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Agatha Christie ☍ is not only a well-known mystery author; she is also the best-selling novelist of all time, with over two billion copies sold and a devoted following that has lasted long after her death. If you have never read a Christie novel before and want to finally start indulging yourself, here are our recommendations for the 15 best Agatha Christie books every mystery fan should read.
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15 Best Agatha Christie Books Handpicked
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published almost 100 years ago and is one of the first books published by Agatha Christie, making it the ideal place to start if you intend to read her books in order.
We meet Poirot for the very first time, Christie’s most famous personality and a crucial personality to the legacy she has left behind. Hercule Poirot, a Belgian immigrant and superb detective who has recently arrived in Styles St. Mary’s quiet village. He takes on the case of Emily Inglethorpe, a wealthy heiress who later discovers poison in her locked bedroom.
The mystery in this work that keeps the reader at the edge of their seat is that evidence is few, and suspects are several. Some of the suspects include the victim’s considerably younger husband, her angry stepsons, her old personal companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London expert on toxins visiting the adjacent village.
All of them have secrets they badly want to keep buried, but none of them can deceive Poirot as he traverses brilliant red herrings and narrative twists, which have won Agatha Christie the well-deserved title of “Queen of Mystery” for this book.
Murder on the Orient Express
One of the most infamous of Christie’s detective stories that feature Monsieur Poirot and his intimidating “grey cells” is Murder on the Orient Express. It has been adapted several times for films, radio, television, and computer games since its 1937 debut.
Poirot finds a berth on the prestigious Orient Express after acquiring an urgent message in Istanbul urging him to return to London. Unfortunately, the train is stopped by a thick snowfall on one of the nights of the travel, bounding Poirot and his fellow passengers to its confines.
One of the travelers, Samuel Ratchett, is murdered during this timeframe. In the beginning, everyone on the train journey seems to have an alibi. Then, however, Poirot discovers evidence linking all the travelers on the train to murder and kidnapping that took place years ago as he begins his examination.
While stuck on a train with a murderer, it is now in the investigator’s hands to uncover and put together the hidden identities, information and unmask the guilty individual.
Finally, the readers are left stunned by a classic Agatha Christie twist.
The A.B.C Murders
Christie’s traditional method of writing is broken in this book, with a spate of murders involving seemingly random victims. Inspector Hercule Poirot receives three letters revealing the serial killings of people with the initials A.A., B.B., and C.C.
Unlike the other Agatha Christie books, the game is to solve the mystery before the fourth victim is strangled. Hercule Poirot is already digging into the hints when Alice Asher is murdered in Andover. One letter down, twenty-five more to go.
A serial killer has escaped capture. The ABC Railway Guide is the murders’ morbid calling card, which he leaves next to each victim’s body. But who will be Victim C if A stands for Alice Asher, who was brutally killed in Andover, and B stands for Betty Bernard, who was choked with her belt on the seashore in Bex hill?
Unlike Christie’s earlier work, she employs this one to experiment with different points of view, rotating between the first and third person. This novel’s solution established a trend that Christie developed, which is still adopted by writers attempting to throw readers off track. Overall, this book is one of the most ingenious logical fallacies in the history of mystery books.
Death On the Nile
In this book, Christie skillfully weaves together a tale of jealousy, love, and betrayal. Even today, it is one of her most cherished works, and it’s not just because it draws influence from her visits to Egypt.
Linnet Ridgeway, a wealthy socialite, has everything: riches, good looks, and the man of her fantasies. Unfortunately, Linnet is found dead from a bullet to the head while on a Nile cruise, and the newlywed’s honeymoon suddenly changes for the worst.
Poirot, forced to cut his vacation short, investigates the ship, searching for information about Linnet’s crime as he also deals with the strain of more people dying on board. With each new crime, the sensation of danger and dread grows to the virtually impossible degree to tolerate.
Throughout the book, it appears unlikely that the plot may come together, but Christie has once again proven to be wiser than the rest of us.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Without a doubt, this book is one of the biggest cliffhangers in the history of mystery fiction. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is widely regarded as one of Agatha Christie’s most divisive tales, as it defies all the principles of classic mystery fiction.
Roger Ackroyd is an affluent widower whose betrothed, after being blackmailed, has committed suicide. Ackroyd is then murdered in his sealed study after receiving a cryptic letter disclosing the scammer.
