Inspired by the recent Orient Express thread, and the fact that I’ve been saturating myself with AC detective fiction over the holiday season, here’s a thread to vote for your favourite Agatha Christie novel. And to say why. And to express your love of AC in general.
Critics and non-fans - please stay away!
So, my favourite Agatha Christie novel:
The Man in the Brown Suit
Because Anne (the heroine) is so cool, the characters are such fun, the plot is really great as an adventure and as a conventional mystery story, it’s just a wonderful book.
Another And Then There Were None and Murder of Roger Ackroyd fan here. I also really like some of the short story collections, most notably The Labors of Hercules. Another one that hasn’t been mentioned yet that I really enjoy is They Came to Baghdad. It’s actually more of a spy novel than a mystery, and it reminds me of the 1954 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much.
I’m a sucker for romance, so my favorites lean heavily in that direction.
If I had to pick just one, it would be Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (The Boomerang Clue) Frankie! Bobby Jones! Much more action than your typical Christie novel, and even the usual “gang of bad guys” solution has a neat twist.
Other great romantic ones include Crooked House, The Pale Horse, Endless Night (romantic and very, very creepy), Death Comes As The End, the short story In A Glass Darkly, and anything featuring Tommy and Tuppence Beresford.
Crooked House, The Pale Horse, and Endless Night also have uniquely brilliant solutions, as do The ABC Murders, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, A Holiday For Murder, and Witness For the Prosecution.
Probably it’s not the best, but my favorite, read over-and-over-again A.C. mystery has to be Mrs. McGinty’s Dead. I read these books for setting and atmosphere, mostly, and MMGD best captures the eternal Autumn which is my image of England.
Most of my favourites have already been mentioned. For sheer ingenuity, ‘And Then There Were None’, ‘Roger Ackroyd’ and ‘Orient Express’ would have to be included on any list of Christie ‘greatest hits’.
There’s one more which isn’t really one of her best, but to which I’d just like to give an honourable mention. It’s been a very long time since I read it, so please forgive any gross inaccurracy. I believe ‘Endless Night’ only has about three main characters in it, and I still didn’t guess whodunnit!
Actually, Endless Night and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd have the same basic solution, although they are very different books.
Roger Ackroyd is an entirely conventional drawing room mystery, except for the unusual ending. Endless Night is a creepy romance with all sorts of bizarre occult twists, but monica has the ending right in her spoiler.
I think I like the spy ones best, though Tommy and Tuppence get a bit old after awhile. The ones where there’s some big plot to overthrow all government, only the plotters are being manipulated by financiers. So 60’s and James Bondy.
Hey, fans of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I picked up a small book, a literary analysis of the type often used by Sherlock Holmes societies (in which the author assumes the book/story is real and uses analysis to work out what the author believes would be true if it really were real) that asserted that the killer was NOT who the book said it was! In fact,
it argued that the killer was really Dr. Sheppard’s sister, who murdered Ackroyd to protect her brother, the blackmailer, who in turn left the manuscript and killed himself to protect her. The author bases this on her (I think) belief that the doctor wasn’t intelligent enough to plan such a smart crime, the repeated assertion that the sister knew EVERYTHING that was going on in the village, a mysterious woman that one of the suspects claims to have seen the night of the murder, the fact that the manuscript never out and out says the he killed Ackroyd, and other analysis of the text.