The Agatha Christie Reading List

I love to set myself a reading list each year, and I thought this year, 2019, I would tackle the works of Agatha Christie. A prolific writer, and an interesting woman in her own right, I thought this would be fun, because I love a good mystery. Although, as you can see from the list below, she wrote quite a lot of books, they’re usually quite short, so I think I can do it.

I’ve read quite a few of her books before, but I’ve forgotten “whodunnit” so I’m going to re-read those. There’s loads of her books that I’ve never read, including her romances, which I’m really curious to read, which she published under the name Mary Westmacott.

As I’m reading them, I’m writing a short description and a short opinion on each one, and if I like it, I’ve put an asterisk * at the start of the title. If I loved it, it gets two **. I love her old paperbacks with the funny, dramatic covers, so part of my goal is to only read old, second hand editions.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments about which ones you love or hate, or if you disagree with my assessments of any of them, have any interesting facts, … Let me know. 

Hercule Poirot Books

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
  • The Murder On The Links (1923)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  • The Big Four (1927) – Poirot takes on a case of international criminal masterminds when a man who approaches him for help suddenly dies. Are the Big Four behind it, and can he stop them from their evil plans for world domination? This book feels a bit like a comic book and is a bit cheesey with some truly far fetched twists, but it’s still quite fun. 
  • The Mystery Of The Blue Train (1928)
  • *Peril At End House (1932) – On a relaxing trip to Cornwall, Poirot and Hastings stumble upon an attempted murder. Beautiful Nick Buckley refuses at first to believe someone could want her dead, because even though she inherited End House, she has no money and is in debt. Can Poirot figure out who and why, before it’s too late? I loved the way that Christie evokes the devil may care, flippant attitude of the 1939’s smart set in this book. I also think that it has some lovely twists in it. I always love a story that has an interesting house with secrets. 
  • Lord Edgeware Dies (1933)
  • Murder On The Orient Express (1934)
  • Three Act Tragedy (1935)
  • Death In The Clouds (1935)
  • The ABC Murders (1936)
  • Murder In Mesopotamia (1936)
  • Cards On The Table (1936)
  • Dumb Witness (1937)
  • Death On The Nile (1937)
  • Appointment With Death (1938) – In Jerusalem, Poirot over hears a voice say “You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?” The voice turns out to belong to a member of the Boynton family, whose stepmother is a sadistic emotional tyrant. When that step mother turns up dead, Poirot proposes that not only was it murder, but that he can solve the case in 24 hours. This one I felt was slow in parts, but I liked the exotic location, and I felt like the murderer was someone I never would have guessed.  
  • Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938)
  • One, Two Buckle My Shoe (1940)
  • *Sad Cypress (1940) – Set largely in a courtroom, which makes it feel a little different to other Christie novels, this novel opens with Elinor Carlisle accused of murder. She appears unable to defend herself, as all the clues point to her. Following her wealthy Aunt’s death, Elinor stands to inherit a large sum, but she has lost the love of her fiance, who fell in love with a young protegee of their Aunts. And then, that protegee wound up dead. Its a swift, winding mystery and leaves plenty of clues and red herrings. Very enjoyable. 
  • Evil Under The Sun (1941)
  • Five Little Pigs (1942)
  • The Hollow (1946)
  • *Taken At The Flood (1948) – When Gordon Cloade is killed in an air raid in the London Blitz, his young wife of a few weeks is left with his fortune. When Poirot is visited by a relative of the dead man, saying that spirits told her that the young widow’s first husband is still alive, he wonders at her motive, til a notice in the paper makes him decide to get involved. A really good one, where I thought I knew who the killer was once or twice, but was delightfully wrong. 
  • Mrs McGinty’s Dead (1952)
  • *After The Funeral (1953) – At Richard Lansquenet’s funeral, his sister remarks that she believes he was murdered. Everyone is shocked, until the next day her body is found brutally murdered in her home. Hercule Poirot investigates… I really liked this one. A classic mystery with interesting twists and an end that’s hard to guess. 
  • Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
  • Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
  • Cat Amongst The Pigeons (1959)
  • The Clocks (1963)
  • Third Girl (1966)
  • Hallowe’en Party (1969)
  • Elephant’s Can Remember (1972)
  • Curtain (1975)
  • The Monogram Murders (2014)

