Agatha Christie is the most famous mystery writer of all time. That’s a fact that’s indisputable and is evidenced by the fact that her name is synonymous with mystery fiction. What few people realize, however, is that she is also one of the best selling novelists of all time—having sold just over two billion copies over the years.
With over 70+ novels and 14 different story collections to her name, to most people, it can seem like a difficult proposition to decide on which of her books they should start reading. To help our readers find the answer to that problem, we’ve decided to list the best Agatha Christie books, so all of our readers will be able to find a portal into the well-crafted stories of this most beloved author.
Quick Summary of the Best Agatha Christie Books
- Editor’s Choice
And Then There Were None (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended
Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider
The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None is a masterful mystery novel by Agatha Christie that’s been the inspiration of countless mystery books and movies over the years. This novel was published in the fall of 1939 and Agatha Christie has called it her favorite book to write in all of her years of work. And evidently, the public agrees with her because this is one of the world’s most successful mysteries—having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. That also makes it one of the best selling books of all time, often coming in at number six on best selling novel lists.
This novel is about ten people who are invited to an isolated island that’s located off of the Devon coast of England. The year is 1939, and the world is teetering on the brink of all-out war as these strangers arrive one-by-one on Soldier Island. After their arrival, they realize that their hosts are absent and that each of them has been accused of a terrible crime. This is when each one is murdered. The tension begins to ratchet as each of them falls to murder, and they soon realize that the killer isn’t among them but is someone ready to strike at them over and over again until they’re all gone.
Even though the beginning of this novel is a bit lengthy, with the first 30-40 pages dedicated to some very intricate character details, once everyone arrives at the island, then things begin to ratchet up very quickly. This is a tense, well-plotted story that will keep all first-time readers glued to the book. We’ve known quite a few people who have not been able to put this book down once they’ve picked it up. Yes, it’s that good, and there’s a reason why it’s one of the best selling novels of all time. It’s a must-have for any library and is a book that’s perfect for solving those moments of boredom that we all come across occasionally.
Also Recommended: Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery
Death On The Nile is an Agatha Christie book that was published in the fall of 1937, but it is a story that is as relevant and engaging today as it has been for the past 8+ decades. It’s so relevant it’s been made into several plays, films, and television shows including a 1944 stage play titled Murder On The Nile; a 1978 film starring Better Davis, Mia Farrow, and Simon MacCorkindale; and an ITV television series starring David Suchet and Emily Blunt. The most current adaption of this book is a movie that stars Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, and Armie Hammer.
Of course, we’re not here to talk about the movie or television adaptations of this novel, we’re here to talk about the book. And this book is not only the most famous mystery book, but it is also one of the best. It’s a tightly plotted novel that keeps the reader engaged and takes them places that they don’t expect to be taken. In this novel, it’s almost impossible to see what’s coming next as detective Hercule Poirot attempts to solve the murder of Linnet Ridgeway during a Nile River cruise. Miss Ridgeway was a beautiful young woman who had it all—at least until she was tragically shot through the head.
Both the hardcover and the paperback versions are worth owning, but we weren’t happy with the Kindle version of the book. Although the Kindle version is readable, we found that it was lacking a diagram of the boat that the other two versions had. While this doesn’t prevent the reader from enjoying the story, it is something that Agatha Christie fans might not be too happy about.
Taking everything into consideration, we have to say that we enjoyed this book. Since it takes place in Egypt, we consider this book to not just be a mystery book but also somewhat of an adventure book. It’s difficult to not become wrapped up in the romance of the Nile boat cruise, even as the mystery grips your imagination.
Also Consider: The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery
Agatha Christie published The A.B.C. Murders in the winter of 1936 and the story contained within its covers included popular characters that had appeared in her other books including detective Hercule Poirot, Chief Inspector Japp, and Arthur Hastings. What differentiates these books from some of her other novels, however, is how it’s written. It’s a book that uses a mixed voice style that she originally used in her book The Man In The Brown Suit and has been perfected in this book. It’s a mix of first-person and third-person narratives that draws the reader into the story.
For a mystery novel that’s been around for so long, the story still seems fresh, and we feel that it’s well enough plotted that it will keep the reader on the edge of their seats throughout its entire 272 pages. When she first released the novel, many reviewers noted that its plot was completely original, and Agatha Christie had managed to do something so many other mystery writers have failed to do: create an entirely new mystery plot device. Although this plot device isn’t as new now as it was then, it is still a refreshing change from many of the more potboilers available today.
