The Detective Novels of Agatha Christie

A Reader’s Guide

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About the Book

The most popular mystery writer of all time concocted a rich recipe of intrigue, character, and setting. All of Agatha Christie’s 66 detective novels are covered here in great detail. Each chapter begins with general comments on a novel’s geographical and historical setting, identifying current events, fashions, fads and popular interests that relate to the story. A concise plot summary and comprehensive character listing follow, and each novel is discussed within Christie’s overall body of work, with an emphasis on the development of themes, narrative technique, and characters over the course of her prolific career. An appendix translates Poirot’s French and defines the British idiomatic words and phrases that give Christie’s novels so much of their flavor.

About the Author(s)

James Zemboy taught French and Spanish in community college for many years. He lives in Detroit.

Bibliographic Details

James Zemboy
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 448
Bibliographic Info: appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2016 [2008]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6595-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5168-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      3

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)      15

The Secret Adversary (1922)      20

Murder on the Links (1923)      24

The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)      30

The Secret of Chimneys (1925)      34

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)      39

The Big Four (1927)      43

The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)      48

The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)      53

Summary for the 1920s      57

Murder at the Vicarage (1930)      57

Murder at Hazelmoor (1931)      62

Peril at End House (1932)      69

Thirteen at Dinner (1933)      74

The Boomerang Clue (1934)      80

Murder in the Calais Coach (1934)      86

Murder in Three Acts (1935)      92

Death in the Air (1935)      97

The A.B.C. Murders (1935)      105

Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)      111

Cards on the Table (1936)      117

Death on the Nile (1937)      125

Poirot Loses a Client (1937)      131

Appointment with Death (1938)      144

A Holiday for Murder (1938)      149

Easy to Kill (1939)      155

And Then There Were None (1939)      162

Summary for the 1930s      166

Sad Cypress (1940)      167

The Patriotic Murders (1940)      174

Evil Under the Sun (1941)      181

N or M? (1941)      187

The Body in the Library (1942)      192

The Moving Finger (1942)      200

Murder in Retrospect (1943)      204

Towards Zero (1944)      209

Death Comes as the End (1945)      215

Remembered Death (1945)      218

Murder After Hours (1946)      224

There Is a Tide (1948)      231

Crooked House (1949)      239

Summary for the 1940s      243

A Murder Is Announced(1950)      245

They Came to Baghdad (1951)      253

Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952)      257

Murder with Mirrors (1952)      266

A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)      270

Funerals Are Fatal (1953)      275

So Many Steps to Death (1954)      282

Hickory, Dickory, Death (1955)      288

Dead Man’s Folly (1956)      293

What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw (1957)      303

Ordeal by Innocence (1958)      311

Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)      315

Summary for the 1950s      323

The Pale Horse (1961)      327

The Mirror Crack’d (1962)      333

The Clocks (1963)      342

A Caribbean Mystery (1964)      348

At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)      353

Third Girl (1966)      360

Endless Night (1967)      367

By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)      369

Hallowe’en Party (1969)      375

Summary for the 1960s      382

Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)      382

Nemesis (1971)      387

Elephants Can Remember (1972)      393

Postern of Fate (1974)      398

Curtain (1975)      403

Sleeping Murder (1976)      407

Summary for the 1970s      414

Appendix: British Expressions      417

Title and Character Index      425

Subject Index      441

Book Reviews & Awards

“thoughtful and entertaining…highly useful…achieves its goal”—Booklist; “may be the most thorough guide to the 60 novels published between 1920 and 1976…provides thoughtful and helpful commentary”—ARBA; “a very worthwhile book for…a good encyclopedic introduction to the world of this most prolific and well loved crime author”—Reference Reviews; “excellent”—GAdetection; “the writing is lively, the author’s enthusiasm infectious”—Mystery Scene.