Hullo, friends! I am ashamed to say it, but it’s been an awfully inactive year on here. With writing for grad school taking up a lot of my time during the past two years, I’ve felt pretty burnt out on writing. I’ve been starting to get back into the swing of things over this past month since graduation, especially as I’ve been doing more fun, non-school reading.
One author whose books I started reading (exactly 2 years ago today) is Agatha Christie. She’s been one of the authors that I’d been meaning to read for ages, and just somehow never got around to. Then Christie’s Death on the Nile was chosen as one of the books for a summer book club at my school the summer of 2020, and I thought, “Why not?”
Exactly two years later, I’ve read twenty Agatha Christie novels, with a stack of several more waiting to be read! Because I’ve enjoyed these books so much, I wanted to write mini reviews for each of them. Writing about what I’m reading seems like a great way to get back into the blogging routine–and maybe you’ll find something new to read along the way!
So, without further ado, here are 20 mini, spoiler-free reviews of the Agatha Christie books I’ve read over the past two years (in the order that I read them, not ranked by favorites)!
1. Death on the Nile
This was the first Agatha Christie novel I ever read, and I fell immediately in love. The plot is brilliant, Poirot is an adorable matchmaker, and it was a great introduction to Agatha Christie’s unique casts of characters. Additionally, the way Poirot unraveled the mystery had me on the edge of my seat.
Also, the book is much better than the recent movie. I might end up writing a whole post about that.
2. And Then There Were None
Probably one of the darkest Agatha Christie books, but also one of the most suspenseful (and one of my favorites)! The use of a nursery rhyme to foreshadow the deaths of the characters is creepy, but it also added a lot of suspense to the book.
3. Murder on the Orient Express
I have to admit that I watched Kenneth Branagh’s movie version before reading this book. Usually that leads to me liking the movie more, but in this case, the book actually made much more sense! Things were explained better, and other possibilities were eliminated more clearly.
4. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
This was the first Poirot book that I read that had Hastings in it, which was a fun introduction to his character. The story was intriguing, too, and I thought it was fascinating how parts of Poirot’s character made a difference in the story. I will say that I kind of forgot about it after reading other Christie stories, though.
5. The Secret Adversary
The first Tommy & Tuppence mystery! I had so much fun reading this story, and Tuppence was so funny. This book features more of Agatha Christie’s humor while also having plenty of suspense. I thought I guessed the ending, but I was wrong, too, which made it even better. While I like some of the later Tommy & Tuppence books better, this one was a really fun introduction to the characters.
6. The Man in the Brown Suit
To be honest, I kind of forgot about reading this book! I do remember that I really liked the romance subplot in this book, and that it was a really fun witness-on-the-run story. Not the most memorable Agatha Christie novel for me, but I do remember enjoying it!
7. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
I went into this knowing who the murderer was (thanks to an article I read for a research paper), and I still loved it! This is one of Christie’s more controversial works, as not everyone likes the big reveal, but I thought it worked really well. I’m not sure if my opinion would be different if I hadn’t already known the murderer going in, but I love the way that Christie plays around with genre expectations.
8. The Secret of Chimneys
In a lot of Agatha Christie’s books, she likes to pair together main characters. Out of all of the books on this list, this one might be one of my favorite under-rated Christie novels, and Anthony Cade might be my favorite Christie character of all time. I was laughing through this whole book at him, and just thinking about the book makes me want to reread it. Highly recommend!
9. Partners in Crime
The second Tommy and Tuppence mystery! This is technically a collection of short stories, but it’s all tied together under one main plot. I love Tommy and Tuppence’s relationship and interactions, and their married relationship is even better.
10. The Murder at the Vicarage
This was my first Miss Marple mystery, and it was one I had on my Kindle for a long time before reading it. It felt a bit slower-paced to me, and Miss Marple wasn’t as big a part of it as I was expecting, but I absolutely loved how she just easily solved the mystery through town gossip and being nosy.
