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Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! If when you think of mystery stories you don’t remember Agatha Christie’s books, then you need to know one of her almost 90 published works.
Of these books, six are novels – published under a pseudonym – 15 are short stories and 66 are detective thrillers that earned the author the title of the most influential novelist in the world. If you want to know more about Agatha Christie’s life and work, keep reading this article.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best Agatha Christie Books: Our Picks
- 3 Shopping Guide
- 4 Buying criteria: Factors to compare for different Agatha Christie books
- Agatha Christie’s books are among the most read books in the world. The author is second only to the Bible and William Shakespeare.
- Although police suspense was her specialty, Agatha Christie wrote six novels, published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
- Agatha Christie’s books are so easy to read that she is one of the favourite authors of those learning English. As well as practising reading in the original language, readers also learn about the culture of the English people.
The Best Agatha Christie Books: Our Picks
Many readers are instigated by the classic plot of detective novels – a person dies under mysterious circumstances and an investigation is set up to solve the crime – unaware that the narrative formula would not exist in the form we know today if it were not for the books of Agatha Christie.
Also called the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie revolutionised detective literature with her charismatic characters, surprising crime scenes and false leads. Learn more about Agatha Christie’s books in this Buying Guide.
Who was Agatha Christie?
What Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie never even dreamed of, is that she would be recognised as one of the world’s best writers of detective suspense, with billions of copies sold in several languages.
The young Englishwoman was born in the late 19th century in the English countryside town of Torquay, the daughter of an American father and an English mother. Since childhood, Agatha showed interest in literature, her hobby was to write short stories and poems.
In 1914, she married the English Colonel Archibald Christie, from whom she adopted her world-famous surname, and with whom she had a daughter.
In 1917 she was challenged by her sister to write a detective plot. Inspired by the poisons in the hospital where she worked as a pharmacist during the First World War (1914-1918), she wrote her first novel: The Mysterious Case of Styles, published three years later.
The consecration as a writer happened in 1926, with the publication of the thriller The Assassination of Roger Ackroyd. That same year, Agatha Christie divorced.
Four years later, she remarried Max Mallowan.
Her travels with her archaeologist husband inspired the books Murder on the Orient Express (1934) – her most famous novel – Death in Mesopotamia (1936), Death on the Nile (1937) and Adventure in Baghdad (1951).
With an intense literary production, Agatha Christie consolidated her prestige with the public, becoming a best-selling author.
In over 50 years of career, she wrote dozens of books, most of them mystery books. Agatha Christie died in 1976, aged 86, as a result of pneumonia.
But she remains a reference and bestseller in detective novel books, check out the advantages and disadvantages of the author’s books in the table below:
No variety of literary genres
What is the literary genre of Agatha Christie’s books?
Another important element in Christie’s books is the unexpected event, either at the beginning, middle or end of the narrative.
The reader must gather the clues to try to understand the totality of the facts, only revealed at the end of the story. Not everyone knows, but Agatha Christie’s books were not only about crime stories. Under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, the author published novels based on moments and reflections on life.
Which books by Agatha Christie have been adapted for film and television?
Murder on the Orient Express has won two adaptations, one in 1974 and another in 2017. The 1974 film is faithful to the original work, with the protagonism shared between Detective Poirot and the murder suspects. In the 2017 remake, the focus is on the suspects of the crime.
And There’s None Left was also adapted for the big screen in two films: The Invisible Avenger (1945), directed by René Clair, and There’s None Left (1965), directed by George Pollock.
Death on the Nile was adapted with the title Death on the Nile (1978), directed by John Guillermin. The work will get a remake, sequel to Murder on the Orient Express (2017), but there is no release date yet. In addition to these titles, other books by Agatha Christie have already been adapted for film.
Buying criteria: Factors to compare for different Agatha Christie books
Those who enjoy detective fiction should give Agatha Christie’s books a chance. With a vast bibliography, it won’t be difficult to find an interesting title, you just need to analyse the following characteristics:
- Volume, Box or Collection?
- Printed book, e-book or audiobook?
We will explain each of the criteria throughout this section.
In addition to the 66 books of police suspense, Agatha Christie also wrote some novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, which remained secret for more than 20 years, they are:
The Giant, Unfinished Portrait – inspired by the crisis Agatha Christie experienced after the end of her first marriage – Absent in Spring, The Conflict, Daughter is Daughter – inspired by Agatha Christie’s relationship with her daughter Rosalind – Between Two Loves and The Burden.
Volume, box or collection
Those who wish to buy Agatha Christie’s books, can invest in the works in single volume, box or collections. The best collections are “Hercule Poirot’s Best Stories” and “Miss Marple’s Best Stories”, both from Harper Collins.
L&PM also has some compilations such as: Mysteries of the Thirties, with the books The Sittaford Mystery, Why didn’t they ask Evans? and It’s Easy to Kill. In Mysteries of the Forties you will find the titles: M or N?, Hora Zero, Um Brinde de Cianureto and A Casa Torta.
In Mysteries of the 1950s it is the turn of Adventure in Baghdad, An Ignored Destiny, Punishment for Innocence and Yellow Horse. In Mysteries of the 60s you find the titles Night Without End, A Fateful Presentiment, Passenger to Frankfurt and Portal of Destiny.
All these collections are available in print and digital version.
Publisher Harper Collins has launched the Box Agatha Christie collection in eight volumes with three books in each, in hardcover and exclusive illustration:
- Vol.1: Death on the Nile, A Body in the Library and Murder on the Orient Express.
- Vol.2: Death in Mesopotamia, The Elephants Don’t Forget and Hollow Manor.
- Vol.3: The Mystery of the Seven Clocks, The ABC Crimes and The Labours of Hercules.
- Vol.4: The Curse of the Mirror, One Hundred Grams of Rye and Nemesis.
- Vol.5: Invitation to Murder, M or N? and The Cliff House.
- Vol.6: Zero Hour, Poirot’s Christmas and Thirteen at the Table.
- Vol.7: The Crooked House, A Fateful Presentiment and Murder in the Shepherd’s House.
- Vol.8: Cloth Falls, The Dead Man’s Extravaganza and Poirot Loses a Client.
Printed Book, e-Book or Audiobook
Agatha Christie’s books can be read in conventional ways – printed book, with plain or special edition binding – digital book for tablet or e-Reader, or audiobook.
The printed book is ideal for collectors, the e-book is a more economical option -even if you need to invest in an e-Reader, such as the Kindle- and the audiobook is ideal for the visually impaired or for those who don’t have much time for reading.
Agatha Christie’s books have been published by different publishers here in Brazil, such as Globo Livros, L&PM, Harper Collins and Nova Fronteira. Globo Livros offers 11 titles in covers with modern illustrations. Nova Fronteira offers luxury editions in hardcover.
Harper Collins is the best option for those who prefer to buy collections or boxes with the books in hardcover. To buy books in common binding, in conventional size, pocket or digital format, L&PM is a great option.
(Source of the detached image: Katerina Solovyeva / 123RF)