Read Christie 2022
Updated: Dec 20, 2022
The Love for Travel
'Never tell all you know - not even to the person you know best.' - The Secret Adversary
As a Christie fan, I was so excited to take part in the reveal of the Read Christie 2022 Challenge! This year, the theme centres on Christie's love for travel and adventure.
What is wonderful about this reading challenge is that you can enjoy Christie's stories in any format you like - I will likely be using audiobooks. Every month, the Agatha Christie Company Ltd will announce its pick of the month, followed by a list of alternative options.
I will be writing my thoughts on each month's pick here! If you want to take part in the challenge, I have attached further information below
Furthermore, if you want to browse some Christie titles, I have a selection of my favourite Poirot mysteries on Bookshop
UPDATE - Agatha Christie Ltd has released its book picks for the year! You can find them here
January - Inspired by Agatha's Travels
February - Featuring Travel and Romance
March - Agatha Wrote Abroad
April - Featuring Adventure
May - Set in Europe
June - Featuring Archeology
July - Which takes place on Holiday
August - Set in a Hot Climate
September - With a Female Adventurer
October - With Multiple Settings
November - Featuring Train Travel
December - Containing Precious Jewels
You can find my other Christie theme content below!
Inspired by Agatha's Travels
The Man in the Brown Suit
Alternative stories: Death on the Nile, The Mystery of the Blue Train, Appointment with Death, The Murder on the Orient Express
I remember reading this book a couple of years ago so this time, I decided to enjoy the story as an audiobook. This will likely be the prime way I'm going to enjoy my Christie books this year as I'm living between home and university (I can't take my whole Christie collection with me).
This particular story is more of a spy/criminal thriller rather than a classic whodunnit mystery. It was nice to see Christie take a slightly different direction with her books. I found the main protagonist, Anne Beddingfeld, to be a really fun and well-driven character. She was up to the challenges presented to her and didn't shy away from the many dangers encountered throughout her investigation. It's lovely to read a book with such a determined and confident female lead.
Usually, I prefer the classic murder mystery style of Christie's books. However, I thought this was a fun and intriguing read. I thought the audiobook, narrated by Emilia Fox, was wonderfully done.
I hope you are all enjoying your Christie reads. I'll see you here again in February to talk about Death on the Nile!
Featuring Travel and Romance
Death on the Nile
The new motion picture is to be released in the UK on the 11th of February 2022!
Alternative stories: The Secret Adversary, A Deadly Affair, Parker Pyne Investigates, The Mysterious Quinn
I have no shame in admitting that I did treat myself to this special edition for the upcoming film. I have fond memories of Death on the Nile - it was the second Christie book I ever read and properly kicked off my love for reading. After reading Murder on the Orient Express, I tried to convince myself that I could solve the mysteries before Poirot. However, Christie blew me away again with this gem!
Unlike some of her other novels such as A Pocket Full of Rye, this book is more slow-paced. You're introduced to the characters gradually and it allows you as the reader to familiarise yourself with everyone in the story. I was fascinated by all the characters. Christie successfully unpacks romance, revenge and murder in just under 350 pages! It is next to impossible to put this book down. Christie is truly the master of writing the ultimate page-turner.
Whenever I talk to people about reading Christie's books, Death on the Nile always comes up in discussion. If you are new to Christie's work, this is an excellent book to start. Although I've read this book twice now, I will likely re-read it again in the future to try to detect what I missed the first time.
I'll see you all here again in March to talk about After the Funeral!
Agatha Wrote Abroad
After the Funeral
Alternative Stories: Cat Among the Pigeons, The Mystery of the Blue Train, The Mysterious Mr Quin
I think After The Funeral is a seriously underrated Poirot gem. I was able to re-read this story as an audiobook and it was so cool to hear all the characters come to life! This book is exceptionally clever in its plot - the ending twist was simply brilliant. What I love about this one is that the solution is not too fantastic or far-fetched. You'll find yourself kicking yourself and wanting to re-read the book all over again to spot the clues you missed.
This book, for me, was considerably more fast-paced with an intriguing opening - it's not just your average dead body discovered. There are many little curious mysteries throughout this detective fiction. I was proud of myself for figuring out a certain small plot point in the story!
This story follows the Abernethie family - they gather together for the funeral of Richard Abernethie - a man who had no direct heir with a good fortune. There was nothing suspicious about his death. Not until Cora Abernethie asks shocking questions:
'Well...he was murdered, wasn't he?"
I'll see you all again in April! I hope you are all enjoying your current reads!
Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
Alternative Stories: The Moving Finger, 4:50 from Paddington, The Big Four, The Seven Dials Mystery
The new TV series directed by Hugh Laurie will be available to stream from the 12th of April 2022 on BritBox! You can find the trailer here!
Christie does not mess around - you'll be hooked from the first few pages of this book. I loved the dynamic between Bobby Jones and Frankie Derwent. What Christie has done very well is deliver a mind-puzzling mystery alongside very loveable characters. I don't think the genius of this book is discussed enough. Much like other gems we've read this year like, After the Funeral, Christie's solutions to her mystery are always logical and thoroughly executed.
I adored Frankie's spirit throughout the book and her refusal to accept the facts at face value. I thought she was a really fun character to follow and I cannot wait to see the TV adaptation!
Bobby Jones has recently returned from the navy. He doesn't know what to do with himself. Everything changes when he stumbles across a man at the bottom of a Welsh cliff. The man is barely alive, and the only thing he utters before his final breath - "Why didn't they ask Evans...?"
Set in Europe
The Secret Adversary
Alternative Stories: The Murder on the Links, N or M? Passenger to Frankfurt, The Labours of Hercules
This is where we first encounter the charming duo: Tommy & Tuppence. I found this pair to be really fun to follow - especially Tuppence. I loved her spirit and thirst for adventure. I would say that this book is more of a spy, mystery thriller rather than your traditional Christie "whodunnit?" I was able to enjoy this story again as an audiobook which was fun to see characters as Tuppence brought to life.
I've only read a few books that feature this particular duo - I think my favourite Christie protagonist will always be Poirot. However, it was fun to reread stories involving this much-loved duo. I'll need to organise what T&T books I have yet to read!
Young Adventurers Ltd. A fun business scheme set up by Tommy and Tuppence, advertising their willingness to carry out any kind of work. Little do they realise the level of danger they are about to encounter...
A Story Featuring Archeology
Murder in Mesopotamia
Alternative Stories: Appointment with Death, Death Comes as the End, Death in the Clouds, Come, Tell Me How You Live
I was able to re-read this thought-provoking mystery as an audiobook and I loved how the narrator brought all the characters to life! It was really fun to watch the mystery unravel from the perspective of Nurse Leatheran - I found her to be a very likeable narrator that didn't put up with any crap.
You can see parts of Christie's life shine through these pages. I would recommend reading Christie's autobiography or even looking at the official Christie website if you'd like to know why archaeology was a big part of this writer's life. This book is a great choice to read in the sunshine with an iced drink! Any story featuring Poirot is for sure a comfort read. It was nice to see Poirot introduced to this mystery by a character who was not already familiar with him. You don't necessarily need to read earlier Poirot books to enjoy this one - you and the narrator, Nurse Leatheran, go on the journey together!
Nurse Leatheran is employed by Dr Leidner to take care of his wife "lovely Louise". It should be a fairly straightforward job. However, a sudden murder at the excavation site changes everything. Can you solve the mystery?
A Story That Takes Place on Holiday
At Bertram's Hotel
Alternative Stories: Parker Pyne Investigates, A Caribbean Mystery, Evil Under The Sun, Peril At End House, The Grand Tour
July has been such a hectic month! I had to squeeze in this read as an audiobook because I had to deal with so much admin stuff after my Instagram account was hacked and stolen. I wish I could turn to Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot to help me identify the thief! Nevertheless, I'm not going to let some nasty hacker interfere with the #readchristie2022 challenge.
This Marple mystery is such a fun read! What I love about Miss Marple is that everyone always seems to underestimate her, but she's always the last one laughing by outsmarting every person in the room. She's an excellent example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Although the pace of this mystery is a little slower than usual in Christie's books, it's overall a very thought-provoking puzzle! Even after reading so many Christie books, I still struggle so much to solve them but the answers are always there in plain sight.
Miss Marple checks into Bertram's Hotel. She expects to have a nice little retreat from St Mary Mead. However, the disappearance of a peculiar hotel guest throws all of her plans out of the window!
A Story Set in a Hot Climate
Alternative Stories: Death on the Nile, Appointment with Death, The Man in the Brown Suit, Unfinished Portrait, A Caribbean Mystery
It's been such a long time since I've read Destination Unknown so it really was like reading it again for the first time. This title is not your traditional murder mystery - it is more of a spy thriller. However, the mystery of this book was deeply interesting and Christie kept surprising me right up to the final page.
As much as I love audiobooks, reading the physical version of these books always makes the reading experience so much better. I found the protagonist Hilary to be a really likeable and intriguing character. She wasn't just a face-value pawn for the sake of the book and I was left wanting to know more about her. This book was overall a great mystery to escape with, especially since the hot climate over here in the UK has finally vanished!
