Few authors have influenced the mystery genre more than English novelist Agatha Christie.
Born in 1890, Christie began writing while serving as a nurse in World War I. After her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920, Christie had an illustrious career. With 84 books that include series, standalone novels, collections, and non-fiction, Christie is reportedly only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare to this day.
Christie’s novels are known for her clever pacing and carefully-crafted characters. With iconic detectives like Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, Christie bridged gaps between high society and the general population. Christie’s brand of detectives endures not only in literary characters, but also in TV characters like Murder, She Wrote’s Jessica Fletcher, and movie characters like Knives Out’s Benoit Blanc.
With Christie’s extensive body of work, knowing where to start is intimidating. Never fear—we’ve cracked the case with our reading order guide to Agatha Christie’s novels.
All Agatha Christie Books In Order
Hercule Poirot (Books and Collections)
You’ll want to begin with the bulk of Christie’s bibliography, her extensive series featuring the famous detective Hercule Poirot. We recommend starting here and working through Poirot’s adventures to catch references to previous cases!
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
To see both Christie’s and Hercule Poirot’s origins, begin with Christie’s first published novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
We meet the enigmatic Poirot along with other iconic characters, like Inspector Japp and Arthur Hastings, as they investigate the murder of a woman who invited refugees from the Great War into her home. After the death shocks Styles, Poirot and his team must discover the culprit before they claim another victim.
You can start your journey into Christie’s work when you pick up your copy of The Mysterious Affair at Styles here.
The Murder on the Links (1923)
Embark on an adventure that includes murder, blackmail, and forbidden love in Poirot’s second appearance, The Murder on the Links.
Poirot responds to an urgent message from a client in France, yet the detective arrives too late: the man who sent a desperate flee is found dead, stabbed in the back with a cryptic love letter on his person. Soon, strange events stack up, and Poirot must muddle through false leads and meddling local authorities to discover the truth.
Find your copy here.
And after The Murder on the Links, you’ll want to continue to Poirot’s next chronological appearance:
- Poirot Investigates (1924) (Collection)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
Following Poirot Investigates is a Christie classic, voted the Best Crime Novel of All Time by the British Crime Writers’ Association.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd sees Poirot come out of retirement to solve the murder of a man who knew too much: Roger Ackroyd. Ackroyd had forbidden knowledge of a murder his lover committed and the blackmail she suffered. Before he learned the last crucial detail of her apparent suicide, though, he was stabbed. Now, Poirot must find the assailant.
Be sure to pick up The Murder of Roger Ackroyd here.
The Big Four (1927)
Poirot encounters global intrigue and espionage in The Big Four, Christie’s 1927 novel that sees the famed detective set out to solve a case that spans continents.
After a dust-covered man appears in Poirot’s bedroom holding a sheet of paper with the number 4 scrawled again and again, Poirot risks his life to find the answer.
Full of red herrings and with a formidable enemy, The Big Four is a must-read. If you thought the excitement couldn’t get better after The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, check in after this novel.
Find your copy here.
Following, The Big Four, continue to Poirot’s next chronological appearances:
- The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
- Peril at the End House (1932)
- Lord Edgware Dies (1933)
Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
Perhaps you’ve seen the movie or read about another murder on a train, but if you haven’t already, go back to the trope’s origins with one of the most-read mysteries of all time, Murder on the Orient Express.
When the famous Orient Express comes to a halt at midnight thanks to heavy snowfall, nobody can predict that when morning comes, millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett will be found dead. The culprit has to be a fellow passenger. But who? And can Poirot find the killer before they strike again?
Discover the answer here.
After Murder on the Orient Express, the next seven titles in the Poirot series are:
- Three Act Tragedy (1935)
- Death in the Clouds (1935)
- The A.B.C. Murders (1936)
- Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
- Cards on the Table (1936)
- Murder in the Mews (1937) (Collection)
- Dumb Witness (1937)
Death on the Nile (1937)
Plunge into a sweeping mystery set against a luxury cruise along the Nile—this searing mystery in Egypt will tease and taunt your mind from start to finish.
Poirot finds himself with a case to crack with the young and beautiful Linnet Ridgeway is found dead. He recalls a fellow passenger saying that they would love to put a gun to Linnet’s head and pull the trigger—but are they truly behind the shocking death?
