U.S. company Acorn Media gains majority control of Agatha Christie's estate

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" from Acorn Media Group of Silver Spring, Md., which now holds a majority stake in the writer's literary estate (Acorn Media Group)

Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple – residents of Silver Spring, Md.? British novelist Agatha Christie’s classic mysteries, such as "Murder on the Orient Express," now belong to a U.S. company.

Acorn Media Group snapped up 64% of Christie’s literary estate, making the private company the majority owner of more than 80 novels, 19 plays and nearly 40 television films. The collection had belonged to Chorion Ltd. of London for more than a decade.

Christie, who died in 1976, is considered the bestselling novelist of all time, with more than 2 billion books sold. Only the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare are more widely published.

Christie's family still maintains a 36% share in Agatha Christie Ltd.; her grandson Mathew Prichard remains chairman.

Acorn has released DVD movie adaptations of Christie’s works for years and also owns DVD distribution rights for British detective drama "Foyle’s War" and cooking show "Two Fat Ladies."

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