Whether you’re a veteran reader of classic mystery novels or looking for the perfect carry-on book for an upcoming getaway, no reading list would be complete without a handful of Agatha Christie novels. As one of the best selling authors of all time, Agatha Christie composed no fewer than 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections over the course of her lifetime. Of these, numerous titles have been developed into films, plays, and television series, but nothing captures Christie’s knack for mystery and suspense quite like the novels themselves. While it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite, we’ve taken the liberty of selecting eight of the best Agatha Christie books (in no particular order) to add to your reading list.
Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
This must-read mystery novel (recently converted into the latest of multiple screen adaptations) follows one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved detectives, Hercule Poirot, as he investigates a crime among an international cast of suspects aboard the glamorous Orient Express train.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
Another essential Agatha Christie book starring Hercule Poirot is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, an exquisitely written detective story that has inspired generations of crime and mystery writers. We won’t ruin the ending, but let’s just say that this book has a surprise twist that even the savviest mystery seekers will find hard to predict.
Endless Night (1967)
For those who are well-versed in vintage Christie novels, Endless Night is arguably one of the best among her later works. Chilling and complex, this riveting story is powerful evidence that the beloved author never lost her touch.
And Then There Were None (1939)
The inspiration for countless writers and filmmakers, And Then There Were None is pretty much the original vacation-gone-horribly-wrong story. Blending elements of mystery, suspense, thriller, and horror, this perfectly paced novel follows a group of characters as they’re picked off one by one. This one is truly riveting to the very last page.
Peril at End House (1932)
It’s hard to imagine a better introduction to Christie’s genre than Peril at End House. Rife with glamour, suspense, and an expertly plotted series of clues, this novel kicks off with a murder during an evening soirée. This is by far one of the best Agatha Christie works for fans of classic mystery novels.
The A.B.C. Murders (1936)
Basically, every serial killer novel and murder-mystery TV series can trace its lineage back to The A.B.C. Murders. The story follows a string of seemingly random (though secretly connected) murders with victims whose names begin with each letter of the alphabet.
Death Comes as the End (1944)
No lineup of the best Agatha Christie books would be complete without Death Comes as the End, a surprising historical mystery novel that stands out among Christie’s works. The story takes place in ancient Egypt and was inspired by Christie’s visits to the region with Sir Max Mallowan, her archaeologist husband.
Crooked House (1949)
If you’re looking for an Agatha Christie book that truly stands on its own, Crooked House might just be the perfect pick. The novel follows a family whose patriarch has just been mysteriously poisoned. This piece excels as a character-driven mystery with a shocking final twist.
After you’ve read all of Agatha Christie’s books, add 10 of the best Stephen King books to your reading list.