Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery.  If you don’t know of her….it’s time you learned.  Christie is the world’s best-selling novelist and helped shape how the world saw Britain.  Her books are easy-to-read mysteries but also humorous, scary and intense with a little romance thrown in.  I have read almost every book by Christie, and in total honesty, I have read them over and over.  I mostly listen to audiobooks in my car so all year, Agatha is riding along with me.  Her most famous characters are Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple; they are wicked smart and always do something to make me laugh.  Even though I know most of these stories by heart, I still enjoy them.

Many of Christie’s books have been made into movies and television series.  Most recently, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile have been re-made for the big screen by director Kenneth Branagh.  Death on the Nile will be released in February 2022.  So, to celebrate her 131st birthday and the release of the new movie Death on the Nile, here are some fun facts about Agatha.

  • Christie’s mom believed that age 8 was the right age to teach a child to read.  Since she didn’t want to wait, Christie taught herself to read at age 5.
  • Christie was the first British woman to surf standing up in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Christie was involved in her own real life mystery. She disappeared from her home one night in 1926 and was missing for almost two weeks. After Christie was found checked into a hotel under a different name, she never spoke publicly about the disappearance.  Coincidentally, the last name she used was the last name of her husband’s mistress. Christie told police that she had lost her memory during that time.  Hmmmm.  I wonder. 

Intrigued yet?  Here are some Agatha Christie books for you depending on your mood.

Feel the need for revenge? Try Murder on the Orient Express

Hercule Poirot is in need of a vacation so he books a trip on the famous train, the Orient Express.  He expects to take a rest but instead is pulled into solving the murder of a fellow passenger.  An intricate plot for revenge is revealed as Poirot winds his way through the mystery.  I love Poirot and find him so funny.  His epic moustache, uber confidence and very particular habits make him so endearing to me.

Looking for a surprise ending? Try Crooked House

Charles Hayward is pulled into helping solve the murder of his fiance’s grandfather.  He joins the Leonides family at Three Gables, the crooked house, and attempts to discover the truth.  This was the first book I read by Agatha where I thought man she is one twisted lady.  The ending will leave you surprised and probably feeling disturbed.

Miss those school days? Try Cat Among the Pigeons

Obviously, most of us didn’t attend a private school in England but you can still go back to school with this novel.  It is set in an exclusive English school for girls where all kinds of shenanigans and mystery arise in connection with some missing jewels worth millions.  This story has tennis, gardening, dead teachers and missing students.  Luckily, Poirot is summoned to sort out the cat among the pigeons.

Need to escape? Try Mystery of the Blue Train

Poirot is once again attempting to take a vacation and is heading towards the French Riviera on the famous Blue Train.  The wealthy Ruth Kettering is found murdered on the train and a piece of her jewelry, the much coveted Heart of Fire necklace, is missing.  Poirot is asked by Ruth’s father to find her murderer.  Was it her estranged husband or the boyfriend who is known to be a con man?  This is one of my favorites for the locale and so many funny Poirot moments.  You’ll be ready to fly to the Riviera after reading it.  

Want Something Creepy? Try And Then There Were None

An isolated island, a mysterious host who never shows up and 10 guests who have no idea why they’ve been invited for the weekend.  Slowly pasts are revealed and guests are murdered by an unknown killer.  This book is an absolute classic and a must read.  It’s sooo creepy and you have no idea what is happening.  It will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

Want to get cozy with a cup of tea? Try Murder at the Vicarage

This is the first book in the Miss Marple series.  Colonel Protheroe is found murdered in the Vicar’s study.  There are suspects, confessions and gossip galore.  Luckily, Miss Marple is the Vicar’s neighbor so is on the scene to help solve the case.  You don’t expect someone like Miss Marple to be a genius detective who can smell evil but she is exactly that.  I love how people always underestimate her while she quietly sniffs out murderers and their agendas.

I hope you will enjoy Agatha and her stories as much as I do. 

— Angie Grandstaff is the Branch Manager of the Hebron Branch.