Hidden Clues

2016 marks the centenary of Agatha Christie writing her first detective story – The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The Royal Mail is marking the occasion with a set of six stamps created by Jim Sutherland of Studio Sutherl& in collaboration with illustrator Neil Webb. The series represent some of her best-known novels. Check them out below:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

A Murder is Announced

A Murder is Announced

Each stamp sums up the complex plots in a single framed illustration, with clues that point to the murderer hidden within the artwork. What makes particular set of stamps unique is the way that the clues are hidden. They are revealed through exposure to UV light, heat, and of course, the traditional magnifying glass.

Exposure to UV light reveals the clock face on the 'A Murder is Announced' stamp

Exposure to UV light reveals the clock face on the 'A Murder is Announced' stamp

Looking through a magnifying glass reveals the detail of the suicide note on 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' stamp

Looking through a magnifying glass reveals the detail of the suicide note on 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' stamp

The killer is hidden behind a heat sensitive ink curtain which is revealed when touched

The killer is hidden behind a heat sensitive ink curtain which is revealed when touched

As well as the 'hidden clues' each stamp also has a hidden letter, which combine across the set to spell ‘Agatha’. These stamps are presented in a pack that is designed like a bookshelf packed full of original objects, photographs, book covers and a timeline of the the author’s life.

The Royal Mail have also developed an augmented reality feature for the 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles' stamp which triggers a 3D animation. Check it out below:

The thought and effort that has gone into this series is reminiscent of a plot of an Agatha Christie novel. The execution creates a styling that fits the author’s era, but also feels modern and contemporary. This is a book of stamps you certainly wouldn't want to part with!