You know how we love reading around here and we’ve talked about Agatha Christie at least once before, but we’re not shy in doing it again, because Agatha Christie is by far the best mystery and crime writer this world has ever been blessed with and even if you are not particularly fond of the genre, you cannot ignore the fact that this lady made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time, with an average of 4 billion copies sold all over the world. Her characters also gained immortality, as we bet there are few people in the world who haven’t heard about Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or the funny semi – spy couple Tommy and Tuppence. Many of her books have been adapted into movies, while Agatha still amazes the world even today, as her stage play the Mousetrap holds the record for the longest initial run: it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 and in 2012 was still running after more than 25,000 performances. Today we will take a look over ten best Agatha Christie mystery novels (because she also wrote a few romance novels and a handful of short – stories) and ask for your opinion on them.
10. Endless Night (1967)
This novel is a bit out of the typical routine of Agatha Christie, as she builds suspense progressively to inflict terror and horror in the reader, only to push on everyone’s nerves when reaching the story’s climax. The story of Michael Rogers, as is it told by himself managed to keep everybody breathless, and even this is a novel belonging to Christie’s late career years, it is still baffling to the point of confusion and heart attack.
9. Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
Almost always listed by fans among the best 10 Agatha Christie mystery novels, this story set in Iraq and its strongest point is that the whole plot / mystery solving is based on studying the “psychology” of people, Hercule’s Poirot favorite activities. The book is quite slow paced and the detective’s final presentation to reveal the murderer is breathtaking.
8. The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)
Welcome into a world of international diamond theft, political plays, murder and hidden adversaries. This is one of Christie’s less typical detective novels, going more towards the thriller / action sub-genre, with a strong female character looking for adventure and traveling from England to Africa on the trail of some very exciting mysteries.
7. The Curtain – Poirot’s Last Case (published in 1975)
This is Hercule Poirot’s final case and he needed to end his career with a bang. So this is considered by many one of the best Agatha Christie mystery novels in history, because she not only used every trick she knew, but gave her famous character a monumental human dimension and a mystery to measure his talents. The end is a bit sad and we’re not gonna spoil it for you, but according to The Guardian,
Poirot received a front-page obituary in the New York Times.
A shocker from any perspective you’d look at this book.
6. Sad Cypress (1940)
This novel has them all: a courtroom drama atmosphere, exceptionally built characters, an unforgettable setting and a Belgian detective so determined to find the truth against all odds, it makes it even more amazing. One of the most complex novels in Christie’s collection, it also brings a message of hope and justice prevailing that cannot be ignored.
5. Peril at End House (1932)
An intelligent and resourceful murderer, a house full of suspects and potential villains, a young innocent girl dead, secrets that can fill in the Oxford University building and a Hercule Poirot who can be fooled just for a few minutes, until he comes up with the most crazy (but the most logical) solution to solve the puzzle and point to the real culprit. It is fast paced, with some action going on, baffling for the reader and perfect for a crime novel.
4. The A. B. C. Murders (1935)
This is among the first serial killer novels and certainly one of Christie’s best works ever, as the murderer seems to choose his victims by alphabetical order, while he sends Poirot warning letters, teasing him and wanting to make him lose the cat and mouse game that is put in motion. Of course, the solution is remarkable and simple, but only when Poirot exposes it. Otherwise, readers still acclaim this novel as being one of the most breathtaking ever.
3. Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
Imagine the confined space of a train wagon, a definite number of suspects, one victim and Hercule Poirot. Nobody gets in and nobody gets out, and yet, we have a murder with international implications and everyone present to the scene could have done it. But who had the reasons and the opportunity? A web of lies, alibis and potential murderers doesn’t stop Poirot to gain international fame (later on referenced in other novels) as the most brilliant detective that ever was.
2. And Then There Were None (1939)
In all truth, this novel should have taken first place in our book and it was the incontestable winner of all Christie’s crime novels rating and rankings. You have ten people on an isolated island who all die in the hands of a mysterious murderer. But authorities find 10 bodies and no murderer, and yet, there is one…
1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
In 2013, a survey of the members of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of professional novelists concluded that Christie’s 1926 mystery The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the finest example of the genre ever penned and won the title of the best crime novel ever written, not only because it introduces us to the brilliance of Hercule Poirot, but because it penned one of the most spectacular plot twists in the history of crime novels.
So this is our list of the 10 best Agatha Christie mystery novels, with a special mention for The Secret Adversary (1922) for introducing us to Tommy and Tuppence and the way the two young adventurers becoming spies without knowing what they’re getting into and how they will eventually change the political games ran by mysterious forces during World War I. If you have your own favorite Agatha Christie mystery novels, feel free to share your thoughts!