Agatha Christie Book Review

Agatha Christie Book Review

This month, I have decided to stray from my usual young adult review and have chosen instead to focus on one of my favorite authors: Agatha Christie, the master of the murder mystery. Christie is known as the best-selling author of all time, after having written over eighty widely popular crime novels—and selling over two billion copies worldwide! In my opinion, her works are best enjoyed as old, worn paperbacks held tight in hand while sitting sunken into a favorite armchair—hot chocolate, coffee, or tea at the ready. Whether I’m reading one of Christie’s darker works or one of her lighthearted ones, I consistently find myself thrilled by their suspense. Here, I’ll be reviewing my two favorites of her novels!

Poirot Investigates is a collection of short stories that centers around one of Christie’s most memorable crime-solving characters: Hercule Poirot. Poirot is an eccentric, quick-thinking, and mustached Frenchman who travels around England (and occasionally around the globe) with his trusty sidekick, a moral ex-military doctor named Hastings. Now, I’m a big fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the two detective duos. I’ll admit that I was initially put off by the similarities, but I found myself “getting to know” the characters of Poirot and Hastings—and even smiling when Hastings knowingly quotes Holmes himself. Poirot Investigates has a total of fourteen quick-paced, edge-of-your-seat short stories, and although I had some favorites and some less-than-favorites, I was undeniably entertained.

While Christie’s Poirot stories are light reads, she has also written novels as dark and chilling as Poirot’s can be fun. One of these, renowned as one of her best, is the novel And Then There Were None, which tells the story of ten curious strangers who are invited to a weekend at an eccentric millionaire’s island manor under mysterious circumstances. As a storm brews off the shores of Soldier Island, the guests find themselves trapped with their secrets and their pasts. Terrifyingly, each of the guests realize they have been marked for murder, as, one by one, they fall prey to an unknown killer. The poem on each of their bedroom walls begins, “Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.” By the end of the weekend, and the end of the poem, there will be none. I think this novel holds one of Christie’s most truly fascinating and gripping mysteries. With its precise and elegant writing, I found myself flying through the story within a matter of hours, and I’ve read it plenty of times since. For any reader looking to try a classic murder mystery, I couldn’t recommend Agatha Christie more.