With a memorable cast and a lush setting, mayhem ensues.
Find Death on the Nile here.
After checking this title off your TBR, pick up:
- Appointment with Death (1938)
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938)
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940)
- Sad Cypress (1940)
- Evil Under the Sun (1941)
- Five Little Pigs (1942)
- The Hollow (1946)
The Labours of Hercules (1947) (Collection)
Next, continue to Christie’s 1947 collection, The Labours of Hercules. Short story lovers, this is the perfect title for you.
The collection features twelve dazzlingly clever short crime fiction stories featuring the eccentric Hercule Poirot. Set in the period leading up to retirement, Poirot is determined to accept twelve more cases—self-imposed “Labors,” of sorts, like the ancient Greek hero.
Poirot’s deductions and adventures are of mythic status in the literary canon, and The Labours of Hercule makes it clear just why that is.
To conclude your time with Hercule Poirot, be sure to check out the subsequent titles:
- Taken at the Flood (1948)
- Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952)
- After the Funeral (1953)
- Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
- Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
- Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
- The Clocks (1963)
- Third Girl (1966)
- Hallowe’en Party (1969)
- 13 at Dinner (1969)
- Elephants Can Remember (1972)
- Poirot’s Early Cases (1974) (Collection)
- Curtain (1975)
- The Monogram Murders (2014)
Miss Marple (Books and Collections)
After concluding your time with Poirot, meet Christie’s other beloved investigator, the charming Miss Jane Marple. Like the Poirot novels, we recommend reading the books featuring Miss Marple to catch references to previous cases!
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
Meet Miss Marple as she investigates a body in a clergyman’s study. The homicide has shaken the otherwise quiet country village, exposing a dark underbelly of violence, guilt, and deception. Even though the man killed was despised by all, someone had a personal score to settle—and only Miss Marple can determine who.
Find The Murder at the Vicarage here.
Once you finish, we recommend:
- The Thirteen Problems (1932) (Collection)
The Body in the Library (1942)
Then, move on to The Body in the Library.
In the morning’s early hours, the Bantrys discover a young woman in an evening gown in their library—and she’s dead. How did she get there? And is her death related to the later-discovered burnt remains in a quarry?
To get their answers, the Bantrys turn to Miss Marple.
Follow her search to crack the case here.
The Moving Finger (1942)
Miss Marple’s third case brings us to Lymstock, a town with scandal abound. Even anonymous hate mail is nothing to write home about—until, of course, a recipient commits suicide.
Or so the town thinks.
Miss Marple isn’t so sure about the cause of death. And soon, nobody is all too sure about anything. As secrets stack up and become deadly, can Miss Marple catch the murderer before they strike again?
Find The Moving Finger here.
A Murder is Announced (1950)
A devilish puzzle unfolds in A Murder is Announced, in which a small-town newspaper shakes up the norm with a mysterious advertisement. “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m,” it says. The town is in a flurry.
And when a gruesome scene unfolds, Miss Marple must discover who was behind the ad.
Watch her unravel the case here.
They Do It With Mirrors (1952)
Miss Marple encounters a mystery at a rehabilitation center in They Do It With Mirrors. When someone shoots at the administrator, he survives, but a visitor is not so lucky. He was shot dead in another room at the same time. Miss Marple doesn’t believe for a moment that it’s a coincidence, and now, she must use all her wit to solve the puzzle.
Find your copy here.
Next, pick up:
- A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
- 4:50 From Paddington (1957)
- The Mirror Crack’d (1962)
A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
Journey to the sunny Caribbean in Miss Marple’s next adventure.
What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation turns into solving an old puzzle. When she hears a soldier’s story about a murderer he’d known, her interest is piqued. But before the soldier can provide the final piece, he perishes. Now, Miss Marple must solve the case without the final piece of evidence.
Be sure to grab A Caribbean Mystery here.
After, dive into:
- At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)
- Nemesis (1971)
- Sleeping Murder (1976)
Miss Marple’s Final Cases (1979) (Collection)
Treat yourself to a delightful compilation of Miss Marple’s final cases. Miss Marple’s characteristically unobtrusive yet clever investigation method shines in these unpredictable and satisfying stories.
Christie showcases her masterful power of deception—you’ll never be able to guess how any of these tales end.
