Comments: 30
Lillelara 2 weeks ago
Ariadne is amazing :). The Mystery of the Blue Train is the only „early“ Poirot I haven‘t read just yet. Would you be up for a buddy read, BT?
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
Absolutely. It's not one that I am looking forward to... This one is not great, but it would be a lot more enjoyable when reading in company. :D
Lillelara 2 weeks ago
Great :D. I started reading it ages ago, but it didn‘t grab me back then and I put it down on page 50 or so. I‘m certainly looking forward to reading it with you :).
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
Excellent! We just need to find some time. I can't do this weekend, but next would work.
Lillelara 2 weeks ago
It seems like we have a plan for next weekend, then :)
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
WooHoo! :D
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
To someone whose only experience reading Agatha Christie is some very poorly translated Miss Marple shorts, what would you recommend to start with?
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
Did you like the Miss Marple shorts?
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
Not really, but I think it was due to the translation and it was also about fifteen years ago. I would now, of course, read them in English.
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
I really ask because the Marple stories have distinct feel which is quite different from the Poirot stories - and then there are the standalones, of course.

If you liked the Marple stories, I would recommend you start with Murder at the Vicarage.

If you're just looking to try some Christie and see if her writing is for you, I would recommend And Then There Were None.
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
I am not a Marple fan. I can't stand the old lady, but Murder at the Vicarage is one of my favourites. It's not told from her POV.

As for Poirot ... You can't go wrong with Murder on the Orient Express! Even if this is not in the order of the books, I think it helps to get into a series sometimes when starting with a great one ... and there are several great Poirot books. :D
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
I think I'll try And Then There Were None first. I'm indeed just looking to try her books at this point.
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
What little I remember from the Marple shorts I read was that I didn't like her either. ;)
I second the rec for "Murder on the Orient Express" -- which I'd follow up with "The Murder of Mr. Ackroyd."

Unlike BT (rare occurrence though this is) I like the Miss Marple series; I actually prefer MM to Poirot, even if not by a lot. That said, "Murder at the Vicarage" is a great place to start with her -- followed, perhaps, by "4:50 from Paddington" (aka "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw").
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
Thanks both for the recommendations! I will certainly keep them in mind when I'm next in the bookshop.
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
And I completely second TA's recommendations of 4:50 from Paddington and Roger Ackroyd! We may disagree about Marple, but there are enough great, great elements in the Marple stories to have fun with, and 4:50 has several other characters that are totally worth meeting.

And Roger Ackroyd is just such a genre-defining read. And yet, there is a lot of fun in it. All I am saying is "the vegetable marrow".
Exactly ... that uncooperative wimp! :)
@BT: I love that image of Dame Agatha!
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
Thanks. I rather like it, too. It lends itself to speech bubbles. ;D
It does! :)
Moonlight Reader 2 weeks ago
I will totally reread Dead Man's Folly with you - that one is extremely sinister, and it's one of the best later Poirots.

Url Phantomhive, I also really like Towards Zero from the Superintendent Battle sub-series. I second Murder on the Orient Express and Roger Ackroyd, and would put in a plug for Peril at End House, which is a very traditional early Poirot. And Ordeal by Innocence is a solid stand-alone.

Just stay away from The Big Four. It's a godawfulmess and should be avoided at all costs.
... and let's not even mention "that Frankfurt business" -- and the better part of her later books (ca. mid-1960s onwards) in general.

Of the early Chrsties, only "The Big Four" (published 1927) should be approached with extreme caution -- it's sort of a one-book-holds-all preview of everything Christie never mastered; the things that caused (at least from a modern reader's POV) occasional bloopers throughout her career and which coalesced to really terrible effect in her final books, where they also clash with Christie's (failing) struggle to make sense of the post-WWII and post-British Empire world: namely, international intrigue, espionage, and Bond-style supervillains (or a cartel thereof, actually). In "The Big Four" and her later novels, the mix doesn't work because she actually *means* every word she's writing (or, well, almost every one) -- whereas as soon as she injects humor and satire into the story (as in, say, "The Secret Adversary" (1922) and "The Seven Dials Mystery" (1929)), it's precisely the humor that saves it ... never mnd how ridiculous the plot lines really are.

Above and beyond individual titles, my rule of thumb would be to start with the books she wrote between ca. 1925 and 1939 -- as well as, for Miss Marple (almost all books from that series were written in the 1940s and 1950s), "The Body in the Library" (1942), "A Murder Is Announced" (1950), and, as mentioned earlier, "4:50 from Paddington" / "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw" (1957).

Except for that latter book, almost all of our various above recommendations fall within that 1925-1939 time period, which was really Christie in her prime:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
Peril at End House (1932)
Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
And Then There Were None (1939)

That said, I definitely also second the rec for "Towards Zero" (1944) -- it's one of the best books she wrote in the 1940s, and one of her best non-Poirot / non-Marple books overall.

Ahem. / TA steps off lectern.
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
@TA: Yup. ... And Peril at End House and Towards Zero undoubtedly need to go on the list pf great Christies.

@MR: So, you're up for a read of Dead Man's Folly, too? I'm particularly looking forward to that and the mention of sinister just makes me more excited about it.
Do you have a plan about timing? I had planned to read Folly before we close out on Evans but I'm open to suggestions.
Moonlight Reader 2 weeks ago
@BT - I'm fine with any schedule. Just let me know! I am starting The Sleeping Murder tonight!
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
Monday for Dead Man's Folly? See how it goes?
Moonlight Reader 2 weeks ago
That will work for me!
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
WooHoo!
Url Phantomhive 2 weeks ago
Thank you for all the recommendations and nice explanations! However, it doesn't make it any easier to choose! ;)
BrokenTune 2 weeks ago
LoL. Just pick one from the recommendations and let us know how you're getting on with it. I'm pretty sure we'll be sitting on the sidelines cheering on your reading progress. :D

Better still, if your library carries an orginal version, try any of the early ones.

And of course, if you feel adventurous, you're more than welcome to join any of the upcoming buddy reads - tho none of the books we'll be reading are on the list of recommendations, and I know that at least one of them will not be great.
^^^ What she said. :) ^^^

(Though the invite to the buddy read(s) is obviously for MR and BT to pronounce -- I may just be tagging along.)