A little about the beloved Agatha Christie, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan;
She was born in Torquay, Devon, England; in September 1890. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie also wrote the world’s longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, and under the pen name Mary Westmacott, six romances. In 1971 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of The British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature. She passed away at the age of 85, in the year 1976.
Without Further a due, here are Agatha Christie’s top 10 books:
Coming in at Number 10, is The ABC Murders, which was published in 1935. There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the country is in a state of panic. A is for Mrs Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder the killer is getting more confident – but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal mistake…. Despite advance warnings, Poirot is unable to prevent the murders of Alice Ascher, Betty Barnard and Carmichael Clarke. Can he stop the ABC Killer before he reaches D? One of the earliest examples of the “serial killer” novel this classic Christie is based on a beautifully simple premise. But how many readers are as clever as Poirot?
Following that, at Number 9, we have Endless Night which was published in the year 1967. In Endless Night, Gipsy’s Acre was a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea – and in Michael Rogers it stirred a child-like fantasy. There, amongst the dark fir trees, he planned to build a house, find a girl and live happily ever after. Yet, as he left the village, a shadow of menace hung over the land. For this was the place where accidents happened. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals’ warnings: ‘There’s no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy’s Acre.’ Michael Rogers is a man who is about to learn the true meaning of the old saying ‘In my end is my beginning…’
Coming in at a ravishing Number 8, is The Moving Finger, which was first published in 1942. About The Moving Finger; the placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village’s quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants—all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar’s house guest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.
At Number 7, we have Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, which was published in 1975, but it was written during the second world war. The legendary detective saves his best for last as he races to apprehend a five-time killer before the final curtain descends in Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, the last book Agatha Christie published before her death. The crime-fighting careers of Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have come full circle—they are back once again in the rambling country house in which they solved their first murder together. Both Hercule Poirot and Great Styles have seen better days—but, despite being crippled with arthritis, there is nothing wrong with the great detective and his “little gray cells.” However, when Poirot brands one of the seemingly harmless guests a five-time murderer, some people have their doubts. But Poirot alone knows he must prevent a sixth murder before the curtain falls.
Next, at Number 6, we have The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920. Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was the result of a dare from her sister Madge who challenged her to write a story. The story begins when Hastings is sent back to England from the First World War due to injury and is invited to spend his sick leave at the beautiful Styles Court by his old friend John Cavendish. Here, Hastings meets John’s step-mother, Mrs Inglethorpe, and her new husband, Alfred. Despite the tranquil surroundings Hastings begins to realize that all is not right. When Mrs Inglethorpe is found poisoned, suspicion falls on the family, and another old friend, Hercule Poirot, is invited to investigate.
After that, at Number 5, is A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple), which was published in the year 1950. Agatha Christie’s most ingenious murder mystery, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
In the village of Chipping Cleghorn, a murder is announced in the local paper’s small ads. As Miss Blacklock’s friends gather for what they fondly imagine will be a parlor game, an elaborate murder plot is set in motion. This was Christie’s 50th title and remains Miss Marple’s finest hour. Notable also for its setting in post-war Britain (a factor vital to the plot) this is arguably the last of the ingeniously clued and perfectly paced Christies.
Following that wonderful murder mystery, at Number 4, we have And Then There Were None which was published in the year 1939.Ten people are invited to an island for the weekend. Although they all harbor a secret, they remain unsuspecting until they begin to die, one by one, until eventually … there are none. Panic ensues when the diminishing group realizes that one of their own number is the killer. A perfect combination of thriller and detective story, this much-copied plot is Christie’s greatest technical achievement.
While we reach our top number one, at Number 3, we have Peril at End House which was published in the year 1932. The impoverished owner of End House hosts a party where fireworks camouflage the shot that kills her cousin. Which of the other guests is a murderer? Perfectly paced, with subtle and ingenious cluing, and an unexpected but totally logical solution. Of its type, perfection; this is how the classic detective story should be written.
At a well deserving Number 2, we have Murder on the Orient Express, which was published in the year 1934. The glamorous Orient Express stops during the night, blocked by snowdrifts. Next morning the mysterious Mr. Ratchett is found stabbed in his compartment and untrodden snow shows that the killer is still on board. This glamorous era of train travel provides Poirot with an international cast of suspects and one of his biggest challenges. Predicated on an inspired gimmick, this is one of the great surprise endings in the genre.
Finally, the most expected, Number 1 Best Book of Agatha Christie is, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, published in the year 1926. Hercule Poirot has retired to the village of King’s Abbot to cultivate marrows. But when wealthy Roger Ackroyd is found stabbed in his study, he agrees to investigate. A typical village murder mystery; or so it seems until the last chapter with its stunning revelation. This title would still be discussed today even if Christie had never written another book. An unmissable, and still controversial, milestone of detective fiction.
That was all for our list on Agatha Christie. Thank you very much for joining us on this journey of discovering the works of a great legend.
Have a great read!September 20, 2019