Pick up a copy for yourself here.
Tommy and Tuppence (Books and Collections)
Meet Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley, two young friends who will stop at nothing to solve cases. In chronological order, here are their adventures.
The Secret Adversary (1922)
We first meet Tommy and Tuppence in The Secret Adversary. Both without money or jobs in the wake of the Great War, the two set out to solve mysteries and fulfill “any reasonable request” for steady employment. Soon, they’re hired to seek the elusive Jane Finn, who was given important papers as the Lusitania sank.
Pick up The Secret Adversary here.
Partners in Crime (1929)
Tommy and Tuppence’s next adventure finds the duo taking over Blunt’s International Detective Agency. From recovering pearls to poisoned chocolates, there’s no case they can’t crack. But will they be able to stick to their promise of solving any case within twenty-four hours when something more complicated comes across their desk?
Find the answer here.
Conclude the Tommy and Tuppence series with the final three novels:
- N or M? (1941)
- By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)
- Postern of Fate (1973)
Superintendent Battle Series
To conclude Christie’s series, prepare to meet the sensible, stoic, and mustachioed Superintendent Battle, an imaginative police detective. In chronological order, the five titles featuring Superintendent Battle are:
- The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
- The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
- Cards on the Table (1936)
- Murder is Easy (1939)
- Towards Zero (1944)
Once you’re finished with Christie’s series, dive into her standalone novels in chronological order.
- The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)
- Giant’s Bread (1930)
- The Sittaford Mystery (1931)
Unfinished Portrait (1934)
Considered by many to be semi-autobiographical, Unfinished Portrait follows a woman who has lost her mother, her husband, and her daughter. Yet on the verge of suicide, she meets Larraby, a successful portrait painter. Can he be her second chance?
Emotional and gentle, Unfinished Portrait showcases Christie’s incredible range.
Find a copy for yourself here.
- Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)
- And Then There Were None (1939)
- Absent in the Spring (1944)
- Death Comes as the End (1944)
- Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
- The Rose and the Yew Tree (1948)
- Crooked House (1949)
- They Came to Baghdad (1951)
- A Daughter’s a Daughter (1952)
- Destination Unknown (1954)
- The Burden (1956)
Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
One of Christie’s best later novels and a personal favorite of the author herself, Ordeal by Innocence follows an innocent man accused of murder who died behind bars. Can a doctor’s investigation find the real killer before he strikes again?
Find Ordeal by Innocence here.
The Pale Horse (1961)
This classic mystery involves a murdered priest who might have been doomed the moment he received a deathbed confession, especially when the murder scene is ransacked as if the killer was searching for something. Mark Easterbrook and Ginger Corrigan are determined to find the truth, even if it means dealing with the supposed dark arts.
Pick up The Pale Horse here.
Endless Night (1967)
Delight in this critically acclaimed classic about a man who thinks he discovered a treasure trove in the form of a gorgeous house and elegant heiress—yet might have stumbled upon an ancient curse. With fatal “accident” after accident, can he root out the evil in paradise?
Grab a copy of Endless Night for yourself here.
Finish Christie’s standalone books with:
- Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)
- The Murder at Hazelmoor (1984)
Short Story Collections
After finishing Christie’s full-length novel, satisfy your book hangover with her extensive collection of short stories, recommended in chronological order.
- The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930)
- The Hound of Death (1933)
- The Listerdale Mystery (1934)
- Parker Pyne Investigates (1934)
- The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939)
- The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948)
- Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950)
- The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951)
- The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960)
- Double Sin and Other Stories (1961)
- Star Over Bethlehem and Other Stories (1965)
- The Golden Ball and Other Stories (1974)
- Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories (1991)
- The Harlequin Tea Set (1997)
- While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997)
Finally, once you have completed Christie’s fiction, pick up her two non-fiction titles for a more intimate glimpse into her life.
- Come, Tell Me How You Live (1946)
- Agatha Christie: An Autobiography (1977)
Why is Agatha Christie so famous?
Agatha Christie is one of the world’s most famous mystery writers, as well as one of the best-selling novelists of all time.
How many books has Agatha Christie sold?
Christie’s works have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into 100 languages.
What type of story is Agatha Christie most famous for?
Christie popularized the detective novel, in which an enigmatic and odd detective is embroiled in a suspenseful mystery that they alone can solve.
