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My top five Agatha Christie’s

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 in Agatha Christie | 7 Comments

booksI’ll begin by saying right away that I am not suggesting that these are the five best Agatha Christie’s. I wouldn’t dare. I am not even saying that they were my favourites last week or would be next week. But right now I am choosing these as my desert island five (though even now at the last minute I’m wavering). I have been thinking about it off and on ever since Moira and I challenged each other. I didn’t have time to reread the whole lot, so I browsed a bit, did a bit of rereading – and here goes in no particular order.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: I love the opening. Hercule Poirot is at the dentist and feeling all the dread people do feel in the dentist’s waiting room. It’s funny, but also ingenious. Shortly after he leaves, the dentist dies from a gunshot wound and all the other patients who were waiting with Poirot are suspects.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas: I picked this up from my mother’s book shelf a few years ago when I had a long wait to have the tire replaced on my car. Sitting in the dreary waiting room, suffering from a cold, I was very grateful to Agatha Christie. It’s a classic country house set up – and I was thoroughly bamboozled.

Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. The last outing for Poirot and dear old Hastings. Touching and elegiac. And what an audacious plot. I love the fact that she wrote this in the middle of her career and waited over thirty years to publish it. Some of her late novels are pretty thin stuff, but this ensured that the Poirot books ended on a high note.

The Body in the Library: There would have to be a Miss Marple. She is especially acute and perceptive in this one. I love the title and – it almost goes without saying – the plot is very, very clever.

And now the last one and it is almost impossible to chose. I am tempted to chose The Mysterious Affair at Styles for symmetry, but in the end I am going for The Moving Finger. It is by no means the best plotted: others such as Peril at End House and The ABC Murders are better, but I just like it, that’s all.

And now over to Moira at


  1. TracyK
    July 24, 2014

    I also like The Body in the Library and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, but … as I said at Clothes in Books… I have only read around 12 of Christie’s books recently enough to remember them. So to have a top five would be meaningless at this point. I guess. I have liked them all, except I did not like Mysterious Affair at Styles for some reason, so I think I should revisit it. I read it on a trip, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood.

  2. moira @ Clothes in Books
    July 24, 2014

    All great choices – such a tribute to Dame Agatha that there are too many books for a top 5. I think I mentally divide her works into approx. thirds, and the top ones would just rotate into and out of a top book list…

  3. Martin Edwards
    July 25, 2014

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your list, and Moira’s, and you have tempted me to have a go myself when I get a spare few moments. I’m glad you are a fan of the vastly under-rated Curtain.

  4. Christine Poulson
    July 25, 2014

    Tracey, I was very much aware that there are some great ones that I just hadn’t read recently. Would love to know yours, Martin. Moira, perhaps we should give ourselves more time if/when we do this again?

  5. moira @ Clothes in Books
    July 26, 2014

    This is to let you know that I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award
    — please see here for the details
    And thank you for the inspiration….

    • Christine Poulson
      July 30, 2014

      Bless you, Moira. Have been away for a few days and have only just seen this.

  6. moira @ Clothes in Books
    July 29, 2014

    Christine: I have done a roundup post on people’s Top 5 lists – it’s here on the blog


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