11. N or M?
Tommy and Tuppence #3! Tuppence has all the sass still, and this is probably my favorite out of the series (so far). You gotta love how Tuppence insists on being involved, even when Tommy leaves without her. A really fun story, and another one I want to revisit!
12. Murder on the Links
This was a crazy one! Of all the things to happen in a Poirot story, the last thing I expected was for Hastings to fall in love. There were a lot of twists in this one, and it was interesting to see how Poirot handled his assistant being a little unreliable.
13. Death in the Clouds
This mystery definitely kept me on my toes! I focused too much on one of Christie’s red herrings, but when I read the solution, everything made so much sense. I also missed one of the biggest hints that came from a change in Poirot’s usual behavior, but it was so fun to see how it all turned out.
14. Appointment with Death
There are not many times I would say that a murder was a good thing, but this book really sets up the idea that the world would be better off with Mrs. Boynton. For me, the murder was actually not the most interesting part of this book; instead, Mrs. Boynton’s manipulations and abuse of her family takes center stage. I will say that this book was a bit forgettable to me, and I wasn’t super excited by the solution, but it was a really interesting character study.
15. By the Pricking of My Thumbs
I hate to say it, but the fourth Tommy & Tuppence book is my least favorite Christie book so far (not that that’s saying much). The book was very slow-paced, with less interaction between Tommy and Tuppence than the other ones. The last quarter of the book was more interesting, but by that point, I had lost interest. It still had some crazy plot twists, but not a book I’d reread.
16. The ABC Murders
At first, I was confused by this story, since it seems like Christie spoils who the murderer is from the very beginning. While some of the twists here were a little hard to buy, the idea of the alphabetical-order serial killings kept me on my toes. Overall, this one stretched my suspension of disbelief to the limit, but it was still engaging and entertaining.
17. Funerals Are Fatal
This mystery set my head spinning! It was crazy from start to end, and I had no idea whodunnit or even what was actually going on. It seems like a lot of her other mysteries, but it’s hard to say what set it apart without spoiling anything. Still, it was fascinating to see how Christie really did foreshadow everything, and the solution was crazy!
18. Dumb Witness
This was such a fun read. It was fun to see how Poirot handled the case–and to see Hastings get humbled–but my favorite part was the dialogue Christie wrote for Bob, the dog. It was adorable and exactly how you would expect a dog to talk. I guessed the murderer correctly, but still had no idea how they did it!
19. The Hollow
The cast of characters in this Christie novel is so spectacularly unique! There really wasn’t much of Poirot in this book, but Henrietta, Gerda, and Midge were especially well-developed, and it was fascinating to see how Christie wrote their perspectives. I saw part of the ending coming, but not all of it, and I can definitely see the foreshadowing that Christie incorporated.
20. Peril at End House
I’m excited to say that I actually figured out a lot of the solution on this one! This story seems straightforward, but for such a short novel, there’s so much that happens. Maybe I’ve been reading too many Agatha Christie novels, or maybe this one is less subtle than some of her other novels, but I’m proud to say I figured out the main whodunnit (finally). A very fun story!
This turned out to be a much longer post than I was expecting! I’ve absolutely loved reading through some of Agatha Christie’s books, and I’m not even halfway through her novels. She incorporates humor really well, does amazing plot twists, and creates fun, quirky characters that make each story more interesting. I highly recommend you check out at least one of her books!
As a side note, virtually all of Christie’s novels are murder mysteries, and often several deaths are involved, some more gruesome than others. These were also written in the early 1900s (1910s-1940s) so there is discrimination and offensive language in some of these (although newer editions might have some of that edited out). She sometimes uses stereotypes, too, but typically in order to mislead the reader and upend expectations. Keep that in mind if you choose to read any of these!
Have you ever read an Agatha Christie book? What was your favorite? Do you like murder mysteries? Let me know in the comments below, and also let me know how you’re doing–I’ve missed talking to y’all!