Please note: to see the Youtube links for some of these books please view this post in a web browser. Thank You!
The Golden Ball and Other Stories 1971
More, more, more lovely short stories from a writer that could tell ’em! I don’t know how she thought of them, but her lonely, introverted childhood probably helped! Agatha had a very keen imagination that she supposedly inherited from her mother, and a very objective, plotting, mathematical side from her father!
Here is the sequel to A Caribbean Mystery. The late Mr. Raphael asks Miss Marple to carry out justice, whatever that may mean. Miss Marple finds that it means to find out who killed Verity? Mr. Raphael’s son or someone else? The ending is chilling. She was killed because she was loved too much. More deep, dark psychology from the Queen. I have enjoyed the Joan Hickson British production of this book. This is the only clip I could find on Youtube.
Elephants Can Remember 1972
This one recalls older crime, something Agatha enjoyed writing books about in the end. It also touches on what people have to do when someone they love does something very, very bad. It reminded me a bit of Crooked House. Unfortunately I admit it gets a bit confusing at times, but the end is great and that’s mainly what we are here for, right?
Postern of Fate 1974
I know, but I told you in the first post I liked this book. You have to look past the critics, the muddily middle, and some of the strange occurrences (Tommy and Tuppence talk about all their old adventures except N or M (but this is later brought up by a friend). Under that foggyness is gold. It’s a sort of swan song to Christie’s loves in her younger life. There are lots of reminisces by T & T and quite a bit of Victorian childhood fun like rocking horses used for secret hiding places, putting secret codes in old books, finding old birthday books hidden in walls, and riding on an ancient velocipede just like Christie had as a child. It is quite a bit of fun and I adore this book with all my Victorian-loving heart! I wish it had been written earlier because it truly could have been one of her best books. It does suffer because Christie didn’t type it, she was too frail at this point. She spoke it into a dictaphone and then it was typed. There are lots of moments of clarity, and some confusing bits, but its a bit like having a favorite grandmother telling you a very exciting story about spies, secret agents, hollow rocking horses, secret codes in old books and murders. Wouldn’t you listen too? My favorite part is Tuppence’s little list of oddities toward the end. Take a gander: (my explanations are in parenthesis)
Black Arrow (a book by Robert Louis Stevenson)
Mary Jordan did not die naturally (Secret code)
Alexander Parkinson (Boy who wrote code)
Oxford & Cambridge Victorian china garden seats
Grin-Hen-Lo (the Germanic legend of Lohengrin)
KK (the greenhouse, also called Kai Kai)
Mathilde’s stomach (a rocking horse)
Cain & Abel
Galliant Truelove (a velocipede or Victorian tricycle horse)
Poirot’s Early Cases 1974
A short story book composed of stories from other books. I only put this on here because I really do enjoy all of her short stories! The other volume that does the same thing is Three Blind Mice and Other Stories 1950.
Poroit on the track of a serial-killer? Yes, please! This is the last Poirot, written in WWII as insurance for her daughter and grandson should something happen to her. The book was published post-humously. Christie said she enjoyed killing off Poirot and having him be a hero on the way out! David Suchet plays the role to perfection!
Sleeping Murder 1976
Another very big favorite of mine! I re-read it a lot. After all, it started my passion for Christie! Newlywed Gwenda buys a Victorian house while her husband is out of the country. She falls in love with it immediately. Soon though, trouble starts. Is the house haunted? Why does Gwenda have such a strong sense of deja vu? Then, one night Gwenda remembers the murder. Thankfully she is staying with MIss Marple’s nephew’s family and the sweet Miss Marple comes to help. Childhood, Victorian things, nurseries, murder, its all here and thoroughly enjoyable! There are two British versions. I prefer the older with Joan Hickson, however, I could only find the new one on Youtube.
Other Christie Books
Christie wrote several romance novels (not sexy though) and they were mostly autobiographical. She used the pen name Mary Westmacott. My favorite of these is Unfinished Portrait. It tells the story of Celia and her childhood is Christie’s. There were two volumes of autobiography Come, Tell Me How You Live about her travels in the Middle East, and her official autobiography, one of her very best works titled simply, Agatha Christie.
Agatha’s Autobiography and Why You Should Read It
I have read her official autobiography titled, Agatha Christie, many times, and will read it many more times I’m sure. It’s one of my top 5 favorite books of hers. If you really want to know the author read this book. From her delightful Victorian childhood to world travels and stories, there are even some tales about how certain books came about. It is a fascinating read. It’s one of those books you can dip into it anywhere and start reading and really enjoy yourself. I always take a paperback copy with me while traveling. The whole book is just great. There is really so much to be learned from the people before us and the Victorian and early 20th century eras are terribly interesting!
My Absolute Top Favorites I Read Again and Again
This one is a harder list, but I have a few that I have read upwards of 8 times each and they are here. These are not in any order. I just read them depending on how I’m feeling.
- Agatha Christe (autobiography)
- N or M?
- Spider’s Web
- The Pale Horse
- By the Pricking of My Thumbs
- Easy to Kill (Murder is Easy)
- Sleeping Murder
- Postern of Fate
In this end, this is what mattered most to Agatha Christie:
May justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Amos 5:24
I hope you enjoyed this series of posts. I know I’ll look back on it fondly. It was fun to go through all the Christies, take notes and decide what I liked. I hope you found some reading inspiration. Keep an eye out for a bonus post later this week about a very special Miss Marple!
Cheers to you from Kansas Street,