Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dame Agatha Christie's Top 10 mysteries

Continuing the theme of Agatha Christie Week, in the Guardian newspaper yesterday, longtime Christie expert John Curran (author of the recently released work AGATHA CHRISTIE'S SECRET NOTEBOOKS) gave his list of the "top 10 mysteries" from Dame Agatha Christie's prolific writing career. You can read his descriptions and reasoning in the article itself, but for starters, here is Curran's Top 10:

1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
2. Peril at End House (1932)
3. Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
4. The ABC Murders (1935)
5. And Then There Were None (1939)
6. Five Little Pigs (1943)
7. Crooked House (1949)
8. A Murder is Announced (1950)
9. Endless Night (1967)
10. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (1975, but written during the second world war)

What do you think of that list? Are your favourites on there? Which Christie books do you think deserve to be in her "top 10"?

And speaking of the great Dame, and the recently discovered notebooks that have shed more light on her plotting, writing, and more - the Guardian also had another great article earlier in the week by Scottish crime queen Val McDermid, who has done fairly well in the genre herself (22 bestsellers, 10 million copies plus sold, awards such as the prestigious CWA Gold Dagger). Although McDermid's crime novels are a lot darker and more gruesome than Christie's, she was surprised to find her writing had a lot in common with Christie.
Thoughts and comments welcome...


  1. Well I can't be happy with any list that doesn't include my own favourite (Death on the Nile) and so I'd substitute it for Poirot's Last Case which I thought was actually more predictable than it should have been. I agree that Orient Express has the best surprise ending and Endless Night is genuinely creepy (in a good way).

  2. Thanks for that list. I agree that Death on the Nile was one of her Christie's best, and I'd have loved to see it on the list. And Then There Were None is one of the best psychological thrillers, so I'm glad you included it. It's such a great study of paranoia.

  3. My favorite Agatha Christie novel is Appointment With Death, and many of my favorites didn't make it to this list, but with so many to choose between, that's hardly surprising.

  4. The list will be a good place to start for an Agatha reading frenzy, with the addition of Death on the Nile.