Have you watched Murder on the Orient Express and now you’re looking for a list of Agatha Christie books in order? Or perhaps you’ve read one (or a dozen) of her books already and you’re just checking in to see what’s next.
Either way, I’m here for you.
Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels, 14 short stories, and the world’s longest-running play: The Mousetrap. If you plan to read her books, you’ll definitely need this guide as a checklist.
To help you keep track of all the Agatha Christie books in order, I have listed every one of her novels in their corresponding category below.
Who is Agatha Christie?
Agatha Christie is an iconic mystery writer who is well-known for her cozy detective novels. Her characters of Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple have become steadfast within the genre alongside the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and Philip Marlowe. If you’ve yet to experience her writing, you’re in for a real treat.
Christie was born in Torquay, England in 1890 as the youngest of three children. From an early age Christie had a stubborn appreciation for literature. At the age of five she taught herself to read against her mother’s wishes.
But becoming an author was not always her intention. In fact, she only wrote her first novel, a Hercule Poirot mystery, after a dare from her sister. At the time, Christie was working at a hospital dispensary during the First World War; her practical experience and understanding of poisons from this employment lent itself naturally to her writing.
The adage to write what you know rang true for Christie. She has praised observation as the inspiration for some of her plots, even basing Miss Jane Marple on her maternal grandmother and her friends. As well, the settings for her novels are often places she has visited or lived.
This realism in her novels, through characters and setting, helped her become one of the most famous authors of all time. More than a billion copies of her books have been sold in English, with another billion in translation. Collectively, with more than two billion books printed, Christie is outsold only by the Bible and William Shakespeare, making her the bestselling fiction author.
How to Read Agatha Christie Books in Order
With 66 books spread out over multiple series, including short stories and standalones, reading the Agatha Christie books in order can be a monumetal task. To make it easier, we’ll break it down by series below.
However, if you’re interested in a smaller list to pick from, we have an article on the 15 best Agatha Christie books. The books on that list are a great place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed by Christie’s impressive bibliography.
#1 Agatha Christie Books in Order – The Hercule Poirot Books
For the Hercule Poirot series, you should read these Agatha Christie books in order of publication.
While most of these books feature individual cases that conclude by the ending of the book, if you choose to read them in publication order you will witness Christie’s growth as an author. As well, you will be able to experience Hercule Poirot’s career as a detective in the way Christie intended. Some books also feature references to earlier cases.
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
- The Murder on the Links (1923)
- Poirot Investigates (1924) (Short Story)
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
- The Big Four (1927)
- The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
- Black Coffee (1930) (Originally a play)
- Peril at End House (1932)
- Lord Edgware Dies / Thirteen at Dinner (1933)
- Murder on the Orient Express / Murder in the Calais Coach (1934)
- Three Act Tragedy / Murder in Three Acts (1934)
- Death in the Clouds / Death in the Air (1935)
- The A.B.C. Murders (1936)
- Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
- Cards on the Table (1936)
- Dumb Witness / Poirot Loses A Client (1937)
- Death on the Nile (1937)
- Appointment with Death (1938)
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas / Holiday for Murder / Murder for Christmas (1938)
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe / Overdose of Death (1940)
- Sad Cypress (1940)
- Evil Under the Sun (1941)
- Five Little Pigs / Murder in Retrospect (1942)
- The Hollow / Murder After Hours (1946)
- Taken at the Flood (1948)
- Mrs. McGinty’s Dead / Blood Will Tell (1952)
- After the Funeral / Funerals Are Fatal (1953)
- Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
- Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
- Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
- The Clocks (1963)
- Third Girl (1966)
- Hallowe’en Party (1969)
- Elephants Can Remember (1972)
- Curtain (1975)
New Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Sophie Hannah
Agatha Christie wrote Hercule Poirot’s “final case” during the Second World War just in case she should not survive the bombings of the London Blitz. Curtain was then published in 1975, mere months before Christie’s death.
The world mourned Poirot’s ending. He is the only fictional character to have ever received an obituary in The New York Times. However, that was not to be the ending for Poirot.
That’s because a joint-decision between Agatha Christie Ltd. and HarperCollins brought the beloved detective back into print with new mysteries written by Sophie Hannah.
Hannah is a bestselling British author. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide in 49 languages across 51 territories. Each of her Poirot novels features a singular case, but it is best to read them in publication order.
- The Monogram Murders (2014)
- Closed Casket (2016)
- The Mystery of Three Quarters (2018)
- The Killings at Kingfisher Hill (2020)
#2 The Hercule Poirot Collections
The Hercule Poirot Collections are all short fiction written by Agatha Christie about her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. These books are best read in the order of publication.
- Murder in the Mews: Four Cases of Hercule Poirot (1937)
- The Labors of Hercules (1947)
- The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951)
- The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960)
- Double Sin and Other Stories (1961)
- The Early Cases of Hercule Poirot (1974)
- The Casebook of Hercule Poirot (1984)
- The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories (1997)
- While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997)
- Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories (2013)
- The Grey Cells of Mr. Poirot (2020)
#3 Agatha Christie Books in Order – Miss Marple Books
As with Hercule Poirot, it is best to read the Miss Marple Agatha Christie books in order by publication date.
Again, most of Christie’s novels can be read as standalone novels; however, reading them in order of publication will allow you to follow along with the growth of the characters. This is especially true in the case of amateur detective Miss Marple.
- The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
- The Body in the Library (1942)
- The Moving Finger (1942)
- A Murder is Announced (1950)
- They Do It with Mirrors (1952)
- A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
- 4:50 From Paddington (1957)
- The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962)
- A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
- At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)
- Nemesis (1971)
- Sleeping Murder (1976)
#4 The Miss Marple Collections
There are also multiple short story collections featuring Miss Marple. Unfortunately, some of these collections are now out of print and may be difficult to find.
However, similarly to Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple will return in a new iteration following an agreement between Agatha Christie Ltd. and HarperCollins. The new collection will feature 12 short stories written by authors like Leigh Bardugo, Val McDermid, and many more.
- The Thirteen Problems (1932)
- 13 Clues for Miss Marple (1966)
- Miss Marple’s Final Cases (1979)
- Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985)
- Untitled Marple Collection (Expected publication: September 13, 2022)
#5 Tommy and Tuppence Books
Agatha Christie’s website says these books are the ones she enjoyed writing the most. Young detectives Tuppence Cowley and Tommy Beresford are childhood friends that, after reuniting following the First World War, decide to form a company together.
These books are especially important to read in order of publication to best understand the overarching story and character development. Tommy and Tuppence are the only detectives to grow older throughout the course of their books, roughly aligning with Christie’s own age at the time of writing.
- The Secret Adversary (1922)
- Partners in Crime (1929)
- The Affair of the Pink Pearl (1929) (Short Story)
- N or M? (1941)
- By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)
- Postern of Fate (1973)
- The House of Lurking Death (1995) (Short Story)
#6 Superintendent Battle Books
Agatha Christie’s Superintendent Battle series focuses, as you can imagine, on Superintendent Battle of the Scotland Yard.
Similarly to Hercule Poirot, Battle sports an impressive moustache and is described as a sensible, intelligent police officer. In addition to his own books featuring crossovers with Hercule Poirot, Ariadne Oliver, and Colonel Race, Battle is also mentioned in other Christie novels.
- The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
- The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
- Cards on the Table (1936)
- Murder is Easy / Easy to Kill (1939)
- