A Year of Reading Agatha Christie: 2013

Agatha ChristieThe Agatha Christie Reading Challenge is run by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. I don’t think of it as a Challenge €“ it’s really a reading project, as it is quite simply to read Agatha Christie’s books. I’m not reading them in order of publication but as I come across them.

As I wrote in a guest post on Alyce’s blog for her series of Best and Worst earlier this year, Agatha Christie has long been one of my favourite writers. I first read some of her books as a teenager, but over the last four years or so I’ve been reading as many of her books that I can find.

She wrote over 100 novels, short story collections and plays and she is one of the best-selling (if not the best-selling) novelists of all time, well known for her crime fiction featuring Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and other detectives, both amateur and police.

I like many things about her writing. Her style is light, humorous at times, but her writing can be dark creating a tense and menacing atmosphere. Her plots are often ingenious, intricate, complicated puzzles, with the clues scattered throughout the texts. Some of her characters are clearly defined and fully rounded, some are lightly sketched, and others are comic characters, caricatures presented satirically or even farcically. Her settings are often country houses in idyllic English villages, but also in exotic locations in the Middle East as in her archaeological mysteries.

The full list of the 55 novels and short stories that I’ve read is on my Agatha Christie Reading Challenge page. This year I’ve read 9 of her books:

My favourite this year is Cards on the Table, but they all make fascinating reading.

Cards on the Table

  1. Cat Among the Pigeons  (Poirot)
  2. Mrs McGinty’s Dead (Poirot and Ariadne Oliver)
  3. Murder in the Mews (Poirot 4 short stories)
  4. Cards on the Table (Poirot)
  5. Third Girl (Poirot)
  6. Ten Little Niggers aka And Then There Were None
  7. A Murder is Announced (Miss Marple)
  8. N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence)
  9. Ordeal by Innocence

I’ve also read two biographies:

  1. Agatha Christie: an English Mystery by Laura Thompson
  2. Agatha Christie at Home by Hilary Macaskill

There are still plenty of Agatha Christie’s books for me to read. The following books are the ones I own and will be reading next year (not necessarily in this order):

  • They Do It With Mirrors (Miss Marple)
  • The Moving Finger (Miss Marple)
  • Miss Marple and Mystery: Complete Short Stories
  • Poirot Investigates (short stories)
  • The Golden Ball (short stories)
  • Complete Parker Pyne (short stories)
  • The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short stories)

9 thoughts on “A Year of Reading Agatha Christie: 2013”

  1. Well done on your progress. I’ll probably be reading a few for my various crime and mystery challenges this year. Plus I have her autobiography and her Come, Tell Me How You Live which is a archaeological memoir she wrote about Syria in the 1930s. Quite interested to read that one.

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    1. These books will all qualify for the Mount To Be Read Challenge 2014! I still haven’t decided about joining any other crime and mystery challenges yet.

      I think AC’s autobiography is terrific and I must look out for Come Tell Me How You Live. I think that will be good. I like her archaeological crime books – she must have picked up lots of information on her trips with her husband.

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  2. Margaret – Agatha Christie has always been one of my favourite authors too. Such a skilled plotter and you’re right about her writing style too. Well done on getting so much of her work read, and I look forward to your reviews next year.

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  3. Coming back to Christie in recent years I was surprised by how much I like her humour – some of her books are really delicious fun! I keep meaning to read a biography – must read your reviews of them and decide which.

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  4. Well done on this year’s achievements Margaret. I wonder whether we’ll ever know if we’ve read them all. Just when I think I have a definitive list another title surfaces.

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