Few writers have had as much of a lasting impact on the world of crime fiction as Agatha Christie.
Her mystery novels have captivated readers for generations, and her works remain some of the best in the genre.
From classic whodunits featuring beloved detectives like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple to mysterious tales set on exotic islands, there’s something for everyone in Christie’s extensive catalog.
Whether you’re just getting into Agatha Christie or you’ve been an avid fan for years, these 15 books are essential reading.
About Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is renowned for her cleverly crafted mystery novels that have kept readers guessing for decades.
Her work has been adapted into films, plays, and even video games, allowing her stories to reach new audiences all around the world.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles
Beginning with her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie has remained a timeless story.
It’s a classic whodunit that follows the renowned detective Hercule Poirot as he solves a murder at an English country house.
This book is considered one of Christie’s best works and sets the tone for many of her other books.
The story is full of unexpected twists and turns, making it difficult to guess who the murderer could be until the very end.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is also noteworthy because it introduces many characters who appear in later books.
For example, Superintendent Battle from Scotland Yard and Hastings are two key characters who show up in later novels; this early appearance gives readers a better understanding of their character arcs throughout Christie’s other stories.
- Complex and interesting plot.
- Written in a classic style in a way that slowly unravels the mystery.
- Contains interesting twists and turns.
- The style of writing may be outdated for more modern readers.
- Might be too slow-paced for some readers.
- May not offer an entirely satisfying ending.
The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, written in 1926, is one of Christie’s most famous works.
This novel is considered to be a milestone in the history of crime fiction and has been highly praised for its clever plot twists.
It tells the story of Dr. Sheppard and his investigation into the death of Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy man who was murdered at his own home.
The novel follows the classic formula of a detective story: there’s a mysterious murder, an unlikely suspect, and clues left for the reader to solve.
However, what makes this book so special is Christie’s mastery of building suspense and surprise.
- The complex and mysterious plot keeps readers guessing.
- Intricate character development.
- A unique take on the mystery/crime genre.
- Unsatisfying conclusion to some readers.
- The use of an unreliable narrator can be confusing.
- Clues are sometimes too difficult to solve without outside knowledge.
The ABC Murders
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie is a classic murder mystery novel.
It follows the story of Hercule Poirot, as he attempts to solve a series of murders with the same clue: all victims are found with an ABC railway guide at their side.
The novel is full of suspense and intrigue.
The novel begins with Hercule Poirot receiving a letter from an unknown sender, who warns him about an upcoming murder that will take place in Andover.
He travels to the town but finds no evidence to back up the sender’s claims.
However, soon afterward another murder takes place in Bexhill-on-Sea where the victim is again found with an ABC railway guide.
Poirot begins to realize that a pattern may be emerging and dedicates himself to finding out who is behind this deadly game.
Throughout the novel, Poirot uses his keen eye for detail and brilliant mind for deduction to uncover clues and draw connections between each case.
With every new piece of evidence he gathers, he inches closer and closer to solving the puzzle and ultimately catching the murderer.
In true Agatha Christie fashion, readers are left guessing until the very end.
- Engaging story with a unique blend of detective and crime genres.
- Well-crafted characters and suspenseful plot twists.
- A fascinating exploration of the human condition and human behavior.
- Complex dialogue may be difficult for some readers to follow.
- Characters can be too quirky at times, making it hard to connect with them emotionally.
And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None is arguably one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and popular works.
It follows the story of ten strangers who are invited to a mysterious island, where they soon find themselves embroiled in a sinister plot.
As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that each person has been chosen for a reason, and they must all face their own dark pasts.
The novel was first published in 1939 and was an instant success, becoming one of her best-selling books of all time.
The novel is considered one of the classic examples of the “locked room” mystery genre, as it features a series of deaths with apparently no way in or out for the killer.
The tension builds throughout as readers try to figure out whodunit before the grand reveal at the end.
- Engaging and suspenseful plot line.
- Interesting characters with different backgrounds.
- Insightful themes about justice and morality.
- Graphic descriptions.
- Repetition of similar plot points throughout the novel.
The Body In The Library
The Body in the Library is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved classics.
It follows the story of a detective’s strange investigation into the death of a young woman whose body was discovered in an old library.
Throughout The Body in The Library, Christie weaves together an intricate story that draws readers in and keeps them captivated.
We follow Miss Marple as she tries to decipher clues and figure out who is behind this mysterious murder.
In true Christie style, each twist and turn reveals something new about what happened to the victim and why they died.
- Intricate plot.
- The characters are well-developed and engaging.
- The settings of the novel provide a unique atmosphere.
- There may be some details that feel outdated for modern readers.
- The style of writing can feel overly complex or convoluted for some readers.
Sad Cypress is one of Agatha Christie’s best known novels.
