Agatha Christie: A Solution to a Reading Crisis


Photo courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

 It can be difficult to find motivation for reading, and even more difficult to find an interesting book to spark that motivation. When in doubt, however, the easiest alternative to compiling lists of novels that sound intriguing is to pick up an Agatha Christie novel. Explore the list below to see which one is the best fit for you.

  1. And Then There Were None: After ten strangers are summoned to a private island by an unknown host who is nowhere to be found, it is revealed that each of them has a mysterious past that they are hesitant to uncover. Unfortunately, this will seal their fate as each has been marked for murder and each character begins dropping one-by-one.  Although the characters are significantly flawed and guilty, the story is not a chore to read as these individuals are more complex than they seem. The large variation of personalities is enough for the reader to fully submerge themselves into the story, rather than just being attached to the mystery of the plot. Christie does exceptional work in making the reader question justice and the execution of it, while also spreading fear through this game of survival.
  2. Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery: Christie’s series, following a Belgian detective, is composed of several strong novels with simple plots that will still keep the reader guessing. Although her series is led by the same character, the novels do not have to be read in order as the detective tackles a new case in each one. Murder on the Orient Express follows a trip through Europe which unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. Despite the fact that the story may be slow and anti-climatic at times, Christie’s use of descriptions that puts the reader in Poirot’s shoes compensates for it. With all the evidence laid out in front of the reader, all the characters seem suspect, leaving the case annoyingly frustrating to solve.
  3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery: Christie marked the beginning of her career as a perennial bestseller with this novel. After a widow committed suicide, rumors begin to fly of her being a potential killer of her late husband, being blackmailed, and carrying out an affair with Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy man. Later that evening, Ackroyd is killed in his cellar after receiving a letter from the suspected blackmailer. The town of King’s Abbot is crawling with suspects. A complex case like this leaves only Poirot as the sole adequate detective to solve it. Just like all other Christie novels, the ending is never expected. However, frustratingly, the answer is right in front of the reader the whole time. Only by rereading important passages does the criminal becomes more obvious.

Choosing one Agatha Christie book will ultimately lead you to reading more. With her simple yet intriguing plots to follow and her impressive skills of making the reader feel utterly dense, she is not an author to miss.