Agatha Christie

I knew this would happen in fact I believe I might have hinted at it in a previous post. What am I going on about? Well the fact that after seeing The Spiders Web on Tuesday night at the theatre I think I could very easily be going on an Agatha Christie craze. A belated one really as I do believe there was an Agatha Christie week or something not long ago.

For a belated birthday treat I took my big sister to go and see the latest play that The Agatha Christie Theatre Company have been touring with at its current venue Wimbledon Theatre. It was utterly brilliant. Not only was the acting superb, the plot was filled with twists and turns and I couldn’t guess the murderer until the very end, it was also hilarious, who new Christie did comedy or have I been reading the wrong Agatha Christie mysteries? Has Christie write some witty murderous novels that have skipped my attention?

I have to admit that I have always been partial to Miss Marple. You all know how I adore anything set in a village where very little but the fate and a whole heap of gossip goes on. I also like interfering old ladies, so am looking forward to mingling with many one day when I retire. So with these things taken into account I am naturally drawn to them add in some murder and a chance to play detective… I am there. I think that’s why I love M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin mysteries so much.

Poirot though has sadly never done it for me. I don’t know why but even on the telly I can’t sit through an episode and yet he is one of her greatest creations so I feel I must gel with him at some point. Now some of you must have read a Poirot at some point so if you have any advice then please let me know. I should really start with him at the beginning but I didn’t with Miss Marple (I know, I know, me who must read everything in order read Bertram’s Hotel first, tut, tut) so if there is a gripper you know of let me know.

As for her other mysteries… well where does one start? I have a few in the house but would love it if you recommended some. Though as I am trying, and currently succeeding, in not buying any books for the rest of the month it could cause issues though I did hold my own very well in Foyles yesterday when I saw these…

An Agatha Christie Selection

I didn’t buy a single one. At the moment my next Christie read once Aurora Floyd is finished will either be the next Miss Marple mystery ‘The Body in the Library’, some Marple short stories, ‘And Then There Were None’ or the book about Agatha Christies own disappearance by Kathleen Tynan. What would you recommend? What are your thoughts on Christie? What are your favourites? Have you avoided her? Do you think she is over/underrated?

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39 Comments

Filed under Agatha Christie, Book Thoughts

39 responses to “Agatha Christie

  1. Agatha Christie definitely – never got into the Poirot ones. I am desperate for the Penguin books mug that has The body in the library on the front (for obvious reasons!).

  2. I adore Agatha Christie’s books, but if I read too many in a row I get burned out on them very quickly. I’ve read a couple dozen, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd stands out as my favorite so far.

    Lezlie

  3. I remember drooling over those new editions of Christie in Foyles with Simon T, waiting for you.

    I love Poirot! I have only ever read one Christie though (which is deemed one of the best), Death on the Nile. I think it is a must-read and may cure you of your reading aversion to ships!

    I don’t read an awful lot of crime novels but according to The Guardian’s 1000 Novels You Must Read, the Christies to read are:

    And Then There Were None
    The Mysterious Affair at Styles
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
    The Murder at the Vicarage
    The Secret Adversary

    • Oh dear sorry to leave you with temptation whilst I was running late, it was awful of me. Maybe me and Poirot have just gotten off on the wrong foot?

      I have read The Murder at the Vicarage its fabulous and the first Marple. The only other one I own from your list is And Then There were None which is a possible next read.

  4. See, I don’t care for Miss Marple nearly as much as Poirot. I think it’s just a matter of personal taste – my sister likes Poirot, my mum can’t be bothered with him. Of Agatha Christie’s books, I love The Murder of Roger Ackroyd probably the best, and then Murder on the Orient Express is also quite good. I have a soft spot for The Man in the Brown Suit, but only because it was the first Agatha Christie book I ever read.

    • Ooooh controversial. It would appear myself and Hercule need to get better aquainted. Sadly I had tonnes of Poirot books but gave them all away after trying and failing. My favourite so far is The 4.50 From Paddington love the book but love the Margaret Rutherford movie sooooooo much!

  5. chasing bawa

    I prefer Poirot to Marple, but my favourite Christie character is Harley Quinn. You can find him in The Mysterious Mr. Quinn, a collection of short stories. Of the others, I particularly love Murder on the Links as it was my first Christie and gave me the biggest shock of my life (well, I was nine.)

    • You see thats what some people have mentioned to me, they read these books when they were much younger and then look at me as if I am reading babies books tut.

      I had never heard of Harley Quinn, sounds like it could be good.

      • Agreed … I love Harley Quin! Also Parker Pyne (Parker Pyne Investigates).

        I have 58 Agatha Christie books here at home and I’ve read all but two (both Poirots) so it’s hard to remember many of them. Also, have you read any of the Tommy and Tuppence? They are rather cheeky and fun.

      • I have Parker Pyne I think so thats good to know, as are Tommy and Tuppence who sound a hoot!

  6. I used to read lots of Agatha Christie, but then I started to guess the endings! I prefer Miss Marple to Poirot in both the books and on TV, but I do still enjoy Poirot.

    It has been years since I read an Agatha Christie, so I can’t remember which ones were the best, but it is probably time I picked up another one.