Set in the English countryside, the story follows Elinor Carlisle as she tries to prove her innocence in a murder case.
She is implicated in the death of Mary Gerrard, who was once engaged to Elinor’s cousin, Ralph Paton.
As the investigation progresses, it becomes clear that there are more sinister forces at work than just a simple love triangle.
The novel features some of Christie’s most beloved characters and is filled with twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the very end.
At its core, Sad Cypress is a story about how justice can sometimes be blind and how even those who seem innocent can be guilty in certain circumstances.
- Engaging plot with well-developed characters.
- A suspenseful story arc that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
- Interesting themes such as secrets, betrayal, and justice.
- A bit slow paced at times.
- Some loose ends are not resolved or clarified in the novel.
4.50 From Paddington
4.50 from Paddington is an intriguing murder mystery novel set in England. This novel is the perfect read for fans of suspenseful stories.
The protagonist, Elsie Clayton, witnesses a mysterious murder from a train window on her way to visit her aunt and uncle.
She decides to take it upon herself to find out who the murderer is and why they committed the crime.
The novel follows Elsie as she works with various other characters to unravel the mystery through numerous twists and turns.
Throughout her journey, she finds herself in dangerous situations that require quick thinking and courage in order to survive.
- A gripping storyline full of mystery and suspense.
- Engaging characters with unique personalities.
- Iconic writing style from a masterful author.
- Some may find the investigation sections to be slow-paced.
- Older readers may find the cultural references to be dated.
- The eventual reveal of the culprit could come across as unsatisfying for some.
The Mysterious Mr. Quin
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved works.
It follows the story of Mr. Harley Quin, a mysterious figure who appears to help people with their problems in unexpected ways.
The series consists of twelve short stories as well as two novels, and it’s one of the few mysteries that Christie wrote without her famous detective, Hercule Poirot.
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is an intriguing story that keeps readers guessing right until the end.
Each chapter offers a new mystery and a unique set of characters, which keeps readers engaged throughout the entire novel.
Mr. Quin has a mysterious ability to appear just when he’s needed and solve any problem presented to him; however, his solutions are rarely what anyone expects them to be!
- Interesting mystery and plot twists.
- Thought-provoking ideas about life and morality.
- Well-crafted characters.
- Heavy focus on the supernatural will not appeal to all readers.
- A longer book that may not hold everyone’s attention.
The Pale Horse
The ninth book in Agatha Christie’s must-read list is The Pale Horse.
This novel, published in 1961, follows a daring investigation into the deaths of three people who had been mysteriously poisoned.
Mark Easterbrook, a friend of the deceased, takes it upon himself to solve the case and determine who was responsible for the murders.
Mark soon discovers that dark secrets lurk beneath the surface of a small village where he suspects an occult group is involved in the mysterious deaths.
As he investigates further, he finds out that these secrets have implications beyond what he first thought.
With each step closer to finding out who is behind this sinister plot, Mark finds himself in more danger than ever before.
But with his sharp wit and investigative skills, Mark manages to unravel the truth behind the pale horse and uncover its malevolent intentions.
In doing so, he risks his own life but ultimately reveals a shocking twist that no one could have predicted.
- Exciting story with unique plot twists.
- Well-developed characters and an intriguing setting.
- Unexpected outcomes and moral dilemmas.
- Some readers may find it too slow or formulaic at times.
- Not as action packed as some of her other works.
- It’s a bit predictable in its genre.
Five Little Pigs
The tenth book on the list of must-read Agatha Christie books is Five Little Pigs.
This murder mystery novel was originally released in 1942 and follows the story of a mother determined to prove her son’s innocence after he is convicted of murder.
This novel takes readers back to solving an old murder case, as newly qualified lawyer Caroline Crale seeks out the truth.
Rather than using her own judgment, Caroline puts her trust in five people who were once close to the deceased.
She interviews each one and discovers that they all have different stories to tell.
As she pieces together their testimonies, Caroline slowly starts to uncover a hidden truth that could prove her son’s innocence.
By presenting clues from multiple perspectives, Agatha Christie creates a captivating story with plenty of surprises along the way.
- Traditional fairy tale retelling with an Agatha Christie twist.
- Fun and thrilling adventure as characters try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Sir Lyle.
- Engaging characters with lots of humor and wit.
- The somewhat slow pace may not interest some readers.
- Not as thrilling or suspenseful as other books written by Agatha Christie.
The Sittaford Mystery
The Sittaford Mystery is an Agatha Christie classic. It tells the story of a group of people who are snowed in at an isolated house in Dartmoor.
The mysterious death of a local businessman leads to the suspects having to solve the crime amongst themselves.
The novel is full of suspense and intrigue, as each suspect tries to figure out what happened and who is responsible.
