Happy Birthday Agatha Christie!: A Reading List

Tue, 09/11/2018 - 2:14pm -- baglio

Here at the Redwood Library, we are celebrating the 128th Birthday of Agatha Christie, who was born September 15th 1890.  The titles chosen for this reading list will reflect the life of Agatha Christie, whether through biography, or through her own works, which are renowned worldwide. Agatha Christie's mysteries have spearheaded the genre into a world unto itself, and will continue to do so for generations to come!

 

The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery

By, Agatha Christie and Edited by Mathew Prichard

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. In this fascinating travelogue of the prolific author's yearlong trip around the British Empire in 1922, Christie provides the clues to the origins of the plots and locales of some of her bestselling mystery novels. Containing never-before-published letters and photos from her travels, and filled with intriguing details about the exotic locations she visited, The Grand Tour is a must-have for Agatha Christie fans, revealing an unexpected side to the world's most renowned mystery writer.

In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a ten-month voyage around the world. Her husband, Archibald Christie, had been invited to join a trade mission to promote the British Empire Exhibition, and Christie was determined to go with him. It was a life-changing decision for the young novelist, a true voyage of discovery that would inspire her future writing for years to come.

Placing her two-year-old daughter in the care of her sister, Christie set sail at the end of January and did not return home until December. Throughout her journey, she kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing the exotic places and the remarkable people she encountered as the mission traveled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada. Reproduced here for the first time, the letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips and surfboarding, glamor and misery. The Grand Tour also brings to life the places and people Christie encountered through the photos she took on her portable camera, as well as some of the original postcards, newspaper cuttings, and memorabilia she collected on her trip.

Edited and introduced by Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, and accompanied by reminiscences from her own autobiography, this unique travelogue reveals a new adventurous side to Agatha Christie, one that would ultimately influence the stories that made her a household name.

 

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

By, Agaha Christie

Back in print in an all-new edition is the engaging and illuminating chronicle of the life of the "Queen of Mystery". Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran's fascinating biographies Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by the compelling, authoritative account of one of the world's most influential and fascinating novelists, told in her own words and inimitable style - and here in her own voice. These audio excerpts were dictated by Agatha Christie herself.

The New York Times Book Review called Christie's autobiography a "joyful adventure," saying, "she brings the sense of wonder... to her extraordinary career."

 

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making

By, John Curran

Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is the fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie’s long hidden notebooks, including illustrations, analyses, and two previously unpublished Hercule Poirot short stories. Not only will Christie’s legions of ardent fans find a treasure chest of new material from the author of such classics as And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, but Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is also a must-read tutorial for writers who want to learn the intricacies of constructing crime novels.

 

Agatha Christie: A Mysterious life

By, Laura Thompson

The author of the New York Times bestselling The Six now turns her formidable biographical skills to the greatest crime writer in the world, Agatha Christie. 

It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and created the formidable Hercule Poirot.  A brilliant and award winning biographer, Laura Thompson now turns her sharp eye to Agatha Christie. Arguably the greatest crime writer in the world, Christie's books still sell over four million copies each year―more than thirty years after her death―and it shows no signs of slowing.

But who was the woman behind these mystifying, yet eternally pleasing, puzzlers? Thompson reveals the Edwardian world in which Christie grew up, explores her relationships, including those with her two husbands and daughter, and investigates the many mysteries still surrounding Christie's life, most notably, her eleven-day disappearance in 1926.

Agatha Christie is as mysterious as the stories she penned, and writing about her is a detection job in itself. With unprecedented access to all of Christie's letters, papers, and notebooks, as well as fresh and insightful interviews with her grandson, daughter, son-in-law and their living relations, Thompson is able to unravel not only the detailed workings of Christie's detective fiction, but the truth behind this mysterious woman.

 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles 

By, Agatha Christie

When Emily Inglethorp, the elderly matriarch of Styles Court, an Essex country manor, is found poisoned with strychnine, a guest of the manor, Arthur Hastings calls upon his friend, famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, to solve the mystery that surrounds her death. Chief amongst the suspects is Emily’s husband Alfred Inglethorp, a much younger man whom she has recently married and has the most to gain from her death. Another potential suspect is her eldest stepson John Cavendish, who stands to receive the manor upon her death. Or one of the other occupants of the manor; Lawrence Cavendish, her younger stepson; Mary Cavendish, John’s wife; Cynthia Murdoch, the daughter of a deceased friend of the family; or Evelyn Howard, Emily's companion; may be to blame. With the help of Inspector Japp, a Scotland Yard detective and the investigating officer, Hercule Poirot endeavors to uncover the mystery of who killed Emily Inglethorp. Mystery fans will delight in this first installment of Agatha Christie’s most famous character, Hercule Poirot.

 

The Murder at the Vicarage

By, Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage is Agatha Christie’s first mystery to feature the beloved investigator Miss Marple—as a dead body in a clergyman’s study proves to the indomitable sleuth that no place, holy or otherwise, is a sanctuary from homicide.

Miss Marple encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing land-owner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone--even in the vicar--wishes he were dead. And very soon he is--shot in the head in the vicar's own study. Faced with a surfeit of suspects, only the inscrutable Miss Marple can unravel the tangled web of clues that will lead to the unmasking of the killer.

 

A Murder is Announced

By, Agatha Christie

A Murder is Announced in a small-town newspaper advertisement—and Miss Marple must unravel the fiendish puzzle when a crime does indeed occur.

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.”

A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it.

 

The Body in the Library

By, Agatha Christie

The iconic Miss Marple must investigate the case of a girl found dead in Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, The Body in the Library.

It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing an evening dress and heavy makeup, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry?

The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple into their home to investigate. Amid rumors of scandal, she baits a clever trap to catch a ruthless killer.

 

Ten Little Indians

By, Agatha Christie

Ten house guests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. When they realize that every one of them is marked for murder, terror mounts as their number dwindles. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? Who will be left to tell the tale? Clues and red herrings abound in this masterpiece from Agatha Christie, her most popular mystery ever --- now formatted as a terrifying stage play!

 

Witness for the Prosecution

By Agatha Christie

 Leonard Vole stands in the dock, accused of murder. His wife can prove his innocence but when she takes the stand she denies his alibi. Can he escape the hangman's noose? 

 

Death on the Nile

By, Agatha Christie

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture from Twentieth Century Fox

Following the success of Murder on the Orient Express directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, Twentieth Century Fox will next adapt this classic Hercule Poirot mystery for the big screen.

Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Death on the Nile.

The tranquility of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: "I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger." Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.

 

The ABC Murders

By, Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s beloved classic The A.B.C. Murders sets Hercule Poirot on the trail of a serial killer.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident—but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.

 

Murder on the Orient Express

By, Agatha Christie

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.