Agatha Christie Project

Aim –

The Aim of my Agatha Christie Project it to work my way through all 66 of Christies Mysteries. I finally decided on an print run I would like to collect where they will all match (in height at least) so I can actually start my collection and work my way through them all. Unlike my last attempt I will be doing this read in order (apart from one Poirot re-read) . I am going to Start with the Poirot Books, moving on to the Ms Marple books and the finish with her other mysteries including Tommy and Tuppence and Mr Quinn etc.

I am hoping to read and review a couple a month and will link my reviews back here so eventually this will be a one stop shop of all my Christie reviews.

1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a re-read for me but I really enjoyed it. I had completely forgotten who had committed the murder, how and why they had. Therefore, I was pulled into this straight away eager to suss out all the clues again. What I really love about this book is the relationship that is set up between Hastings and Poirot. I love that the story is only told from the perspective of Hastings. Hastings has a loveable way of being completely and utterly dense and the best possible moments. He gets muddled and over confident and mixes up his facts and I as a reader loved screaming at him in my mind when he doesn’t see all the facts as Poirot lays them out and hints at the possible outcome. This makes the reveal all the sweeter when Hastings has lead you down Red Herrings and disagreed with Poirot. It just makes for such a fun double act that makes me smile…. Continue reading

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hastings, Hastings, Hastings… This is one of those books where we really get a sense of just how naïve and sometimes outright stupid Hastings can be, and Poirot knows it. We get our first taste of Poirot Sass in this one as he delights in winding poor Hastings up. Hastings spends a good proportion of this book falling for every girl he sets his eyes on and running after a girl he hasn’t even had the wits to find out the name of until the very end of the book!

The mystery itself is interesting, however, it does seem to go on a bit. There are waves and waves of suspicion and confessions that just seem to be a wee bit too much. The characters bounce back and forth a lot and … Continue Reading

3. Poirot Investigates  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A great collection of varied little stories that show the depth and breadth of Poirot’s investigative skills. The stories cover everything from a scavenger hunt proposed by a Will to cold blooded murder.
All are filled with Poirot’s usual sass as we follow Hastings accounts of his escapades.

4. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This may be one of the best Christie Novels I have read. The twist completely threw me I had no idea and that was all down to Christie’s writing. She wasn’t afraid to go new places that no one else had and it makes for a great read. In fact this book probably was a solid 3 star Poirot mystery until her twist in the last 4 pages of the book that skyrocketed it to 5 stars. It just proved why this was the book that made her a best seller. Those last few pages took you on such a journey that you almost wanted to go back to re-read the whole thing just to see if you could possibly find the clues. I had a copy with an afterword that has the same sentiments and I couldn’t agree more.

5. The Big Four

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is an unusual one for Poirot. It reads rather disjointed and I wasn’t surprised to learn that there had originally been a collection of short stories written for various publications that went into the construction of this novel. It reads a lot more spycraft/bond esq than other Poirot books filled with conspiracy and mini mysteries that don’t entirely explain what is going on. It therefore has more of a thriller element, there is near constant action and as it is again told from Hasting’s perspective we get a lot more time of just Hasting investigating on his own …. Continue Reading

6. The Mystery of the Blue Train

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This Poirot mystery has a really nice complexity to it. We have lots of Red Herrings, suspects galore which all builds to a great reveal at the end. I really like the characters, the discussion of money from those born into it, those trying to obtain it and those that have had it thrust upon them, it really makes for a dynamic cast …. Continue Reading

7. Black Coffee

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Adapted from a play written by Agatha Christie this one just left me wanting a little bit more. I could see this working very well on stage it is a fun locked room mystery with a twist, everyone was in the room when the murder took place. However, the reason I found this disappointing as we had seen these solutions before. If you had read mystery at styles – which is even mentioned during the events of the play – you basically know the outcome …. Continue Reading

8. Peril at End House

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Right after the events of the Blue Train Poirot is hoping for a relaxing holiday with his old pal Hastings only to find himself drawn into another case, but this time he might have found it in time to prevent a murder! This is a return to a fast paced, twisting and turning mystery filled with red herrings, double dealings and mistaken identities. ….Continue Reading

9. Lord Edgware Dies

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another enjoyable Poirot book, And another Hastings narrated book which I always enjoy. I do love the sheer sass that radiates off of Poirot when talking to Hastings, even Inspector Japp is a bit tough on poor Hastings in this one. He really is such a loveable yet dim character. This story was interesting as we get to see Poirot falter a little. It’s the first time in the nine books so far that we have seen him be mislead by evidence or follow the wrong path and it was really fun to see it all pull together in the end with the twists and turns… Continue Reading

10. Murder on the Orient Express   

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was my first foray into Christie and while I knew the story well I decided to read it I am glad I did, it is just as fun, fast paced and eccentric as I thought it would be. I have now read this story several times and while I know the outcome I still find it just as entertaining as always. It is a classic for a reason.