It also has some interesting characters, including a psychic who claims to be able to communicate with the dead.
This adds an extra layer of mystery to the story, making it even more captivating.
- Entertaining mystery storyline.
- Interesting characters and relationships.
- Literary aspects capture the reader’s attention.
- The overly complicated plot and puzzles can be hard to follow at times.
- Slow pacing might not keep all readers engaged.
The Hollow is one of Agatha Christie’s most renowned works.
It was published in 1946 and tells the story of a group of guests who are invited to a weekend gathering at an estate called the Hollow.
The guests soon find themselves embroiled in a mysterious murder investigation, as they all become suspects.
While trying to identify the murderer, the guests must also contend with personal rivalries and secrets that threaten to unravel their lives.
The Hollow also features some of Christie’s most memorable characters, including Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Colonel Race.
- Well-crafted mystery.
- Richly detailed characters.
- Fast-paced and entertaining plot.
- Somewhat predictable outcome.
- Too many minor characters to keep track of.
- Unsatisfying ending.
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe follows the story of Dr. Humbleby, who has been called to investigate a mysterious murder in a small village near London.
The victim turns out to be the very same person who called for his help in the first place.
This crime novel is filled with suspense and intrigue, as the reader follows Humbleby on his investigation and discovers how cleverly Christie has woven together the clues.
The novel features two main characters – Dr. Humbleby and his assistant, Inspector Carter.
Both men are determined to uncover the truth behind this baffling case, but it soon becomes apparent that there are more suspects than meets the eye.
With each clue revealed, readers are left guessing as to who could have committed this heinous act.
The book provides plenty of clues and red herrings that will keep readers engaged while they try to solve this challenging mystery themselves.
- Classic whodunit story.
- Unexpected plot twists.
- The ingenious use of clues throughout the book.
- Might be too simplistic for some readers.
- Some characters may be seen as stereotypes.
The Murder On The Orient Express
The Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and beloved mystery novels.
It tells the story of a murder that takes place on a train, with Hercule Poirot tasked to investigate and solve the case.
The novel is beloved for its intricate plot, enthralling characters, and thrilling suspense.
This classic novel features characters from all walks of life, including a wealthy American heiress, a shady Italian businessman, and an eccentric Russian princess.
As Poirot investigates each character’s past, readers are taken deeper and deeper into the intriguing mystery.
What follows is an exciting journey as Poirot unravels secrets from each passenger’s past to find out who committed the crime.
The Murder on the Orient Express is considered by many critics to be Agatha Christie’s masterpiece and it has been adapted multiple times for both stage and screen.
- Classic mystery novel.
- Interesting characters.
- Captivating plot with unexpected twists.
- Name recognition has made the ending predictable to some readers.
- Dialogue is often wordy and dull.
They Came To Baghdad
In the novel They Came to Baghdad, readers are taken on a thrilling adventure with secret agent Victoria Jones.
She travels to Baghdad in search of an important document only to find herself caught in the midst of a dangerous mission.
Victoria soon discovers that she’s not the only one searching for the secret document and finds herself at odds with both enemy agents and allies alike.
She must use all her wits and courage to survive as she navigates her way through this treacherous world.
Along the way, she meets interesting characters and uncovers mysterious secrets about Baghdad’s dark past.
The story of “They Came to Baghdad” is full of suspense and intrigue as Victoria tries to unravel the truth behind her mission.
- Engaging storyline.
- Interesting characters.
- Excellent use of suspense.
- Slow start to the novel.
- Too much detail in some scenes.
Agatha Christie’s works are some of the most beloved and bestselling mystery books of all time.
She has crafted some of the greatest stories ever told, with a variety of characters and thrilling plots.
The common theme throughout Agatha Christie’s works is detection, often accompanied by a twist at the end that leaves readers guessing.
Her ideas for her books were often inspired by her own life experiences or things she observed in other people.
And there is no doubt she is considered to be one of the best mystery authors of all time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Agatha Christie Novel?
The most popular Agatha Christie novel is “Murder on the Orient Express”, which was first published in 1934 and has been adapted into film and television multiple times.
How Many Novels Has Agatha Christie Written?
Agatha Christie wrote 66 crime novels, 5 romance novels, 14 short story collections, and 6 non-fiction books during her lifetime.
Who Was The Fictional Detective Created By Agatha Christie?
Hercule Poirot is a fictional private detective created by Agatha Christie who appears in 33 of her novels and more than 50 short stories.
He is known for his brilliant deductive reasoning and strict attention to detail when solving complex mysteries.
- 20 Must-Read Genre-Blending Literary Fiction Books - May 26, 2023
- 32 Gripping Epic Fantasy Books To Transport You To Another World - May 26, 2023
- 12 Books Like Red, White, And Royal Blue You Will Love - May 17, 2023