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 10 of the best Agatha Christie books (in no particular order) to add to your reading list.
Here are our picks for the best Agatha Christie books for any mystery fan.
Murder on the Orient Express
This must-read mystery novel (adapted into a motion picture starring Johnny Depp in 2017) 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
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.
And Then There Were None
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. You'll never guess who's behind it all.
Peril at End House
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
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
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.
Death on the Nile
If you haven't already, read this one before it becomes a motion picture in 2020. This novel takes Hercule Poirot to Egypt, where a cruise along the Nile is disrupted when it's found that a young, stylish, beautiful woman was shot in the head. The mystery is even more enthralling in this exotic setting.
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.
The Murder on the Links
This Hercule Poirot mystery follows Poirot's would-be client, a wealthy English financier living in France, who harbors a deadly secret. But before he can divulge anything, he's found dead, stabbed in the back alongside his estate. His wife was found bound and gagged in the bedroom, and the two men she recognized as the intruders prove untraceable. Can Poirot solve the murder?