  7. Eva

    I love Christie! Like you, Miss Marple is my favourite (I often lament that Poirot has so many more books)…for a long time, I wasn’t interested in Poirot at all, but in the past couple of years I’ve come around a bit. My ‘favourite’ of his is Murder on the Nile.

    • I think I definately need to give Poirot another go. Maybe its been the settings, I also will re-start him at some point from his first escapade as that should be the perfect introduction to him.

  8. Your unexpected visit to my blog the other day has shamed me into coming out of hiding here, Simon, but I must confess that I’ve been stealthily enjoying your posts on the Sensation Season and possibly giving up buying books for a year of late. Good luck with that–I can barely get through a weekend without adding something new to the TBR! I am more a Poirot man than a Miss Marple man when it comes to Dame Agatha, but I should put “man” in quotation marks because I don’t think I’ve read anything by her since I was about 16! That, unfortunately, was a loooong time ago. Cheers!

    • Hahaha no worries Richard is nice to know that you have been following along in the shadows, that sounds like a line from the sensation season really doesn’t it, or an Agatha novel.

      Maybe you should give Agatha another go soon and see how your feelings to her work have changed?

  9. Simon – the best Poirot of the lot as far as I am concerned, and this has been backed up by other Christie admirers, is Five Little Pigs. Written when Christie was at the height of her powers I think it is simply wonderful. After that try Death on the Nile.

    You have lots of reading ahead of you – lucky you!

    • I saw on your blog the other day you had read The Secret Notebooks and I was utterly jealous, in fact maybe it was that post and the theatre that set this all off! I like to read them in order which is why simply picking one up and reading is so hard if its just random! I shall try though.

  10. Hie thee to Hatchard’s! There’s a full shelf of facismile 1st edition Christie hardbacks. I almost took a picture of them two weeks ago …. but shall now pass to baton to you!

    Collecting Christie is one thing but reading her is another. I can only manage small doses because it does become obvious quite quickly. Avoid “Passenger to Frankfurt” – it is rubbish. On the other hand “And then there was noone” is utterly brilliant.

    • I would dash to Hatchards but I am imposing a buying ban trial period on myself and so far, despite yesterdays temptation, I have managed rather well I think Hatchards would ruin that!

      So many recommendations, I may just see which one of hers I find first in the TBR boxes!

  11. I have been in love with Agatha Christie books since 5th greade. I’m currently reading my way through them by publication order. I figured this way I won’t miss one. My favorirtes are:

    And Then There Were None
    The Man in the Brown Suit
    The Secret of Chimneys
    The A.B.C. Murders
    Murder on the Orient Express

  12. oh, I highly recommed By the Prickling of My Thumbs or Endless Night.

  13. novelinsights

    I haven’t read much Agatha Christie except I think for some short mysteries, one involving a clever poisoning which was fabulous. I’m reading a mystery too now, it must be the season!

    • I think this time of year does want to make you read something more dark and gripping, must be the weather. I dont like a heavy book in the summer but am quite partial to one in autumn and winter.

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  15. Rhian

    I have to admit to being a Christie fan – I have read most of her novels and short story collections, and indeed have most of them (somewhere in the Scary Room). I don’t have favourites in terms of characters (I like Poirot and Miss Marple equally) but some of my favourite books are :

    Death on the Nile
    Death Comes as the End (a stand alone set in Ancient Egypt)
    And Then There Were None (though I think my copy is old enough to still be called 10 Little Niggers!!)
    The ABC Murders
    Nemesis

    I hope you enjoy your Christie-fest – I think I can feel one coming on, thanks to you!

    • Oh I didnt know that was the original title of And Then There Were None, that has in its way quite, quite put me off it.

      Enjoy your read-a-thon and report back!

      • Rhian

        Don’t let the title put you off – it has also been called 10 Little Indians (or was that a film version?) It doesn’t really have a bearing on the story. Though, now that I think of it I’d be interested to know how the rhyme reads in the modern version (original is along the lines of “10 little niggers went out …..and then there were 9” and so on down to “and then there were none”)
        Just makes me feel old that I have a version with a title you have never heard of!

  16. Kals

    Christie is definitely one of my favourite authors of detective fiction. I love the usual masterpieces like And Then There None, Murder On the Orient Express, Sparkling Cyanide and also some underrated books like Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, Nemesis, Curtain, Sleeping Murder, A Murder is Announced. I love both Poirot and Marple, though I avoid any Tommy and Tuppence Beresford mysteries – they’re way too boring!

    Here’s a challenge I’m hosting for Christie fans. Do check it out! http://atpemberley.blogspot.com/2009/11/marple-poirot-holmes-challenge.html#comments

    • I have signed up for it as will give my that Poirot Push that I clearly need and I am also a huge fanof sherlock homes. I will mention the challenge later in the month after I have read A Study in Scarlet as will link in nicely.

  17. Kals

    Thanks a lot, Simon! I hope you enjoy the challenge =)

  18. Hello! I found you through Bellezza’s blog. I love Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple too. I still remember watching the series with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple (1980s?) and just loving it when she noted that “people will have all sorts of conversations in front of her since no one notices an old lady knitting” (my paraphrase). What better “spy” could there be?

    I recently picked up a Christie I’d never heard of before: Endless Night. It is supposed to be a bit Gothic. I can’t wait to read it!

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