Timeline of Poirot’s Novels and Short Stories (Last Updated Sunday, 1 July 2018 10:48)


This post was meant as a private note, but I thought it may be of interest to some readers. (Sources: Wikipedia and  Official Agatha Christie Website) Please, consider it a work in Progress. I’ll certainly appreciate if you let me know of any errors you may observe.

2a9cbd9ac73a69b686578d770cae1d34First a note on suggested reading order for Christie’s Poirot novels and short story collections

The most important point to note is to make sure you read Curtain last. Other points to note are:

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

Otherwise they can be read in any order.

Poirot’s police years

    • “The Chocolate Box” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

      Career as a private detective and retirement

      Shortly after Poirot flees to England (1916–1918)

        • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)

        • “The Kidnapped Prime Minister” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

        • “The Lemesurier Inheritance” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

        • “The Affair at the Victory Ball” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

          The Twenties (1920–1929)

          Poirot settles down in London and opens a private detective agency. These are the short story years (25 short stories and only 4 novels).

            • “The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Plymouth Express” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Adventure of the Cheap Flat” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Submarine Plans” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Cornish Mystery” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Mystery of the Hunters Lodge” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Market Basing Mystery” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The King of Clubs” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Double Clue” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Adventure of Johnny Waverly” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Case of the Missing Will” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Lost Mine” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Million Dollar Bond Robbery” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • “The Veiled Lady” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Adventure of the Western Star” (short story from Poirot Investigates)

            • Murder on the Links (1923)

            • “Double Sin” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding” also published as The Theft Of The Royal Ruby(short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding) is an expanded version of “The Christmas Adventure”

            • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)

            • The Big Four (1927)

            • The Mystery of the Blue Train an expanded version of “The Plymouth Express”
              (1928)

            • “The Third Floor Flat” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

            • “The Under Dog” (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding)

            • “Wasp’s Nest” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

              The Thirties (1930–1939)

              Christie increased her novel production during this time (14 novels, 21 total short stories and one theatre play). Twelve short stories form The Labours of Hercules. The other short stories listed here take place in this period but were published before and after the publication of The Labours of Hercules. The theatre play is named Black Coffee and was written by Agatha Christie, who stated a frustration with other stage adaptations of her Poirot mysteries. In 1998, author Charles Osborne adapted the play into a novel.

                • Black Coffee (1930 play – novel adapted from play published in 1998)

                • “The Mystery of the Spanish Chest” (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Puddingand The Regatta Mystery) is an expanded version of “The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest”

                • Peril at End House (1932)

                • Lord Edgware Dies (1933) also published as Thirteen at Dinner

                • Murder on the Orient Express (1934) also published as Murder in the Calais Coach

                • Three Act Tragedy (1935) also published as Murder in Three Acts

                • Death in the Clouds (1935) also published as Death in the Air

                • The A.B.C. Murders (1936)

                • Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)

                • Cards on the Table (1936)

                • Dumb Witness (1937) also published as Poirot Loses a Client

                • Death on the Nile (1937)

                • “How Does Your Garden Grow?” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases and The Regatta Mystery)

                • “Dead Man’s Mirror” (short story from Murder in the Mews) is an expanded version of The Second Gong in Problem at Pollensa Bay

                • “Problem at Sea” (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases and The Regatta Mystery)

                • “Triangle at Rhodes” (short story from Murder in the Mews)

                • “The Incredible Theft” (short story from Murder in the Mews) is an expanded version of “The Submarine Plans”

                • “Murder in the Mews” (short story from Murder in the Mews) is an expanded version of The Market Basing Mystery”

                • Appointment with Death (1938)

                • Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938) also published as Murder for Christmas and as A Holiday for Murder

                • “Yellow Iris” (short story from The Regatta Mystery)

                • “The Dream” (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and The Regatta Mystery)

                • Sad Cypress (1940)

                • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) also published as Overdose of Death and as The Patriotic Murders

                • “The Nemean Lion” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Lernaean Hydra” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Arcadian Deer” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Erymanthian Boar” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Augean Stables” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Stymphalean Birds” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Cretan Bull” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Horses of Diomedes” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Girdle of Hyppolita” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Flock of Geryon” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Apples of Hesperides” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                • “The Capture of Cerberus” (short story from The Labours of Hercules)

                  Post World War II

                  A new detective, Miss Marple, enters the stage – The Body in the Library Miss Marple second novel was published in 1942, and Hercule Poirot mysteries become rare. In 36 years Agatha Christie wrote only 13 novels and one short story.

                    • Evil Under the Sun (1941)

                    • “Four and Twenty Blackbirds” (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding)

                    • Five Little Pigs (1942) also published as Murder in Retrospect

                    • The Hollow (1946) also published as Murder after Hours

                    • Taken at the Flood (1948) also published as There Is a Tide

                    • Mrs McGinty’s Dead (1952) also published as Blood Will Tell

                    • After the Funeral (1953) also published as Funerals are Fatal

                    • Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) also published as Hickory Dickory Death

                    • Dead Man’s Folly (1956)

                    • Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)

                    • The Clocks (1963)

                    • Third Girl (1966)

                    • Hallowe’en Party (1969)

                    • Elephants Can Remember (1972)

                    • Curtain, Hercule Poirot’s last case (written about 1940, published in 1975)

                    In bold my favourite Poirot novels so far.

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                    7 thoughts on “Timeline of Poirot’s Novels and Short Stories (Last Updated Sunday, 1 July 2018 10:48)

                    1. A couple of notes:
                      Murder on the Orient Express comes straight after Murder in Mesopotamia;
                      Death on the Nile and Appointment with Death are the same journey

                      1. Thanks for your comment. Probably my source was mistaken. Besides if my information is right Murder on the Orient Express was published in 1934, while Murder in Mesopotamia is a 1936 book. Also Death on the Nile was pusblished a year before Appointment with Death.

                        1. The publishing dates are right – but internal chronology is different!

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