In a case of life imitating art, over 100 visitors were trapped at the estate of Agatha Christie, the Daily Wire reported. The group was blocked from leaving after a storm knocked a tree into the road leading to the late British mystery writer's home.
Visitors were stranded at her country vacation estate in Devon, dubbed Greenway House, for several hours as it is accessible by a single road. Caroline Heaven, who was a visitor among those stuck there, alerted local media outlet Devon Live.
Britain's National Trust, which manages the property, released a statement assuring the public that "visitors, staff, and volunteers still at Greenway [are] unable to leave" but that it was "doing everything" to care for them. Heaven said they were kept busy with outdoor games and refreshments.
"They are doing a great job; they are giving us free teas and things. It’s a bit bleak," Heaven admitted.
Nobody was hurt in the incident, but many on social media likened the situation to one of Christie's suspenseful stories. "If I am ever trapped in Agatha Christie’s house for several hours I am so walking around holding a tea cup and saucer asking people where they were and what they were doing, and shooting them suspicious looks as they answer," a Twitter user quipped.
In Christie's iconic work novel, "And Then There Were None," a group of strangers visiting a secluded mansion near the Devon coast are killed one at a time. Playing off of that theme, one social media user posted a countdown, "99, 98, 97, 96, 94 (grisly), 93."
Another said it was imperative that the tourists "implement a buddy system immediately." A fourth caption mused on what Christie would have thought of the situation.
"History’s greatest fiction writer would have loved this. She would have welcomed them all to tea," user D. Alan Baker tweeted.
Thankfully, none of the guests ended up meeting their demise and were able to leave the property after the tree was removed. The estate has been closed temporarily to clean up from the storm's aftermath.
As for the late author, Christie holds the distinction as the best-selling author of all time, according to a webpage dedicated to her legacy. She also penned the play "The Mousetrap," which is said to be the longest continually-running play in the world.
In all, she is credited with 14 short story compilations and 66 detective novels. Christie's books have sold over a billion copies in English and a billion translated into other languages.
Christie had purchased her Greenway Estate with Max Mallowan, an archeologist who became her second husband. The author called their vacation home "the loveliest place in the world."
Although she never wrote any of her famous works there, Christie used the grounds and the home as a backdrop to at least three of her books. She also would invite friends and family there to debut her latest work, often challenging guests to figure out who was the murderer in her stories.
It's not every day that visitors get such an immersive experience at a historic site. While certainly an inconvenience, this will be a tour those involved won't soon forget.