I love mysteries, and Agatha Christie novels were some of my favourites growing up. Also, my favourite tv show was Murder She Wrote so it’s pretty fair to say I had a bit of an obsession with whodunnits. Over the years I have read a lot of Agatha Christie novels but not all, so I decided that I needed to look up lists of the must-read AC novels. Three of those that came up consistently, and ones I never read were: Crooked House, The ABC Murders, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I ended up enjoying all three novels and completely understand why they are regarded as some of the best. Here is my own ranking from not best to best (I can hardly refer to any of them as worst!) based on my reading experience.
The ABC Murders
“Words, madmoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas.”
By the time Alice Ascher is murdred in Andover, Hercule Poirot already has a clue. And when the next murder victim is Betty Bernard in Brexhill, the pattern is quite clear. A serial killer is on the loose and the ABC Railway guid is his calling card, left at each murder scene. The premise of this novel appealed to me the most out of the three but didn’t end up capturing my attention as much, and didn’t leave as much of an impression. Solid mystery, just not the most memorable.
“Curious thing, rooms. Tell you quite a lot about the people who live in them.”
Aristide Leonides is found dead in his sprawling mansion and suspicion immediately falls on his young widow. But the house holds many secrets and is home to an interesting cast of characters that is Aristide’s family. Enter criminologist, Charles Hayward who has doubts about the innocence of any of the family members, even the ones he knows well. Crooked House is one of Agatha Christie’s standalone novels and an exceptional one. I was completely engaged with the story and that ending! Talk about leaving an impression.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
“The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
The sudden suicide of a widow in the village of King’s Abbot brings to life a lot of rumours, including a supposed affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening Roger Ackroyd is murdered in his study after receiving a letter from the widow’s suspected blackmailer. I really liked walking through this story and was completely intrigued by the mystery, but the ending is what made this novel something special. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a classic for a reason and Agatha Christie is queen of the genre for a reason. A must-read!
Now to tackle the rest of my unread AC novels. 🙂