Agatha Christie Lovers discussion

Agatha Christie
This topic is about Agatha Christie
213 views
General > Question about reading order of books

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Revathi (new)

Revathi (themadmuggle) | 4 comments Hi everyone,

I absolutely adore Hercule Poirot! I only very recently started reading Christie's books and it's safe to say I'm absolutely hooked. The first book I picked up was 'Murder on the Orient Express' and since then I've read some of Poirot's mysteries in no particular order.

My question is do I start reading the books in order or do I keep picking them out in random? Are there any continuity issues that would crop up? I've noticed that in some books Hastings is not around and there are small references to how Poirot solved a particular earlier mystery. I would love your opinion and book suggestions.

The books I've read
1. Murder on the Orient Express
2. The Mystery of the Blue Train
3. Peril at End House
4. ABC Murders
5. And then there were none (non Poirot)
6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
7. Lord Edgware Dies
8. Death on the Nile


message 2: by Mitali (last edited Jun 07, 2017 05:36AM) (new)

Mitali | 52 comments Almost all of Agatha Christie's books are standalone, and can be read in any order. As you have noticed, some books do have minor references to earlier ones, but nothing major. If you are very averse to even the slightest spoilers, then you should read in publication order. But if not, then you can read in pretty much any order, and the books will be just as enjoyable.

If you want some recommendations, here are some of my personal favourites (not including the ones you have already read): Five Little Pigs, Three Act Tragedy, Murder in Mesopotamia, The Hollow, Taken at the Flood, After the Funeral and Hickory Dickory Dock.

Hastings appeared only in the earliest Poirot books (mostly the ones published in the 1910s-20s, I think), plus the last Poirot book, Curtain. IIRC, Christie had originally intended him to be the Watson to Poirot's Holmes, but then realized that Poirot worked better on his own, and so got rid of Hastings. The in-universe explanation is that Hastings moved to Argentina.


message 3: by Daniella (last edited Jun 07, 2017 07:22AM) (new)

Daniella Bernett | 45 comments Revathi wrote: "Hi everyone,

I absolutely adore Hercule Poirot! I only very recently started reading Christie's books and it's safe to say I'm absolutely hooked. The first book I picked up was '[book:Murder on th..."

Revathi,

I, too, adore Poirot. To answer your question, you can read the books in any order. It won't make a difference to your reading experience. You can always go back and pick up one of the previous books. I also encourage you to read some of Christie's other books with Tommy and Tuppence; Miss Marple; Mr. Parker Pyne and, of course, the ones I call the "nobodys" because they don't have an established sleuth. Happy reading! Christie doesn't disappoint.


message 4: by ☯Emily (new)

☯Emily  Ginder | 18260 comments I agree with the others. It doesn't matter what order you read the books. I can't remember any books that contains spoilers.


message 5: by Revathi (new)

Revathi (themadmuggle) | 4 comments Mitali wrote: "Almost all of Agatha Christie's books are standalone, and can be read in any order. As you have noticed, some books do have minor references to earlier ones, but nothing major. If you are very aver..."

Thank you for the recommendations!

Hmmm yes, in one of the books (I think its ABC Murders) it's mentioned that Hastings is back from Argentina and I kinda realized that he isn't a regular with Poirot. I think I'm going to stick with picking books in random :)


message 6: by Revathi (new)

Revathi (themadmuggle) | 4 comments Daniella wrote: "Revathi wrote: "Hi everyone,

I absolutely adore Hercule Poirot! I only very recently started reading Christie's books and it's safe to say I'm absolutely hooked. The first book I picked up was '[b..."


Yes, I think I'm going to keep picking books in random. And I do intend on reading Christie's other books once I finish with Poirot. Thank you! :)


message 7: by Revathi (new)

Revathi (themadmuggle) | 4 comments ☯Emily wrote: "I agree with the others. It doesn't matter what order you read the books. I can't remember any books that contains spoilers."

Thank you! I'm going to continue picking books in random then.


message 8: by Brad (new)

Brad Friedman | 191 comments Hey, Revathi,

While it's true that the novels are essentially standalones, there are some significant references to earlier books. I can't remember them all, but here are a few words of advice:

1) In Cards on the Table, Hercule Poirot tells Rhoda Dawes who the murderer is in Murder on the Orient Express. If you read Cards before Express, the latter book will be ruined for you.

2) In Poirot Loses a Client, Poirot reels off a list of names to Hastings. These are the names of killers from earlier books. So I wouldn't put PLaC early on my list.

3) The Miss Marple books are more "sequential" than the Poirots, especially as she gets even older (like 160!!) You need to read A Caribbean Mystery BEFORE Nemesis.

4) The Tommy and Tuppence books are definitely sequential! There are no spoilers from one book to the other, but the couple ages in more or less realistic fashion throughout. I would recommend reading them in sequential order: The Secret Adversary, Partners in Crime, N or M, By the Pricking of My Thumbs. (And then you can read Postern of Fate if you want to, but it's almost unreadable.)

Have fun! Christie is the best!!


message 9: by shanghao (new)

shanghao (sanshow) | 38 comments Brad wrote: "Hey, Revathi,

...3) The Miss Marple books are more "sequential" than the Poirots, especially as she gets even older (like 160!!)

..."


160 indeed! Hahaha. You really know your Christies, Brad. Impressive!


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (tasseled) | 1 comments I enjoy reading in publication order, because it lets me see progression of Poirot as a detective and Agatha Christie as a writer better. Besides, it's like a little game for me, checking off these titles in a sequence. But like everyone mentioned, it's not necessary. I would heed Brad's advice though in regards to those random spoilers.


message 11: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 145 comments sanny wrote: "Brad wrote: "Hey, Revathi,

...3) The Miss Marple books are more "sequential" than the Poirots, especially as she gets even older (like 160!!)

..."

160 indeed! Hahaha. You really know your Chri..."


in At Bertram's Hotel she is 74 i think, she mentiones having stayed at Bertram's Hotel sixty years eariler, when she was fourteen. So she is probsbly not more than eighty in nemesis, the last one to be written.


back to top