When asked by a Japanese fan, Agatha Christie listed these ten books as the favorites of her own works.
And Then There Were None
Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?Amazon
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Agatha Christie’s most daring crime mystery – an early and particularly brilliant outing of Hercule Poirot, ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, with its legendary twist, changed the detective fiction genre for ever.Amazon
Roger Ackroyd was about to be married. He had a life of wealth and privilege. First he lost his fiancée – and then his life.
The day after her tragic suicide he retires upstairs to read a mysterious letter, leaving his closest friends and family to eat dinner below.
Just a few hours later he is found stabbed to death in a locked room with a weapon from his own collection.
Was he killed for money? For love? Or for something altogether more sinister?
The truth will out.
But you won’t see it coming.
A Murder is Announced
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.”
A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it.Amazon
Murder on the Orient Express
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.Amazon
The Thirteen Problems
Well,’ said Joyce, ‘it seems to me we are a pretty representative gathering. How would it be if we formed a Club? What is today? Tuesday? We will call it The Tuesday Night Club. It is to meet every week, and each member in turn has to propound a problem. Some mystery of which they have personal knowledge, and to which, of course, they know the answer.’
Two years before The Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie first introduced the world to Jane Marple and the stories of murder and intrigue told by each member of the Tuesday Night Club. Time and time again, crimes so wicked they have confounded even Scotland Yard’s finest are solved by St Mary Mead’s sharpest mind and everyone’s favourite armchair detective.Amazon
An elderly widow is murdered at a clifftop seaside house…What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. But when a houseparty gathers at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, earlier events come to a dramatic head. It’s all part of a carefully paid plan – for murder…Amazon
When penniless Michael Rogers discovers the beautiful house at Gypsy’s Acre and then meets the heiress Ellie, it seems that all his dreams have come true at once. But he ignores an old woman’s warning of an ancient curse, and evil begins to stir in paradise. As Michael soon learns: Gypsy’s Acre is the place where fatal “accidents” happen.Amazon
The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.
Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.Amazon
Ordeal by Innocence
According to the courts, Jacko Argyle bludgeoned his mother to death with a poker. The sentence was life imprisonment. But when Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives with the proof that confirms Jacko’s innocence, it is too late—Jacko died behind bars following a bout of pneumonia. Worse still, the doctor’s revelations reopen old wounds in the family, increasing the likelihood that the real murderer will strike again.Amazon
The Moving Finger
Lymstock is a town with more than its share of scandalous secrets—a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate mail causes only a minor stir.
But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs. Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note says “I can’t go on,” but Miss Marple questions the coroner’s verdict of suicide.
Soon nobody is sure of anyone—as secrets stop being shameful and start becoming deadly.Amazon
Were you surprised by the books on the list? Were any of your favorites left off? List your favorite Agatha Christie books in the comments below.
4 thoughts on “Reading List: Agatha Christie’s Top 10 Books According to Agatha Christie”
The only one on her list I wouldn’t have included is The Thirteen Problems. I think Sad Cypress is one of her best and often overlooked.
Five Little Pigs is often mentioned as her best book, so I’m a little surprised not to see it.
The interview with Christie provides an interesting perspective on her selections. Most of the books she put on her list were on there because she enjoyed writing them, or they were different from her usual writing style, which she found rewarding.
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I once read a quote that of all her books, Crooked House and Ordeal by Innocence were the two that pleased her best.
A Murder is Announced is certainly in my favourites list too. And Towards Zero is excellent as well. No quarrels with Orient Express and Roger ackroyd being here either or And Then There Were Nione, all three classics. Interesting to see Endless Night here though, I got a different dreamy/scary vibe from that and the ending I never saw coming at all.