Hilary Craven does not want to live anymore. She just wants it all to end. Agent Jessop, however, puts forward an odd proposition towards Hilary. If she really is that careless about her life, then she could go to a destination unknown, to help uncover the mystery around the disappearances of the world's most renowned scientists.
A Story Featuring a Female Adventurer
They Came To Baghdad
Alternative Stories: Destination Unknown, The Secret Adversary, The Man in the Brown Suit
This particular book, like Destination Unknown, is more of a spy thriller than a traditional murder mystery. The writing style was as always, concise and easy to follow. It's so easy to fall into a Christie book and They Came to Baghdad was an intriguing mystery.
The only problem for me was that I wasn't very keen on the main protagonist, Victoria Jones. I just found her so unbearably naive to the point that it became a little frustrating. It felt hard to root for a character who continuously made silly decisions.
I would say that I prefer Christie's classic whodunnit mysteries to her spy thrillers. However, if spy adventures are more of your cup of tea, this is definitely a book worth checking out. The story itself was sound, I just personally wasn't very keen on the main character.
After meeting a handsome stranger in London, Victoria Jones sets off to find the charming man and it takes her all the way to Baghdad. All is well until a spy bursts into her hotel room and collapses...
A Story With Multiple Settings
Marple: Twelve New Stories
Alternative Stories: Parker Pyne Investigates, Nemesis, The Labours of Hercules, The Big Four, The Mysterious Mr Quinn
I was so excited to start this month's pick. I managed to get the last copy in my local Waterstones - I am just obsessed with the cover design! This book is a collection of short stories by twelve different writers, bringing the wonderful Miss Marple back to life. I'm a fan of so many of the writers who contributed, such as Natalie Haynes and Lucy Foley so reading this book was such a treat.
Miss Marple represents the important philosophy of not judging a book by its cover. Being an elderly lady, people assume that she's an irrelevant and rather harmless individual to confide in and converse with. But age hasn't blunted Marple's sharp observations and judgement of character. I think each other did a wonderful job of bringing Miss Marple back and I'm sure Agatha Christie would have been very proud.
I'm chuffed to say that I was able to unravel a couple of mysteries myself! I've been waiting for this book to come out for ages and I was not disappointed at all.
The authors who contributed:
Karen M. McManus
Dreda Say Mitchell
I hope you are all loving your current October reads.
A Story Featuring Train Travel
4:50 from Paddington
Alternative Stories: Murder on the Orient Express, The Mystery of the Blue Train, The ABC Murders
I remember reading this book a couple of years ago but I had forgotten most of the plot. It felt like reading this book again for the first time! Although Poirot is my favourite Christie character, I'll always have a soft spot for Miss Marple. I just love how everyone always underestimates her, and yet she's always the one to have the last laugh, outsmarting everyone. She's definitely such a wonderful character to follow, so much charm and grace.
I loved how fast-paced this mystery was - from the first chapter I was deeply intrigued. This is a lovely book to read with a nice hot drink, all cosied up with a blanket. 4:50 from Paddington ticked all the right boxes: loveable characters, fast-paced, and an exciting mystery. I would have personally liked to see Marple pop up a bit more throughout the book as there were occasional pauses where she was absent, however, that's just me being super picky!
Elspeth McGillicuddy is travelling alone. She sees a woman being strangled when her train is briefly parallel to another. Ms McGillicuddy is convinced she's just witnessed a murder. But after reporting it to the authorities, she's shocked to discover that a body hasn't been found...
A Story Containing Precious Jewels
Hercule Poirot's Christmas
Alternative Stories: A Pocket Full of Rye, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Poirot Investigates, Parker Pyne Investigates
I can't believe we've reached the end of this reading challenge. I've read this book a few times but all I could remember was a clever twist (most of Christie's books if I'm being honest). Hercule Poirot's Christmas is, in my opinion, seriously underrated - it's on par with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and ABC Murders. It has all the wonderful, much-needed components of a classic, cosy murder mystery - a selection of disgruntled family members and one horrific act of violence!
Re-reading this book was so much fun because it allowed me to spot clues that I didn't notice the first time. It proves why Christie is a genius; she gives you all the facts and evidence for you to solve the case. This is a perfect seasonal read for those who love detective fiction.
The Lee Family finally get together for Christmas after years of friction. The reunion goes south when the head of the family is violently murdered. The puzzle is...the door was locked on the inside.
That's a wrap on the #readchristie2022 challenge! I hope you enjoyed this year's theme.
'The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances." - Murder on the Orient Express