Top 5 Christie Classics
There’s no one quite like Agatha Christie, is there? Her novels, short stories and plays have stolen the hearts of millions – us included.
But we’re well aware that there are still many who are yet to discover Christie’s charms, and many who struggle with where to start. There are so many books and adaptations to choose from, and everyone you meet will insist you read a different one because they’re all so good!
Never fear. Help is at hand! We’ve picked five Christie classics – some of her most notorious cases and introductions to her much-loved detectives – to give you a starting point.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth, and with all the celebrations going on there’s never been a better time to discover her work. Give one of these a try and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Top 5 Christie Classics
Read this for… one of the defining novels of the Golden Age – a book that broke all the rules and conventions, changing the entire concept of detective fiction when it was first published.
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He also suspected that someone had been blackmailing her. Now came the tragic news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death…
Read this for… a twist of gargantuan proportions and the most notorious novel starring Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.
Read this for… the world’s favourite Agatha Christie novel. It’s perfectly constructed, full of suspense and will keep you guessing the whole way through.
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
Read this for… an introduction to Miss Marple and the goings on in St Mary Mead, a village where nothing is as it seems. Val McDermid even said that in many ways this book is responsible for her entire career.
‘Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later. From seven potential murderers, Miss Marple must seek out the suspect who has both motive and opportunity.
Read this for… something a bit different with huge psychological depth. Endless Night is much more gothic, creepy and eerie than the usual Christie and will chill you to the bone.
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…’