The quiet English community of King’s Abbot is taken aback. Then enters Poirot, who must now probe an ever-growing pool of suspects even though he is retired. It is a perplexing, complex case involving extortion, suicide, and violent death with a cast that puts Hercule Poirot’s “tiny grey cells” to the test before he reaches one of his legendary career’s most surprising decisions.
While The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a classic murder mystery, it is broadly accepted as one of Christie’s best due to the utterly jaw-dropping ending.
Crooked House was first published in March 1949. The story moves further in the autumn of London during 1947.
The affluent father of the Leonides family, Aristide, was poisoned through his eye ointment. With four generations of his family residing in the huge manor, there are plenty of culprits with just as many incentives and possibilities to commit the act.
His gorgeous widow, a sly beauty that he landed fifty years into his career, is just one of the suspects wanting a hand at his sizable fortune. She is also rumored to be having an affair with the handsome young tutor who has recently settled in the family estate. Charles Hayward is a criminologist who has returned recently from Egypt at the end of WWII. He becomes involved in the investigation because of his ties to the family, and so he sets out to identify the true perpetrator.
The novel’s title is based on “There Was a Crooked Man,” a nursery rhyme that serves as an idea for what is to come in this ‘Crooked House.’ Christie has often stated that this is the most beloved novel that she has written, owing to the intriguing characters and well-crafted plot, which gradually builds up the tension, culminating in an unexpected, yet satisfying conclusion.
Endless Night was inspired by William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence and plays on Christie’s favorite subject in the novel: a twisted character who consistently chooses wickedness over virtue.
Michael Rogers, the narrator, is a dabbler from the working class who marries a beautiful heiress named Ellie. Ellie becomes concerned with her dangers after being warned by an elderly fortune teller on how she must leave the area or be prone to a curse. Ellie’s body is eventually discovered in the woodlands, and as a string of tragedies unfolds, the book aims to identify the culprit of the crimes so that Ellie can ‘Rest in Peace.’
Endless Night, released near the end of Christie’s career, showed her work in a different light as she headed towards a progressive path of success. It was completed in six weeks, a much shorter time than any of her other novels. In addition, this solo novel does not reveal a crime until far later in the plot, maintaining her trademark accessible language and well-placed half-truths. Plus, readers define Endless Night as having a much heavier plot, with a more mysterious element to it.
And Then There Were None
Ten people gather to a private island off the coast of Devon at the invitation of the enigmatic U.N. Owen. Surprisingly, when they arrive, they find their host has vanished. To make matters worse, when one of them is discovered dead, the group understands that there is a murderer among them, and he or she will undoubtedly attack again.
Christie employs the “Ten Little Soldiers” rhyme, which was initially introduced as an epigraph in the novel, framed and hung on every wall, to convey hints about their eventual executions. But, as the visitors begin to disappear one by one, the question remains: who among them is to blame?
And Then There Were None is not a casual read but a horrifying idea from start to end. Soldier Island’s tight, spooky environment creates fear and confusion. And as each character’s dark past and secrets are revealed, the novel becomes exhilaratingly page-turning.
This is still recognized as Christie’s best work, and it is currently the most selling mystery novel of all time, having sold over 100 million copies. When asked about this book on multiple occasions, Christie has said that it was the hardest write compared to her other work, which is evident after one reads the solution through the conclusion. This is a must-read because of the level of complexity it took Agatha Christie in pulling it off.
The Murder at The Vicarage
Miss Marple, the gentle detective with a Deadman switch mind, makes her appearance in this novel. Almost everyone in St. Mary Mead, including the local pastor, has motives to wish Colonel Protheroe ill.
When the colonel is discovered dead, Miss Marple is faced with a vast number of suspects. Miss Marple is a brilliant character- an ordinary, older woman whose acute intelligence picks up hints that others miss and makes deductive leaps that others would never consider.
She wants to be everyone’s acquaintance, unlike the intellectual Poirot. Miss Marple snoops around while Poirot works his brain cells, her main goal being to keep the village she lives insecure. Her detective skills eventually bring out the truth that most readers almost invariably misinterpreted. It is a timeless classic.
Murder At The Vicarage contains the classic Agatha Christie deceptions. However, unlike other mystery tales, the murder is realistic, the facts are trustworthy, and the ending is oddly satisfying.