This novel is a story about a serial killer who is killing people in alphabetical order, sending the entire country into a state of shock, grief, and inevitably panic. The killer kills Mrs. Ascher In Andover, Miss Barnard in Brexhill, and Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. Every single time the killer kills someone, he becomes emboldened as he leaves clues to taunt detective Hercule Poirot. Of course, that will prove to be the killer’s first and most fatal mistake as the detective uses the clues to track the killer down. This is a must-read novel that we feel mystery readers are going to love.
A Guide To Agatha Christie
We believe that the above books are suitable for anyone wanting a good novel. As is usually the case with Agatha Christie books, the above novels are tightly plotted and offer the reader some real twists and turns. We should know because we’ve read quite a few of her novels, and have even done a deep dive into her life and career.
Since we know that many of our readers are as interested in the life and works of Agatha Christie as we were, we wanted to write a guide dedicated to this author and her work. And this guide is the culmination of all of our hard work. We hope that this guide not only honors her memory but also gives our readers the information they need to begin enjoying all of her work.
A Biography Of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, England. She was born into a wealthy family and was home-schooled for most of her academic career, which may have prepared her for life as a writer. In 1914, she would marry her first husband Archibald Christie, and have a child together.
In 1920, after many rejections, she finally published her first mystery The Mysterious Affair At Styles. In this book, the reader is introduced to detective Hercule Poirot. In 1928, she divorced her husband but continued to write short stories, novels, and plays. She also served in hospital dispensaries, which gave her the pharmacological knowledge that she needed for many of her works of fiction. In 1930, she would marry Sir Max Mallowan.
During her career, she has written more than 70+ detective novels and 28 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest play, The Mousetrap, which was performed at the West End Theatre from 1952 to 1920. The play wasn’t shut down because it was unpopular, however. No, it was shut down in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She is an author from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and was the recipient of many awards. She died at the age of 85 on January 12, 1976, and was interred at the Church Of St. Mary In Cholsey, Oxfordshire, England.
The Works Of Agatha Christie
With 74 novels, 28 short story collections, 16 plays, 7 broadcast works, and 3 poems, it’s almost impossible for us to list all of Agatha Christie’s works. However, what we can do is to list some of the more notable works of hers that we believe that mystery readers should read. Now, let’s go over a small list of these works so that readers have a better idea of which of her works are available.
Agatha Christie Novels
- The Mysterious Affair At Styles (1921)
- The Murder On The Links (1923)
- The Man In The Brown Suit (1924)
- The Mystery Of The Blue Train (1928)
- Giant’s Bread (1930)
- Peril At End House (1932)
- Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)
- Three Act Tragedy (1935)
- Murder In Mesopotamia (1936)
- Dumb Witness (1937)
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938)
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940)
- The Body In The Library (1942)
- Five Little Pigs (1942)
- They Came To Baghdad (1951)
- A Pocket Full Of Rye (1953)
- The Pale Horse (1961)
- Passenger To Frankfurt (1970)
- Curtain (1975)
Agatha Christie Short Story Collections
- Poirot Investigates (1924)
- Partners In Crime (1929)
- The Thirteen Problems (1932)
- The Hound Of Death (1933)
- The Listerdale Mystery (1934)
- Murder In The News (1937)
- The Adventure Of Christmas Pudding (1960)
- While The Light Lasts And Other Stories (1997)
- The Harlequin Tea Set (1997)
- Black Coffee
- Appointment With Death
- Murder On The Nile
- The Hollow
- Spider’s Web
- The Unexpected Guest
- Fiddler’s Three
Who Influenced Her Work?
Before we conclude this guide, we would like to go over some of the writers who influenced her unique writing style. Although many of her stories were her influenced by the time she spent in Cairo, World War I, and her study for the apothecary exam, there are some famous authors which also had a profound influence on her writing style. The authors that influenced her the most include Anna Katharine Green, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K.Chesterton, and Edgar Allan Poe. And of course, her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, was an archaeologist of some note, and she was able to accompany him on some of his expeditions. These travels would no doubt have influenced the adventure elements found in many of her novels including Murder In Mesopotamia and Death Comes As The End.