Queen of Crime

acShe is the greatest mystery writer of all time. She has sold more books than any other author, the only book outselling hers being the Bible. She is Dame Agatha Christie.

If you have not read her books, well, what are you waiting for? I started reading Christie’s mysteries 5 years ago, thanks to my secondary school library. Her books made my school days so much more tolerable as I breezed through History, Basic Economics, General Science and other loathe-worthy subjects with an Agatha Christie under my table.

Granted, I am being very biased as I have not read other famous mystery writers like P. D. James or the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I don’t think that makes my opinion any less true. Really! 🙂

One of the reason her books are so appealing to fans like me is the inimitable, outrageous character that is Belgian-French Hercule Poirot. Such ingenuity, idiosyncrasies, vanity, shameless immodesty! And the relationship with his relatively inept sidekick Captain Hastings provide such dry wit to savour I cannot get enough of sometimes. And then there’s the underestimated, shrewd, unassuming old lady called Miss Marple, which is believed to have been based on Christie herself.

This is the list of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. The ones in bold I have read and the asterisks are the ratings I’ve given out of five. I must say, even though I have read almost three-quarts of her mysteries, I can still never manage to figure out the whodunit before she reveals them.

1 The ABC Murders *****
2 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding ***
3 After the Funeral **
4 And Then There Were None *****
5 Appointment with Death ***
6 At Bertram’s Hotel****
7 The Big Four***
8 The Body in the Library **
9 By the Pricking of My Thumbs
10 Cards on the Table *****
11 A Caribbean Mystery ***
12 Cat Among the Pigeons **
13 The Clocks ***
14 Crooked House ****
15 Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case *****
16 Dead Man’s Folly ****
17 Death Comes as the End
18 Death in the Clouds ***
19 Death on the Nile****
20 Destination Unknown **
21 Dumb Witness ***
22 Elephants Can Remember
23 Endless Night
24 Evil Under the Sun ****
25 Five Little Pigs ***
26 4.50 from Paddington
27 Hallowe’en Party
28 Hercule Poirot’s Christmas *****
29 Hickory Dickory Dock
30 The Hollow
31 The Hound of Death ***
32 The Labours of Hercules ***
33 The Listerdale Mystery **
34 Lord Edgware Dies ****
35 The Man in the Brown Suit ***
36 The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side *****
37 Miss Marple’s Final Cases
38 The Moving Finger
39 Mrs. McGinty’s Dead ***
40 The Murder at the Vicarage ****
41 Murder in Mesopotamia ***
42 Murder in the Mews ****
43 A Murder is Announced ****
44 Murder is Easy **
45 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd *****
46 Murder on the Links ***
47 Murder on the Orient Express*****
48 The Mysterious Affair at Styles **
49 The Mysterious Mr Quin ***
50 The Mystery of the Blue Train **
51 Nemesis **
52 N or M?
53 One, Two, Buckle My Shoe ***
54 Ordeal by Innocence ****
55 The Pale Horse **
56 Parker Pyne Investigates ****
57 Partners in Crime
58 Passenger to Frankfurt
59 Peril at End House ***
60 A Pocket Full of Rye
61 Poirot Investigates
62 Poirot’s Early Cases **
63 Postern of Fate *
64 Problem at Pollensa Bay ***
65 Sad Cypress ***
66 The Secret Adversary
67 The Secret of Chimneys
68 The Seven Dials Mystery ***
69 Sleeping Murder***
70 Sparkling Cyanide ***
71 Spider’s Web ***
72 Taken at the Flood **
73 They Came to Baghdad
74 They Do It With Mirrors***
75 Third Girl ***
76 The Mousetrap & Other Plays ****
77 The Thirteen Problems
78 The Unexpected Guest (play) ***
79 Three Act Tragedy
80 Towards Zero ***
81 While the Light Lasts ***
82 Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? ***


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ted Mahsun
    Oct 19, 2006 @ 18:59:03

    Hey there… came in from Lydia Teh’s blog.

    I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan myself and I’ve been thinking of reading some Hercule Poirot. Where would you suggest I start? I was thinking of Orient Express but if you have any other suggestions, that’d be great!

    btw, I think you’d like Sherlock Holmes. His short stories are the best – full of wit, humour and of course, mystery. The short story compilation Adventures of Sherlock Holmes would be a great place to start if you’re ever interested.

    sulz: hi, welcome! i’d suggest all the ones i’ve rated 5 stars, but if you can’t find those, try any one that has hercule poirot in it (read the synopsis; sometimes it’s labelled too, whether it’s a poirot or marple mystery). they’re mostly good. stay away from the ones without hercule poirot or miss marple ‘cos sometimes it’s a dud – that’s the one i’ve rated 1 star. and yes, orient express is one of the poirot classics, so you know what i recommend… 🙂

    yes i do intend to read sherlock holmes if i can find them in the library, cross fingers!


  2. Matt
    Feb 11, 2007 @ 17:37:04

    Looks like an impressive list. If you ever get a chance, you’ll have to read “Endless Night”. That and “And Then There Were None” are my two favourite Christie mysteries.

    sulz: thanks! and then there were none is my favourite Christie mystery too. i wasn’t tempted to try endless night because of the dull cover, but maybe i’ll try next time i see it.


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