Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), Lady Mallowan, is a British writer, one who doesn’t need an introduction. She is, after all, according to The Guinness World Records, the best-selling fiction writer of all time, her novels having sold more than two billion copies. She wrote numerous books, some with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and other mystery novels and stories under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
Yet, success didn’t arrive immediately for Agatha Christie, with six consecutive rejections until this changed in 1920 when The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring detective Hercule Poirot, was published. The rest, as we say, is history, making her the “Duchess of Death”, the “Mistress of Mystery”, and the “Queen of Crime”. More than 30 feature films are based on her work.
How to read Agatha Christie’s Books in Order?
You can read every Agatha Christie series in order, or not. Each of her books can be read as a standalone novel. The list below is divided into sections, each dedicated to a different character.
- Hercule Poirot
- Miss Marple
- Tommy and Tuppence Beresford
- Superintendent Battle
- Colonel Race
- Agatha Christie’s short-story collections
- More Mystery Novels by Agatha Christie
- Agatha Christie’s Novelized stage works
- Agatha Christie Novels Written As Mary Westmacott
- Other books by Agatha Christie
The Hercule Poirot Series in Order
This series focuses on the one and only Hercule Poirot. This Belgian detective is known for his head in the shape of an egg, his famous stiff mustache, the neatness of his attire, and–of course–his talent as an investigator. He first appeared in Christie’s novel “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” which was published in 1920, and went on to feature in 33 novels and a lot of short stories.
Poirot is known for his deductive reasoning skills and his ability to solve even the most complex and seemingly unsolvable crimes. In fact, he is well-known for being one of the world’s greatest detectives. What follows is a chronological reading order for the Poirot books. For more details, you can go to our dedicated page to the Hercule Poirot series.
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles
- The Murder on the Links
- While the Light Lasts (short stories)
- Poirot Investigates (short stories)
- Poirot’s Early Cases (short stories)
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
- The Big Four
- The Mystery of the Blue Train
- Black Coffee (Novel adapted from Agatha Christie’s stage play by Charles Osborne in 1998)
- Peril at End House
- Lord Edgware Dies
- Murder on the Orient Express
- Three Act Tragedy
- Death in the Clouds
- The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories
- The A.B.C. Murders
- Murder in Mesopotamia
- Cards on the Table
- Problem at Pollensa Bay (short stories)
- Murder in the Mews (short stories)
- Dumb Witness
- Death on the Nile
- Appointment with Death
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
- Sad Cypress
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
- Evil Under the Sun
- Five Little Pigs
- The Hollow
- The Labours of Hercules (short stories)
- Taken at the Flood
- Mrs McGinty’s Dead
- After the Funeral
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- Dead Man’s Folly
- Cat Among the Pigeons
- The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short stories)
- The Clocks
- Third Girl
- Hallowe’en Party
- Elephants Can Remember
- Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
Also, you may know that Sophie Hannah recently wrote new Hercule Poirot stories.
The Miss Marple Series in Order
Miss Marple is a sweet little old lady from the small English village of St. Mary Mead, but also a detective–naturally. Miss Marple is known for her sharp mind, astute observations, and her ability to solve complex crimes through her knowledge of human nature and village life. Miss Marple first appeared in Christie’s 1927 novel “The Murder at the Vicarage” and went on to feature in 12 novels and a few short stories.
Her cases often involve murders that occur within small communities, and she is known for her ability to draw parallels between the crimes she investigates and similar situations that she has encountered in her own life or in the lives of her friends and acquaintances. What follows is a chronological reading order for the Miss Marple novels. For more details, you can go to our dedicated page to The Miss Marple series.
- The Murder at the Vicarage
- The Thirteen Problems aka The Tuesday Club Murders (short stories)
- Miss Marple’s Final Cases (short stories)
- The Body in the Library
- The Moving Finger
- Sleeping Murder
- A Murder Is Announced
- They Do It with Mirrors aka Murder with Mirrors
- A Pocket Full of Rye
- Greenshaw’s Folly – short story first appeared in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.
- 4.50 from Paddington aka What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw.
- The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
- A Caribbean Mystery
- At Bertram’s Hotel
The Tommy and Tuppence Beresford Series in Order
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford formed a married couple of Secret agents/Private detectives in search of adventure and money. They first appeared in Christie’s 1922 novel “The Secret Adversary” and went on to feature in three more novels and one collection of short stories. Tommy and Tuppence start out as amateur detectives but eventually become professional investigators. They are known for their wit, charm, and their ability to get themselves out of tight spots. You can find more information about the Tommy and Tuppence Beresford novels on the page dedicated to the series.
- The Secret Adversary
- Partners in Crime – Short story Collection.
- N or M?
- By the Pricking of My Thumbs
- Postern of Fate
The Superintendent Battle Series in Order
Superintendent Battle is a senior police officer in Scotland Yard who appears in five of Christie’s novels, as well as a few short stories. He is known for his calm and methodical approach to solving crimes. He is often assigned to high-profile cases that require his expertise and experience, and he works closely with other detectives and police officers to piece together the evidence and solve the case.
- The Secret of Chimneys – A young drifter finds more than he bargained for when he agrees to deliver a parcel to an English country house. Little did Anthony Cade suspect that a simple errand on behalf of a friend would make him the centerpiece of a murderous international conspiracy.
- The Seven Dials Mystery – Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper; so the other house guests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off, one after the other, starting at 6.30 a.m. But when morning arrived, one clock was missing and the prank had backfired with tragic consequences. For Jimmy Thesiger in particular, the words ‘Seven Dials’ were to take on a new and chilling significance.
- Murder Is Easy – In a quiet English village, a killer is about to strike. Again and again. Officer Luke Fitzwilliam is on a train to London when he meets a strange woman. She claims there is a serial killer in the quiet village of Wychwood. He has already taken the lives of three people and is about claim his fourth victim. Fitzwilliam dismisses this as the ramblings of an old woman. But within hours she is found dead. Crushed by a passing car. And then the fourth victim is found. Each death looks like an accident. But in Wychwood, nothing is as it appears…
- Towards Zero – An elderly widow is murdered at a clifftop seaside house… What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. But when a house party gathers at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, earlier events come to a dramatic head. It’s all part of a carefully paid plan – for murder.
The Colonel Race Series in Order
Colonel Race is a retired British army officer who appears in four of Christie’s novels. Colonel Race is known for his intelligence, quick thinking, and his ability to stay calm in difficult situations. He is often called upon to investigate crimes that involve international intrigue, espionage, and political conspiracies. Colonel Race first appears in Christie’s 1934 novel “The Man in the Brown Suit,” where he assists the young adventurer Anne Beddingfield in solving a murder on a ship bound for South Africa. He also appears in “Sparkling Cyanide,” and as a secondary character in “Cards on the Table,” “Death on the Nile.”
- The Man in the Brown Suit – Pretty, young Anne Beddingfield has come to London looking for adventure. But adventure finds her when a strange-smelling man falls off an Underground platform and is electrocuted on the rails. The police verdict is accidental death. But who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body before running away? Armed with only one cryptic clue, Anne is determined to track him down and bring the mysterious killer to justice.
- Sparkling Cyanide – A beautiful heiress is fatally poisoned in a West End restaurant. Six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary – in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton who died at the same table exactly one year previously. No one present on that fateful night would ever forget the woman’s face, contorted beyond recognition – or what they remembered about her astonishing life.
Agatha Christie’s short-story collections
Poirot Investigates, Partners in Crime, The Thirteen Problems, Murder in the Mews, The Labours of Hercules, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Poirot’s Early Cases, Miss Marple’s Final Cases are all listed below, in the characters’ reading orders, and not indicated on the following list.
- The Mysterious Mr Quin – It had been a typical New Year’s Eve party. But as midnight approaches, Mr Satterthwaite – a keen observer of human nature – senses that the real drama of the evening is yet to unfold. And so it proves when a mysterious stranger knocks on the door. Who is Mr Quin? Mr Satterthwaite’s new friend is an enigma. Throughout this collection of short stories he seems to appear and disappear almost like a trick of the light. In fact, the only consistent thing about him is that his presence is always an omen – sometimes good, but sometimes deadly.
- The Hound of Death – A doctor meets a nun traumatised by the Great War. An attempt to restore the woman’s sanity results in the uncovering of something very sinister indeed. From The Hound of Death and The Golden Ball and Other Stories.
- The Listerdale Mystery – Twelve tantalizing cases… the curious disappearance of Lord Listerdale; a newlywed’s fear of her ex-fiance; a strange encounter on a train; a domestic murder investigation; a wild man’s sudden personality change; a retired inspector’s hunt for a murderess; a young woman’s impersonation of a duchess; a necklace hidden in a basket of cherries; a mystery writer’s arrest for murder; an astonishing marriage proposal; a soprano’s hatred for a baritone; the case of the rajah’s emerald.
- Parker Pyne Investigates – Mrs. Packington felt alone, helpless and utterly forlorn. But her life changed when she stumbled upon an advertisement in The Times which read: ‘Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne.’ Parker Pyne is a most unconventional investigator. In a uniquely charming way, he solves matters of the heart, yearnings for adventure, and one or two crimes along the way. This collection comprises fourteen tantalizing cases for this intriguing retired civil servant.
- Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories – Holidaying Mallorca, Parker Pyne is approached by a fellow British guest looking for some assistance saving her son from an unsuitable marriage… From Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories.
- While the Light Lasts and Other Stories – A macabre recurring dream … revenge against a blackmailer … jealousy, infidelity, and a tortured conscience … a stolen gemstone … the haunting attraction of an ancient relic … a race against time … a tragic love triangle … a body in a box … an unexpected visitor from beyond the grave… Some of Agatha Christie’s earliest stories – including her very first – which show the Queen of Crime in the making…
- Three Blind Mice – Published in Three Blind Mice and Other Stories. A blinding snowstorm-and a homicidal maniac-traps a small party of friends in an isolated estate. Out of this deceptively simple setup, Agatha Christie fashioned one of her most ingenious puzzlers, which in turn would provide the basis for The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in history.
More Mystery Novels by Agatha Christie
If Agatha Christie is well-known for the Poirot and Marple stories, some of her other works also gained a lot of notoriety, especially the famous “And Then There Were None,” but it’s not the only one. Here is a list of more of her standalone mystery novels:
- The Floating Admiral (With members of The Detection Club) – Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and nine other writers from the legendary Detection Club collaborate in this fiendishly clever but forgotten crime novel first published 80 years ago.
- The Sittaford Mystery – In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a small table for a seance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: ‘Captain Trevelyan… dead… murder.’ Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snow drifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot.
- Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says, ‘Why didn’t they ask Evans?’ Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger.
- And Then There Were None – 1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime. When one of the party dies suddenly they realize they may be harboring a murderer among their number. The tension escalates as the survivors realize the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
- Death Comes as the End – It is Egypt, 2000 BC, where death gives meaning to life. At the foot of a cliff lies the broken, twisted body of Nofret, concubine to a Ka-priest. Young, beautiful, and venomous, most agree that she deserved to die like a snake. Yet Renisenb, the priest’s daughter, believes that the woman’s death was not fate, but murder. Increasingly, she becomes convinced that the source of evil lurks within her own father’s household. As the wife of an eminent archaeologist, Agatha Christie took part in several expeditions to the Middle East. Drawing upon this experience and exhaustive research, she wrote this serial killer mystery laid in Egypt 4000 years ago.
- Crooked House – A wealthy Greek businessman is found dead at his London home… The Leonides were one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That was until the head of the household, Aristide, was murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiance of the late millionaire’s granddaughter…
- They Came to Baghdad – Baghdad is the chosen location for a secret summit of superpowers, concerned but not convinced, about the development of an, as yet, unidentified and undescribed secret weapon. Only one man has the proof that can confirm the nature of this fantastic secret weapon – a British agent named Carmichael. Unfortunately, the criminal organization responsible for the weapon’s development will stop at nothing to prevent him from entering Baghdad and presenting his proof to the assembled delegates. Can Carmichael enter the city against such odds? Into this explosive situation appears Victoria Jones, a girl with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded Carmichael dies in her arms in her hotel room. Now, if only she could make sense of his last words ‘…Lucifer…Basrah…Lefarge…’
- Destination Unknown – A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist. When a number of leading scientists disappear without a trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed? One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betterton now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash. Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die.
- Ordeal by Innocence – Dr. Arthur Calgary takes a ferry across the Rubicon River to Sunny Point, the home of the Argyle family. Two years before, the matriarch of the family was murdered and a son, Jack, was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Throughout the trial Jack had maintained his innocence, claiming he was hitchhiking on the night of the murder. Unable to locate this mystery man the police viewed Jack’s as a lie. Calgary was the stranger in question, but he arrives too late for Jack – who succumbs to pneumonia after serving just six months of his sentence. Feeling a sense of duty to the Argyles, Calgary is surprised when his revelation has a disturbing effect on the family – it means one of the family is a murderer.
- The Pale Horse – To understand the strange goings-on at The Pale Horse Inn, Mark Easterbrook knew he had to begin at the beginning. But where exactly was the beginning? Was it the savage blow to the back of Father Gorman’s head? Or was it when the priest’s assailant searched him so roughly he tore the clergyman’s cassock? Or could it have been the priest’s visit, just minutes before, to a woman on her death bed? Or was there a deeper significance to the violent squabble which Mark Easterbrook had himself witnessed earlier? Wherever the beginning lies, Mark and his sidekick, Ginger Corrigan, may soon have cause to wish they’d never found it.
- Endless Night – Gipsy’s Acre was a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea – and in Michael Rogers, it stirred a child-like fantasy. There, amongst the dark fir trees, he planned to build a house, find a girl and live happily ever after. Yet, as he left the village, a shadow of menace hung over the land. For this was the place where accidents happened. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals’ warnings: ‘There’s no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy’s Acre.’ Michael Rogers is a man who is about to learn the true meaning of the old saying ‘In my end is my beginning.’
