4 December 2014

Agatha Christie and the Search for a Superior Sleuth

When I began my personal journey on the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge I did so in hope that I would learn something about how Agatha Christie thought.
I gained the impression that, right from the beginning, even though she had "discovered" a very good detective in Hercule Poirot, she was always experimenting and searching for another.

Here are the first ten titles, courtesy of Wikipedia.


Although 5 of the novels featured Hercule Poirot, the experienced, fastidious, though aging Belgian, we can also see that she introduced a couple of "bright young things" in search of a job, a military man, a policeman, and then finally a spinster who was a a bit of a sticky beak.

Ideas of international conspiracies and espionage come high on the list as she plays around with forms of the genre, as does the various legacies of the Great War.

Miss Marple does not seem to have hit the spot, because she doesn't appear again in a novel for another decade.

Here are links to my reviews:
  1. 1920, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES
  2. 1922, THE SECRET ADVERSARY
  3. 1923, THE MURDER ON THE LINKS
  4. 1924, THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT
    1924, Poirot Investigates (short stories: eleven in the UK, fourteen in the US)
  5. 1925, THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS  - Superintendent Battle
  6. 1926, THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD
  7. 1927, THE BIG FOUR
  8. 1928, THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN
  9. 1929, THE SEVEN DIALS MYSTERY - Superintendent Battle
    1929, Partners in Crime (fifteen short stories; featuring Tommy and Tuppence)
  10. 1930, THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE
    1930, The Mysterious Mr. Quin (twelve short stories; introducing Mr. Harley Quin)
But to focus on the novels only tells you part of the story. Miss Marple for example made her first appearance in 1927 in a short story called the The Tuesday Night Club which was published in a collection in 1932. See my list of short stories.
Watch out for my next post about her search for a sleuth.

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Interesting perspective, Kerrie. Perhaps that search for 'just the right sleuth' added to her writing?

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