The Man in The Brown Suit
The main character, a colonel from the ex-army and former spy for MI5, Johnnie Race, is an orphan (features in Cards on the Table and Death on the Nile) that goes to London only to experience a horrific death on the tube at Hyde Park. A doctor analyzes the guy, declares him dead, and then departs, leaving a letter behind. “17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle,” says Anne, as she picks up the note.
The next day, the newspaper headlines talk about a charming ballerina having been viciously killed while a fantastic diamond treasure has mysteriously vanished. Strangers raid her cabin and attempt to strangle her aboard the luxury ship Kilmorden Castle leaving the readers wondering: What exactly are they on the search for? And why do they want her to die?
Beautiful Anne is the last person on the planet who wants to solve this puzzle but the only one who can! Anne’s quest to solve the mystery leads her to far Africa, and the tension builds with each stride. Finally, Anne finds herself battling to uncover the identity of a killer known as ‘The Colonel.’
The Man in the Brown Suit is a thriller that is quick-paced with a plot revolving around stolen diamonds, betrayal, assassination, a romance that is unexpected from Christie at the height of her profession, and great dual narration from experienced performers- Nicola Barber and Graeme Malcolm.
A Murder is Announced
“A Murder is Announced” is a crime fiction classic that is often also called ‘the greatest of the Miss Marple stories. The inhabitants of Chipping Cleghorn, particularly Jane Marple who is living close, are astonished by interest over an announcement in the town gazette which says: ‘A killing is announced and will occur on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.’
Is this a foolish, silly prank? Or a fabrication meant to terrify little Letitia Blacklock? Because this is a tranquil community, everyone assumes the menacing tone relates to a joyous game. So few are surprised when the door opens at the designated hour, showing a booming figure brandishing a bright torch. The lights are then turned off, gunshots are heard, and as the dust settles, the gunman is dead.
The novel was billed as Agatha Christie’s 50th book on both sides of the Atlantic and was released in 1950 by William Collins. In all of Christie’s Chapter Titles, this work includes one of the most interesting, colorful, unique, and interesting characters, from the lady of the house to the troubled veteran, the married farm women, the enticing siblings, and a loving and caring companion.
As usual, faces are confused, mysteries are disclosed, relationships are shattered and healed, and lights are turned off to cover the faces of evil. It is one of the brainiest crimes courtesy of the Queen of Crime’s brilliant inventiveness.
Death Comes as the End
Agatha Christie portrays the riddle of a fatal mystery at the core of a dysfunctional family in ancient Egypt in this astounding story. Because it is set in ancient Egypt, this novel stands out among Christie’s others (2000 B.C.).
Imhotep, a wealthy businessman, and Thebes priest has angered his sons and daughters by introducing a lovely concubine into their household. Unfortunately, the cunning Nofret has already devised a scheme to seize her opponents’ due inheritance. Imhotep’s flesh and blood become the probable accomplices in her horrific murder when her dead body is discovered at the foot of a mountain.
Death Comes at the End, a surprise historical mystery novel, should never be missing from any list with Agatha Christie’s name. This is classic Agatha Christie’s solitary novel but one that is set in the past. Overall, several individuals are killed in unexplained ways, making it one of her most distressing books. However, before the perpetrator is found, seven people are killed, and the climax is fantastic, as it always is with Agatha Christie.
Five Little Pigs
Caroline Crale writes a letter to her daughter, Carla, sixteen years after being accused of her husband’s murder, proclaiming her innocence. Carla turns to Hercule Poirot after her mother’s death in a frantic effort to figure out what occurred the day her father was killed.
Unlike past mysteries in which Poirot holds the keys to the body, the crime scene, and new eyewitnesses, this one requires him to solve the case strictly on the grounds of what he can gather from the five individuals who were present at the Crales’ house the day of the assassination.
Poirot uncovers decades of old secrets and, as we expected, the shocking reality behind the murder by combing through previous memories and stitching together fragments of information.
Peril At End House
Poirot meets Magdala “Nick” Buckley while on vacation in Cornwall. Following a string of tragedies and calamities, the detective concludes that Nick is in grave danger and that someone is out to get her.
They travel together to End House, her country house, where death happens but not the one Poirot anticipated. He begins his probe after being pushed into motion abruptly. Peril at End House becomes increasingly complicated as the bodies accumulate and agendas emerge, leading to a fascinating and winding conclusion involving a lost will, narcotics, and massive sums of money.