- Passenger to Frankfurt – Sir Stafford Nye’s journey home from Malaya to London takes an unexpected twist in the passenger lounge at Frankfurt – a young woman confides in him that someone is trying to kill her. Yet their paths are to cross again and again – and each time the mystery woman is introduced as a different person. Equally at home in any guise in any society, she draws Sir Stafford into a game of political intrigue more dangerous than he could possibly imagine.
Agatha Christie’s Novelized stage works
As Black Coffee stars Hercule Poirot, it is listed below, on the Poirot list. Agatha Christie’s stage works were novelized by Charles Osborne.
- The Unexpected Guest – When a stranger runs his car into a ditch in dense fog in South Wales and makes his way to an isolated house, he discovers a woman standing over the dead body of her wheelchair-bound husband, gun in her hand. She admits to murder, and the unexpected guest offers to help her concoct a cover story. But is it possible that Laura Warwick did not commit the murder after all? If so, who is she shielding? The house seems full of possible suspects.
- Spider’s Web – Clarissa, the wife of a Foreign Office diplomat, is given to daydreaming. ‘Supposing I were to come down one morning and find a dead body in the library, what should I do?’ she muses. Clarissa has her chance to find out when she discovers a body in the drawing-room of her house in Kent.
The other Agatha Christie Novels Written As Mary Westmacott
Mary Westmacott is a pseudonym used by Agatha Christie for a series of six standalone novels, published between 1930 and 1956, that are not detective stories. Instead, these novels are more focused on exploring human psychology, relationships, and emotions.
- Giant’s Bread – Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood in the home he loves has not prepared Vernon for the harsh reality of his adult years, and in order to write the great masterpiece of his life, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost.
- Unfinished Portrait – Bereft of the three people she has held most dear – her mother, her husband and her daughter – Celia is on the verge of suicide. Then one night on an exotic island she meets Larraby, a successful portrait painter, and through a long night of talk reveals how she is afraid to commit herself to a second chance of happiness with another person, yet is not brave enough to face life alone. Can Larraby help Celia come to terms with the past or will they part, her outcome still uncertain?
- Absent in the Spring – Returning from a visit to her daughter in Iraq, Joan Scudamore finds herself unexpectedly alone and stranded in an isolated rest house by flooding of the railway tracks. This sudden solitude compels Joan to assess her life for the first time ever and face up to many of the truths about herself. Looking back over the years, Joan painfully re-examines her attitudes, relationships, and actions and becomes increasingly uneasy about the person who is revealed to her…
- The Rose and the Yew Tree – A beautiful, upper-class woman marries a working-class opportunist, but his attempts to elevate himself lead to unforeseen consequences.
- A Daughter’s a Daughter – Ann Prentice falls in love with Richard Cauldfield and hopes for new happiness. Her only child, Sarah, cannot contemplate the idea of her mother marrying again and wrecks any chance of her remarriage. Resentment and jealousy corrode their relationship as each seeks relief in different directions. Are mother and daughter destined to be enemies for life or will their underlying love for each other finally win through?
- The Burden – The bounds of jealousy, love, and obsession blur in this tale of the fierce relationship between two sisters.
Other books by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie’s least-known work is probably her non-fiction novels. Nevertheless, they are indispensable reading for all the fans, especially her autobiography.
Come, Tell Me How You Live – A non-fiction account of Agatha Christie’s journeys with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan, giving an intimate insight into their travels together as well as many of the inspirations which fed into her novels and plays. Published under Agatha Christie Mallowan.
Star Over Bethlehem – A little-known collection of religious stories and poems, often considered for children. Published under Agatha Christie Mallowan.
Agatha Christie: An Autobiography – Though she kept her private life a mystery, for some years Agatha had secretly written her autobiography, and when it was published after her death, millions of her fans agreed – this was her best story! From early childhood at the end of the 19th century, through two marriages and two World Wars, and her experiences both as a writer and on archaeological expeditions with her second husband, Max Mallowan, this book reveals the true genius of her legendary success with real passion and openness.
The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery – Contains never-before-published letters and photos from her travels, and is filled with intriguing details about the exotic locations she visited.
What other book series should you read if you like Agatha Christie’s work?
There are so many great books by Agatha Christie to read, don’t forget to bookmark this article to be sure to not miss one of them! And when you’re finished, take a look at the Roderick Alleyn novels by Ngaio Marsh, the Dorothy Martin series by Jeanne M. Dams, and the Inspector Lynley novels by Elizabeth George.