11. Three Act Tragedy 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A very unusual one as we get Poirot’s appearance right from chapter one, but then he disappears and instead we follow a Mr Satterthwaite as he investigates a couple of peculiar deaths at cocktail parties. While Mr Satterthwaite is an interesting character teaming up with the actor Sir Charles Cartwright both are pale in comparison to Poirot … Continue Reading

12. Death in the Clouds

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First Trains, now Planes, what’s next Automobiles? (showing my age on that one, or just a love of classic cinema comedies). Yes the ultimate locked room mystery a murder on a flight from Paris to Croydon! Luckily Poirot was on board, unluckily he was asleep through the whole thing … Continue Reading

13.The ABC Murders
14. Murder in Mesopotamia
15. Cards on the Table
16. Dumb Witness
17. Death on the Nile
18. Appointment with Death
19 Murder in the Mews
20. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas  
21. Sad Cypress
22. One,Two Buckle my Shoe
23. Evil Under the Sun  
24. Five Little Pigs
25. The Hollow
26. The Labours of Herclues
27. Taken at the Flood
28. Mrs McGuinty’s Dead
29. After the Funeral
30. Hickory Dickory Dock   
31. Cat among the Pigeons
32. The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding   
33. The Clocks
34. Third Girl
35. Hallowe’en Party  
36. Elephants Can Remember
37. Poirot’s Early Cases
38. Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case

1. The Murder at the Vicarage

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have been in a real mood for mysteries lately and while I am waiting on those in my Hercule Poirot group to catch up I thought why not start the Ms Marple series. I have only dabbled in a couple of Marple’s over the years so I decided to go back and start at the beginning.

I truly love how much of a different style the Ms Marple books take when compared to the Poirot series. It’s surprising how little “on page” time Marple actually has. Her little observations and asides are a pleasure to read though. I love how she runs rings round all the younger policemen and even some of her colleagues too. The narration here is primarily through the Vicar who is unfortunate to find a parishioner murdered in his study at the Vicarage … Continue Reading

2. The Thirteen Problems

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Recently rebranded “The Tuesday Night Club” due to the success of Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club” this series of linked short stories by Agatha Christie has very similar premise, Octogenarian’s solving cold cases!

I love how each of these thirteen short stories are standalone little mysteries in their own right but that they are all linked by the members of the various dinner parties. I love how there is new person narrating every tale and that everyone else takes a turn of trying to work out the mystery. You find yourself chiming in, making guesses and working out what it what before of course Ms Marple gives her often too correct reasoning to the problem … Continue Reading

3. The Body in the Library 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 love this book. I also love that Christie prefaces this book by telling the reader she is going to play with the trope of the body in the library by twisting it out of recognition. This is reflective in the number of time the words “Body in the Library” is repeated in the first chapter. It is really obvious that Agatha Christie was having fun with this one and it makes it such a fun read.

There are a lot of twists and turns and just when you think you have it worked out another red herring is thrown into the mix and you end up down the completely wrong path. I think it is just so well constructed as well as being incredibly funny … Continue Reading

4. The Moving Finger

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a re-read for me and it wasn’t all that long ago since I read it but I had completely forgotten how it all played out. To call it a Ms Marple book is a real misnomer, while she is in it she is only appears in in chapter ten and only really has any input in the last few pages of the boo,k instead working her Marple crime solving knowledge behind the scenes only revealing to the narrator at the very end. The book doesn’t really need Marple…. Continue Reading

5. A Murder is Announced
6. They do it with Mirrors
7. A Pocket Full of Rye
8. 4:50 from Paddington
9. The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side
10. A Caribbean Mystery
11. At Bertram’s hotel
12. Nemisis
13. Sleeping Murder
14. Miss Marple’s Final Case

1. The Man in the Brown Suit

Rating: 4 out of 5.

his isn’t the first time I have read this particular book. I had read it a few years ago but I must admit I found it a lot more enjoyable this time around. Originally I found it a lot different from previous books I had read by Christie and found the narrative style of it a little dry, but now that I have read more of her work I found that it was a lot more in depth than I had initially given it credit for.

Christie sets up some wonderful characters in this both heroic and detestable …Continue Reading

The Secret of Chimeys

The Seven Dails Mystery

The Mysterious Mr Quin

The Sittaford Mystery

The Hound of Death

the Listerdale Mystery

Why Didn’t They Ask for Evans?

Parker Pyne Investigates

Murder is Easy

And Then There Were None

Towards Zero

Death Comes at the End

Sparkling Cyanide

Crooked House

They Came to Baghdad

Destination Unknown

Spider’s Web

The Unexpected Guest

Ordeal by Innocence

The Pale Horse

Endless Night

Passenger to Frankfurt

Problem at Pollensa Bay

While the Light Lasts