What could possibly be better than that?
Christie’s finest invention, Hercule Poirot, the meticulous, brave Belgian detective, meets his final case. Even though Christie’s writing had degenerated by the time this novel was published (only a year before her death), it is one of her finest, with a twist that will surprise any Poirot lover.
Curtain was written during World War II and published in 1975. Christie, like Arthur Conan Doyle, had already become tired of her most renowned character. But, unlike Conan Doyle, she resisted the temptation to kill him, thinking that it was the writer’s responsibility to fulfill their readers’ wishes. Christie’s works are more than the disclosure, even if the phrase “final case” hints at the conclusion.
Five murders have occurred, each of which has led to the deaths of four central figures. A new suspect surfaces shortly after, with close ties to all the deaths. Poirot knows the man is guilty, but what can he do about it?
Christie wrote Poirot’s final case, setting it in the same location as his first, and sealed it up in a vault, only releasing it when she knew she could not write any more novels.
What are the top 10 best-rated Agatha Christie books?
Agatha Christie has remained a top-notch, qualified mystery and thriller writer for centuries, and her books are loved equally by all-be-it youngsters or adults. Here are the top 10 best rated unbeatable books written by her:
- The murder of Roger Ackroyd.
- Peril at End House.
- Murder on the Orient Express.
- The ABC Murders.
- And Then There Were None
- Five Little Pigs
- Crooked House
- A Murder is Announced
- Endless Night
- Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
What is the best Agatha Christie book to read first?
It is no surprise that Agatha Christie’s name is synonymous with mystery. She is the best-selling author among many, the first woman to earn the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, and the most published novelist in the world.
Christie’s fame and influence in the mystery genre is so widespread that it may appear that she published hundreds of books; in fact, she only wrote 66. As a result, it can be tricky to know where to begin reading an Agatha Christie novel if you have never read one before. It just so happens that there are three books that everyone will adore, mystery lover or not- Christie fan or not.
Murder on the Orient Express:
There is a reason it is one of Christie’s most well-known works. The plot revolves around a man murdered aboard The Orient Express, a prestigious global train between Paris and Constantinople. Unfortunately for the aggressor, Hercule Poirot, the famous investigator, is on board to handle the case. Christie’s ability to take a big group of characters and make each one unique and unforgettable is displayed in Murder on the Orient Express.
And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None, though not as well-known now as some of Christie’s other works, had a significant impact when it was first published in 1939. Christie’s bestselling novel and the sixth best-selling book of all time are still in print.
A gathering of strangers is invited to a rural home for a party. Expecting a wonderful time, the party suddenly transforms into an ordeal as every one of the visitors begins to die. Is it their host or one of the other guests who is killing them? Or is it someone completely different?
And Then There Were None is perhaps Christie’s most inventive work, despite its clichéd concept.
The Secret Adversary
If you need a break from And Then There Were None, try The Secret Adversary, a riveting detective story. Christie’s second novel introduces two of the most iconic characters, Tommy and Tuppence. Tommy and Tuppence meet in post-WWII London in The Secret Adversary. Tuppence suggests they publish an advertisement in the newspaper as professional adventurers for hire because they are penniless and have no work prospects. The Secret Adversary is an over-the-top, hilarious adventure with quick, clever writing. It also underlines one of Christie’s best qualities as a mystery writer: a cluster of half-truths.
In what order should you read Agatha Christie’s books?
Are you a new Agatha Christie fan who is searching for something to read next? Do not fret; we are here to assist you! We combed through all of Agatha Christie’s books and compiled a list of books so that you may save time while deciding on the optimal reading order.
- Hercule Poirot Books
- Hercule Poirot Collections
- Miss Marple Books
- Miss Marple Collections
- Tommy and Tuppence Books
- Tommy and Tuppence Collections
- Superintendent Battle Books
- Standalone Novels
- Short Story Collections
- Non-Fiction Books
What age are Agatha Christie’s books suitable for?
Because many books today have grown crude and brutal in their depictions of violence. Many parents choose to keep their children away from murder mysteries until they reach a particular age.
Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries, on the other hand, are a little different. She discusses the incidents and characters involved in the puzzles, highlighting human emotion, which is less upsetting to children.
Most children can start reading murder mysteries from age 10 or 12. Christie’s books are suitable for all children this age.