Did Agatha Christie go missing?
In 1926, Christie went missing for eleven days, and the police used her novels to track her down. She was eventually found in a spa hotel in Harrogate.
Which books did Agatha Christie write?
Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as several plays and romance novels under the pen name Mary Westmacott. Here is a list of her detective novels and short story collections, along with their respective publication years:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) – Hercule Poirot
The Secret Adversary (1922) – Tommy and Tuppence
The Murder on the Links (1923) – Hercule Poirot
The Man in the Brown Suit (1924) – Colonel Race
The Secret of Chimneys (1925) – Superintendent Battle
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) – Hercule Poirot
The Big Four (1927) – Hercule Poirot
The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) – Hercule Poirot
The Seven Dials Mystery (1929) – Superintendent Battle
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) – Miss Marple
The Sittaford Mystery (1931) – Standalone
Peril at End House (1932) – Hercule Poirot
Lord Edgware Dies (1933) – Hercule Poirot
Murder on the Orient Express (1934) – Hercule Poirot
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934) – Standalone
Three Act Tragedy (1935) – Hercule Poirot
Death in the Clouds (1935) – Hercule Poirot
The A.B.C. Murders (1936) – Hercule Poirot
Murder in Mesopotamia (1936) – Hercule Poirot
Cards on the Table (1936) – Hercule Poirot
Dumb Witness (1937) – Hercule Poirot
Death on the Nile (1937) – Hercule Poirot
Appointment with Death (1938) – Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938) – Hercule Poirot
Murder is Easy (1939) – Superintendent Battle
And Then There Were None (1939) – Standalone
Sad Cypress (1940) – Hercule Poirot
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) – Hercule Poirot
Evil Under the Sun (1941) – Hercule Poirot
N or M? (1941) – Tommy and Tuppence
The Body in the Library (1942) – Miss Marple
Five Little Pigs (1942) – Hercule Poirot
The Moving Finger (1942) – Miss Marple
Towards Zero (1944) – Superintendent Battle
Death Comes as the End (1944) – Standalone
Sparkling Cyanide (1945) – Colonel Race
The Hollow (1946) – Hercule Poirot
Taken at the Flood (1948) – Hercule Poirot
Crooked House (1949) – Standalone
A Murder is Announced (1950) – Miss Marple
They Came to Baghdad (1951) – Standalone
Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952) – Hercule Poirot
They Do It with Mirrors (1952) – Miss Marple
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953) – Miss Marple
After the Funeral (1953) – Hercule Poirot
Destination Unknown (1954) – Standalone
Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) – Hercule Poirot
Dead Man’s Folly (1956) – Hercule Poirot
4.50 from Paddington (1957) – Miss Marple
Ordeal by Innocence (1958) – Standalone
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959) – Hercule Poirot
The Pale Horse (1961) – Standalone
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962) – Miss Marple
The Clocks (1963) – Hercule Poirot
A Caribbean Mystery (1964) – Miss Marple
At Bertram’s Hotel (1965) – Miss Marple
Third Girl (1966) – Hercule Poirot
Endless Night (1967) – Standalone
By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968) – Tommy and Tuppence
Hallowe’en Party (1969) – Hercule Poirot
Passenger to Frankfurt (1970) – Standalone
Nemesis (1971) – Miss Marple
Elephants Can Remember (1972) – Hercule Poirot
Postern of Fate (1973) – Tommy and Tuppence
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (1975) – Hercule Poirot
Sleeping Murder (1976) – Miss Marple
Short Story Collections:
Poirot Investigates (1924) – Hercule Poirot
The Tuesday Club Murders (1932) – Miss Marple (also known as The Thirteen Problems)
The Hound of Death (1933) – Standalone
The Listerdale Mystery (1934) – Standalone
Parker Pyne Investigates (1934) – Parker Pyne
Murder in the Mews (1937) – Hercule Poirot (also known as Dead Man’s Mirror)
The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939) – Mixed
The Labours of Hercules (1947) – Hercule Poirot
The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948) – Mixed
Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950) – Mixed
The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951) – Hercule Poirot
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960) – Hercule Poirot (also known as The Christmas Adventure)
Double Sin and Other Stories (1961) – Mixed
The Golden Ball and Other Stories (1971) – Standalone Novel
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