Hercule Poirot Short Stories

  • Poirot Investigates (1924)
  • Murder In The Mews (1937)
  • The Labours Of Hercules (1947)
  • Poirot’s Early Cases (1974)

Miss Marple Books

  • The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
  • The Body In The Library (1942)
  • The Moving Finger (1942)
  • A Murder Is Announced (1950)
  • They Do It With Mirrors (1952)
  • A Pocket Full Of Rye (1953)
  • 4:50 From Paddington (1957)
  • The Mirror Crack’d (1962)
  • A Carribean Mystery (1964)
  • At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)
  • Nemesis (1971)
  • *Sleeping Murder (1976) – Miss Marple’s last case. When Gwenda is tasked with finding a home for her and her husband, she is delighted by a house she finds. But on moving in, she finds strange memories surface, including an awful terror when she climbs the stairs. Is she going mad or is there some mystery in the house? This one is interesting with it’s themes of old murders and childhood memories. Gwenda is the main focus, more than Miss Marple, and on the whole, it’s a really good plot.  

Miss Marple Short Stories

  • The Thirteen Problems (1932)
  • Miss Marple’s Final Cases (1979)

Tommy & Tuppence Books

  • The Secret Adversary (1922)
  • N or M? (1941)
  • By The Pricking Of My Thumbs (1968)
  • Postern Of Fate (1973) – Tommy and Tuppence have retired and bought an old house in a small town, when they find a mysterious coded note in a child’s book. It seems that there was once a murder in the house, and the two find themselves irresistibly drawn to find out what really happened, even though they’re meant to be retired… It’s a good plot, but it seems to end a little abruptly and there are several references to the N or M mystery, which feel a little repetitive. 

Tommy & Tuppence Stories

  • Partners In Crime (1929)

Superintendant Battle Books

  • The Secret Of Chinmeys (1925)
  • The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
  • Cards On The Table (1936)
  • Murder Is Easy (1939)
  • Towards Zero (1944)

Standalone Novels

  • The Man In The Brown Suit (1924)
  • The Sittaford Mystery (1931)
  • Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)
  • And Then There Were None (1939)
  • Death Comes At The End (1944)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
  • Crooked House (1949)
  • They Came To Baghdad (1951)
  • Destination Unknown (1954)
  • Ordeal By Innocence (1958)
  • The Pale Horse (1961)
  • Endless Night (1967)
  • Passenger To Frankfurt (1970)

Short Stories Collections

  • The Mysterious Mr Quin (1930)
  • The Hound Of Death (1933)
  • The Listerdale Mystery (1934)
  • Parker Pyne Investigates (1934)
  • The Regetta & Other Stories (1939)
  • The Witness For The Prosecution & Other Stories (1948)
  • Three Blind Mice & Other Stories (1950)
  • The Underdog & Other Stories (1951)
  • The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding (1960)
  • Double Sin & Other Stories (1961) 
  • Star Over Bethlehem & Other Stories (1965)
  • The Golden Ball & Other Stories (1974)
  • Problem At Pollensa Bay & Other Stories (1991)
  • The Harlequin Tea Set (1997)
  • While The Light Lasts & Other Stories (1997)

Romance (as Mary Westmacott) 

  • Giant’s Bread (1930)
  • Unfinished Portrait (1934)
  • Absent In The Spring (1944)
  • The Rose And The Yew Tree (1948)
  • A Daughter’s a Daughter (1952)
  • The Burden (1956)

Non-Fiction

  • Come, Tell Me How You Live (1946)
  • An Autobiography (1977)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.