On my way to choose my 10 best Poirot novels

Thanks to Kate Jackson at cross examining crime for reminding me,

Today marks the 126th birthday anniversary of Agatha Christie and it is also 100 years since the writing of the first novel in the series featuring Hercule Poirot. Besides, I’ve just started the challenge to read the complete series of novels in chronological order. So far I have read:

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 1920 (Hercule Poirot #1) by Agatha Christie (B)
  2. The Murder on the Links, 1923 (Hercule Poirot #2) by Agatha Christie (B)
  3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926 (Hercule Poirot #3) by Agatha Christie (A+)
  4. The Big Four, 1927 (Hercule Poirot #4) by Agatha Christie (D)
  5. The Mystery of the Blue Train, 1928 (Hercule Poirot #5) by Agatha Christie (C)
  6. Peril at End House, 1932 (Hercule Poirot #6) by Agatha Christie (A)
  7. Lord Edgware Dies, 1933 (Hercule Poirot #7) by Agatha Christie (A) also published as Thirteen at Dinner
  8. Murder on the Orient Express, 1934 (Hercule Poirot #8) by Agatha Christie (A+) also published as Murder in the Calais Coach
  9. Three Act Tragedy, 1935 (Hercule Poirot #9) by Agatha Christie (B) also published as Murder in Three Acts
  10. Death in the Clouds, 1935 (Hercule Poirot #10).also published as Death in the Air (currently reading)

It’s interesting to note that, out of the 33 novels, between 1936 and 1946 Christie wrote twelve of them;  without taken into account Curtain (written about 1940 and  published in 1975) . This was her most prolific period with titles like The A.B.C. Murders, Cards on the Table, Death on the Nile, Appointment with Death, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Sad Cypress, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, Evil Under the Sun, and Five Little Pigs, which are often ranked among Poirot top ten books. From 1947 to 1975, Christie published the remaining eleven novels with some memorable titles like, the already mentioned, Curtain. So please stay tuned.

You can read more about Poirot here. Also note that it’s possible to read the Poirot books in any order with few exceptions, mainly:

  • Make sure you read Curtain last.
  • Lord Edgware Dies should be read before After the Funeral
  • Five Little Pigs should be read before Elephants Can Remember
  • Cat Among the Pigeons should be read before Hallowe’en Party
  • Mrs McGinty’s Dead should be read before Hallowe’en Party and Elephants Can Remember
  • Murder on the Orient Express should be read before Murder in Mesopotamia
  • Three Act Tragedy should be read before Hercule Poirot’s Christmas:
  • Dumb Witness should be read AFTER all the previous ones in the series.

6 thoughts on “On my way to choose my 10 best Poirot novels”

  1. Interesting post and very helpful in knowing which Poirots to read before others to prevent spoilers. You have made quite some progress in your Poirot challenge and I think I have similar favourites to your own. Also thanks for the mention in your post. Just a slight thing though my surname is Jackson not Johnson!

  2. Great project, Jose. I would add that one should read Dumb Witness AFTER reading all the Poirot’s that came before because nearly all the previous murderers are actually mentioned BY NAME in that one!

  3. Interesting! Those ones between 1936 and 1946 definitely include most of my favourites – I was never quite so keen on either the earlier or later ones, with a couple of exceptions. But I hadn’t realised all those great ones had been written in such a short space of time. You have a lot of good reading ahead then!

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