21 October 2010

Agatha Christie - Reading in Order

This started because my mom's favorite mystery writer was Agatha Christie. About a month after my mom died, I decided to read Agatha Christie in order - I've read several before and seen the recent
BBC/Mystery shows, but in my mind to get a sense of an author, it's best to start at the beginning. So I did. So far, I've read The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), The Secret Adversary (1922), Murder on the Links (1923), and The Man in the Brown Suit (1924). I'm currently in the middle of Poirot Investigates (1924) which is a book of short story mysteries, each a chapter a piece so it's a little change of pace. I'm hoping to finish that this weekend and start The Secret of Chimneys (1925) next. I can't really say I have a favorite so far, but I did enjoy Affair at Styles quite a bit - it's rather ambitious for a first publication. Murder on the Links didn't do much for me, but it gave me a better understanding of Poirot and Hastings.  It will also be interesting to see how (if) Ms. Christie's style changes over the many many years that she published. I've not come across Miss Marple yet, but I'm sure it won't be long.
Thankfully, I own several of Ms. Christie's books already. In fact, one set is from my mom that she purchased in the 1990s. But I've been purchasing the ones I don't own. I realize that I could borrow them from the library, but I've had a terrible time doing that. I've had to return too many books to the library unread because they set off my allergies - mostly to cigarette smoke -- it's unfortunate, but it's true. So I spend a little here and there to complete my collection. Hopefully, the boy, who has shown an interest in mysteries, will be interested in carrying on the tradition.