple?

The little Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who solves crimes with his "little grey cells", and spinster amateur detective Miss Jane Marple, are world-renowned creations that continue to be depicted on film and stage through the generations.

Who have brought them to life on screen so far?

Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury are among those who have portrayed Miss Marple, as well as Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie and Joan Hickson.

David Suchet has made the part of Poirot his own, but a glittering array of other big-name stars have portrayed the moustachioed detective on radio, film and TV, from Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov, to Orson Welles and Kenneth Branagh.

Her first book was published nearly a century ago?

Like so many other hugely successful authors, Dame Agatha initially suffered a series of rejections, before her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles – featuring Poirot – was published in 1920.

The author went on to name her home ‘Styles’, in honour of the life-changing publication of the book. It was critically well-received and kick-started her career, but initially earned her just £25.

And what is her biggest-selling book?

More than 100 million copies have sold so far of her classic whodunnit And Then There Were None, making it the world's best-selling mystery ever, and one of the top-selling tomes of all time.

Where is the festival?

It is taking place ‪from today until Sunday‬, which would have been her 129th birthday, at locations across Torbay, in her homeland of Devon.

Thousands of visitors are expected to travel to the event to explore the areas that inspired the imagination of the author who became renowned as a master of suspense and characterisation.

What does the festival involve?

A host of events, including an exhibition tracing Dame Agatha's life from her childhood in Torquay, through to her later years as a world famous author, as well as a walking tour of the English Riviera that takes in places of note to Dame Agatha. A special performance of The Mousetrap is also scheduled.

And the event aims to promote new writers too?

Organisers say the festival is dedicated to “promoting new stories and connecting to the voices of artists across the world”, all united by the common thread of being “inspired from the ingenuity and curiosity of Dame Agatha”.