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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Roussel

My quest to read all of Agatha Christie

Did you know it’s Agatha Christie’s birthday today?

A while ago, I decided I was going to read all of Agatha Christie’s works. I knew I already read the vast majority of them done - or so I thought. How hard could it be?

It turned out to be a far more laborious task than I thought!

The trouble is I know every Agatha Christie story out there - but I haven’t read the book. Between the two ITV series featuring the incomparable David Suchet and Joan Hickson, and the many and various BBC Radio adaptations, I’ve realised that my knowledge of Christie’s books may be a little more frazzled than I hoped.

Some holes are obvious. When I was younger, Poirot was the beginning and end of the Christie conversation. Why would I want to read any other book? Which meant I never started on the Tommy and Tuppence books. Miss Marple is a character I didn’t understand until I got much older, so it’s only been in the last five years that she’s become one of my idols.

I’d love to be Miss Marple one day - she’s sassy, in a strictly Victorian way.

I have a dramatisation of a further two, Poirot’s Early Cases and Hallowe’en Party, and I’ve read the two continuation novels by Sophie Hannah. I don’t count these four in the main total, as there are more Agatha Christie-inspired than pure Christie.

And yet, it’s still more complicated than that. Because television had to mangle everything.

The adaptations of any Agatha Christie story that didn’t originally feature Poirot or Miss Marple crow-barred them in. So Crooked House and Sparkling Cyanide are NOT Poirot stories. Why Didn’t they Ask Evans is NOT a Miss Marple story. And yet I’ve seen adaptations where they are.

So, after a lot of Wikipedia searching, cross-checking of my library and using a few different bibliographies I found online, I’ve determined that I have read 59 of the 90 novels, plays and short stories of Agatha Christie.

This means that to have read everything, I will have to read another 31 books.

Wish me luck!

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