Agatha Christie
The 40th death anniversary of Agatha Christie was being observed on 12 January 2016Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The 40th death anniversary of Agatha Christie, one of the most popular crime novelists of all time, was being commemorated on 12 January, with a ceremony at St. Mary's church in Cholsey Oxfordshire. Reverend Andrew Petit and Judy Dewey, curator of Wallingford Museum, were leading the ceremony consisting of 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," Dewey told the BBC. "Last summer, in one month alone, the grave was visited by about 300 people."

Christie's 125th birth anniversary was celebrated on 15 September, 2015. She died at the age of 86 at nearby Winterbrook House in Wallingford where she lived with her second husband, Sir Max Mallowan, since 1934.

If you are an ardent Christie fan, you can visit the Montréal's Museum of Archeology and History in Canada which is holding an exhibition entitled "Investigating Agatha Christie." The exhibition continues into April 2016. It deals with Christie's life, works and her passion for archaeology. Her personal items such as her typewriter, Dictaphone and chairs, besides letters, manuscripts and first editions of her books, are on display, according to the museum website.

The Montreal exhibition is one of the major international events held to mark the 125th anniversary of the famous novelist's birth on 15 September, 1890. Another exhibition at Wallingford Museum from 9 -11 September will include photographs and letters from Christie's later life, including correspondence with the president 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 Dewey.

Or else, you can head to the legendary Pera Palace in Istanbul. The hotel has a room, bearing her name, where she is believed to have written her famous novel, Murder on the Orient Express.

Christie started writing crime novels when her sister Madge challenged her to write mysteries. She struggled until an odd short man in a group of Belgian refugees in Torquay caught her attention. Thus was born her famous character, Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective.

She wrote 66 mysteries, six of them under the name of Mary Westmacott, besides 150 short stories, 18 plays and two memoirs.