MUST-READ AGATHA CHRISTIE BOOKS (I):
Celebrating 100 years of Agatha Christie:
The year 2020 marks a century of Agatha Christie’s first published book (in October 1920- to be precise). A year from now, that is on 21.01.2021, will be the date when her first novel- “The Mysterious Affair At Styles”- was published in the United Kingdom.
She is the best selling novelist of all time. Her books still keep on providing inspirations and getting adapted to different mediums. Starting today, this is a Five-Part series on my picks of the “Must-Read Agatha Christie Books.”
My first year:
Things never go as I plan them. The more carefully and detailed the plans I make, the more astray they go.
That’s what happened when I embarked on this blogging journey. It’s been a little more than a year (or should I say almost two years). Everything was set to begin with (at least I thought so). I wanted to celebrate the first year with this post. But alas! Anyway, better late than never. Actually, it’s most opportune that it’s late. We can now officially kick-start the celebrations of 100 years of Agatha Christie.
My Favourite Agatha Christie Novels/ Books:
Having read (and re-read) her books several times over, I had a lot of thoughts about Agatha Christie’s writing and style. So, why not just put them into writing. How difficult could that be? As a matter of fact, very.🙄
This turned out to be a lot tougher.😓
All fans of Agatha Christie must have their own favourites and their particular reason for those preferences. This ranking is therefore purely a matter of personal choice.
Mine is roughly based on the following:- active involvement of the sleuth in the adventure; entertainment quotient and overall feel of the story- via description and dialogues/ conversations; the ingenuity of the methods used (of murder or crime); the surprise quotient of the motive for crime (because some of them might appear quite peculiar or even bizzare at first); degree of mystery and the final turn-out.
A favourites List:
Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple need no introduction. Besides that, there are some novels that do not feature the two famed detectives, but are interesting nonetheless. Therefore, I have separated this series into five parts as shown below:Let’s just go to the first list for my selection of the “Must-Read Agatha Christie Books”– from her timeless collection.
Part I: Tommy & Tuppence Adventures:
Frankly, there is really not much to rank or choose here. Only 5 books feature Tommy & Tuppence, aka Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Prudence Beresford (née Cowley). Of these, the last two are not among special favourites. Only three remain and I like all three equally.
The collaboration of Tommy & Tuppence is amusing and you will like the way they face danger headlong together. Tommy is careful and slow in working towards the solution and uses his wit in tight situations. Tuppence is full of zeal and pluckiness and is highly resourceful. Both complement each other to make a team. Their enthusiasm and fellowship is cracking and delightful.
Tommy & Tuppence mostly get embroiled in international espionage and intrigue:
1. “The Secret Adversary” (1922):
This is Tommy & Tuppence’s first adventure together.
Out of job after serving in First World War, and not being the office kind, the two youths decide to set up their own venture, which they call- The “Young Adventurers Ltd.” Their advertisement runs- “willing to go anywhere, ready to do anything”. Which they do– leading the twosome and readers into the world of spies, international treaties and a master criminal. The raw and impulsive attitude of our heroes is the appealing feature of this spy/ crime thriller.
2. “Partners in Crime” (1929):
A short story collection, it was published in 1929.
Tommy & Tuppence are now married. Tommy is employed in an office job and Tuppence is bored to death. As they cannot stay away from thrill (and danger) for long, they open a detective agency (with some official prompting). In the process solving a variety of cases- some crimes, some conspiracies, some neither.
3. “N or M” (1941):
An espionage story set during WWII it came out after quite a gap from the second book that featured Tommy-Tuppence.
Now a middle-aged couple with two children, Tommy & Tuppence are called again for help amid the Second World War, in this spy thriller. Actually it is only Tommy who is asked to go undercover to ferret out the spies within. But how can anyone stop Tuppence from joining in? Using her ingenuity, Tuppence finds out the place where Tommy is supposed to go and gives him (and their handler) a surprise by establishing herself first. Their Joint Venture thus begins.
Agatha Christie was herself very fond of this detective duo. I just wish there were more of Tommy & Tuppence’s adventures set in their prime years.
Which is the Tommy & Tuppence adventure you like most? What are your favourite(s) among the Tommy & Tuppence adventures?
The next part, Part II of the series, will focus on the novels not featuring the recurring sleuths among Agatha Christie’s collection.