In honor of Agatha Christie’s birthday, here are some of her best and most famous publications that have inspired many television shows, movies, plays and even works published by other authors using her characters!
5. A Murder Is Announced
A Murder Is Announced is a Ms Marple story and begins with a declaration in the newspaper that states, “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, 29 October, at Little Paddocks, at 6.30 pm. Friends accept this, the only intimation.” Naturally, the curious villagers arrive at Little Paddocks and, just like the announcement says, a murder takes place when the lights go out at 6:30pm and a gunman is killed.
Agatha Christie herself loves the novel because, as she writes, “I thought all the characters interesting to write about and felt I knew them quite well by the time the book was finished.”
4. Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels. The story takes place on the Orient Express train; Hercule Poirot, who is traveling on the train has to solve the murder of a passenger.
Murder on the Orient Express is described as “the most widely read mystery of all time,” and has been adapted many times—including most recently in a 2017 film by Kenneth Branagh, which is the start of Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot movie series.
3. Towards Zero
Towards Zero is one of Agatha Christie’s novels which features Superintendent Battle as her detective, a character who also appears in a Hercule Poirot novel. This mystery takes place in 1944, at an awkward house party at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, Lady Tressilian. Soon, Lady Tressilian’s friend dies—seemingly of natural causes—and she is subsequently found murdered and her maid drugged.
The mystery is definitely a memorable one. Christie herself states, “I found it interesting to work on the idea of people from different places coming towards a murder, instead of starting with the murder and working from that.”
2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has one of the best plot twists in murder mystery history. Without spoiling the whodunnit for anyone, this book is one of the best that Agatha Christie has ever written with its unpredictability and surprise ending.
This book’s mystery is about a wealthy widow named Mrs. Ferrars, who unexpectedly commits suicide—and the next day, her fiancé, Roger Ackroyd, is found stabbed to death. It takes place at the village of King’s Abbot, where Hercule Poirot has retired…at least for this book.
1. And Then There Were None
Speaking of unpredictable endings and unique stories, And Then There Were None is right up there with its plot twists and red herrings – literally. This book has been publicly been voted as the best Christie novel in 2015 and Christie herself describes it as having “a difficult technique which was a challenge and so I enjoyed it, and I think dealt with it satisfactorily.”
This “difficult technique” is a reference to the fact that the murder and the plot follow a children’s counting rhyme, where the ten victims are killed in accordance to the rhyme until no one is left. The murder is so complicated and intricate that an epilogue is required to explain the answer; the mystery completely baffled readers and the police who discover the ten bodies on the island.
Agatha Christie is one of the most famous mystery writers of all time. Even though she is dead, ghost writers are still continuing her works, with the latest being a series of Miss Marple short stories that was published yesterday! Her works have only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare, and I highly recommend all the novels!