- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SILVER SPRING, MD. (AP) - Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and other Agatha Christie characters are now under American ownership.

Acorn Media Group announced Wednesday that it had acquired majority ownership of Agatha Christie Limited. The Silver Spring, Md.-based company now controls rights to the British mystery writer’s dozens of novels and plays, including “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile.”

Christie’s books have sold more than 2 billion copies. The author died in 1976.

Agatha Christie Limited had been controlled since 1998 by Chorion, based in London.