Top 5 and Bottom 5

Based on what I can remember, here are five Agatha Christie books that I would point a new reader towards, and five that I would say they should definitely keep away from.

Starting with a bottom 5, you could say almost anything written after 1965 (and that is the disadvantage in my decision to read them in order of publication because I will be saving some of the worst for last) but I would specifically say:

Endless Night – for re-using a very successful plot device, but in a very different context

By the Pricking of My Thumbs – I can’t remember much about it, but I think family consensus is broadly negative

Passenger to Frankfurt – see above

Postern of Fate – see above

The Hollow – a much earlier book, surrounded by many much better books, but to me it just isn’t a regular Poirot. I believe Christie was trying a different style, but for it didn’t work for me.

For a top 5, I would say:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – one of the first that I read and it completely blew my mind

The ABC Murders – you think you know what is going on and then suddenly everything changes

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – appropriate for the time of year, but I can’t say any more without spoiling it

And Then There Were None – gripping and creepy with a very unexpected ending

A Pocket Full of Rye – a Miss Marple needs to be included and although the method is completely bonkers, it makes complete sense given the characterisation that has gone before

What would be in your Top 5/Bottom 5?

Have a good new year and see you in early 2018 once I’ve read “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”.

Vintage Mystery Challenge 2018

I’ll be reading plenty more Golden Age crime fiction during 2018 than just Agatha Christie, so I’ve signed up for a reading challenge set by My Reader’s Block and will be tracking my progress in this page of the blog.

Having put all my planned reading into a spreadsheet, I think I should be able to achieve at least 36 out of 48, but I can’t imagine I’ll be trying something out of my comfort zone.

Maybe you would like to sign up as well?