I am about to start a 5 year project…

It’s been 100 years since Agatha Christie’s first novel was published.

I like myself some reading projects, and with the Little Black Classics finished, and the Little Mint Classics waiting for next year, I felt I was up for another regular reading project. It was at that time that I got an invitation to the Agatha Christie Centenary Celebration over on GoodReads. It is hosted by Christine (many thanks), but many old friends from BL as well as new friends have already joined – myself included. The goal is to read all full length novels by Agatha Christie in publication order, starting in October with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which was first published in October 1920. It is also the first Poirot book and – I am afraid to confess – my very first Agatha Christie novel!

So why do I want to commit to a 5.5 year project when I haven’t read any of the Agatha Christie books yet?

For me, the answer is clearly that I have seen so many people have so much fun reading Christie together, that I really wanted to join in. When BL was still a thing, I used to come across a lot of these posts and not being able to join in on that particular conversation was something I always thought was a shame. So her books were put on my list, but I needed a little extra push to get started. So, when I got the invitation to the group I thought – This is exactly what I need! I already scored some Kindle books for the first couple of books. And it is only one book a month, so I should be able to keep up with the discussion.

I did read some short Miss Marple stories, but I think it was a rather bad translation at the time, and short stories usually don’t work quite as well for me as full length novels. I also saw the recent Murder on the Orient Express movie, and was able to guess the solution based on the movie, so I hope I will be able to solve some of the other murders as well.

It will only start in October but I decided to put this post up a little early, in case anyone else would like to join. There is already some group reads of Christie’s short stories, but I really want to start with the longer works first. I have seen some people on WordPress posting recently about Christie’s books so I think there might be people interested in this.

In October we will start by reading the 1920 novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles (it will also count for me towards the genre – mystery square of the Halloween bingo) :

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Synopsis:

Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorp and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Maryβ€”from the heiress’s fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary.

With impeccable timing, and making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case.


Reading schedule for the rest of 2020:

October: 1920 The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Poirot #1)
November: 1922 The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)
December: 1923 Murder on the Links (Poirot #2)


Have you read Agatha Christie? Which one is your favorite? – Please let me know in the comments!

28 thoughts on “I am about to start a 5 year project…

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    1. Looking forward to it. Over the years I’ve learned there are a couple of Christie’s that people don’t seem to enjoy – but at the moment I don’t recall which ones, except that Styles wasn’t one of them.

      And Poirot being the Belgian detective, I am also quite curious. In the Murder on the Orient Express I thought he was rather absurd at times but maybe that was done for comic effect in the movie… Murder on the Orient Express I think is only somewhere next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent! You’re joining in! I’ve only read a handful of novels over the years, but I grew up, via my mother, understanding that Christie is THE mystery writer, so I have them all (except the spy novels), but until this group, never had the motivation to actually read them. And I need motivation to read Poirot, who is an arrogant little pear. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, I am really looking forward to it. I hope you will enjoy them as well, since they come so highly recommended by your mother.

      I am curious about Poirot. Many people seemed to prefer him to Miss Marple in the group, but in the Murder on the Orient Express movies I often found him rather absurd, which I hope was for comic effect in the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, he’s rather absurd in the books too. Christie does it, I think, for a number of reasons: to keep the story a little light-hearted, yes, but also, Poirot became a very real character in her mind, and she grew annoyed with him – so I suspect her subconscious was occasionally bringing him down a notch by making him absurd.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a very interesting analysis, thank you for sharing it – I didn’t know about it. It is sort of funny that she got annoyed by her own fictional character. I will just have to make up my mind about him once we start reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely. Most everybody I know likes Poirot over Marple but the best thing about Christie is that it almost makes no difference. The mystery is the thing, making any irritations from the mc easy to live with.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is publication order, so we will also be mixing the different series, and I am quite glad with the one book a month schedule even though this means it is going to take 5.5 years to read them all. This should leave enough time between the books to not feel overwhelmed and have enough time to read lots of other books.

      If I really, really hate it I could drop out, but not we have saying that “A challenge is no Challenge if there is not some challenge involved”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Let me go look.
        Ok, so I’ve read 19 or 20 of her books.
        The poirot ones were:
        mysterious affair at styles
        Murder on the links
        murder of roger ackroyd
        The big four

        I can list the others if you’re interested.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve also never read an Agatha Christie novel before and… While part of me is tempted because I feel like (obviously) she’s such a classic in the genre, I also don’t feel the drive to pick up any of her books. I don’t know why. Maybe coz there are so many and that’s deterring me? I do have Murder on the Orient on my shelf though and I recently found a stash of my dad/ & grandpa’s og Christie books from the 60s, so I guess I could read them at some point. I hope you enjoy them though! It’s always more fun reading things as a group 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, I know it will be fun to read with the group and I hope it will motivate me to read the books. I am not reading that many mystery books at the moment, so I hope that that will not wear me out.

      If you should feel like it, you can always join for the reading of Murder on the Orient express although it will not be for another year or so…

      Like

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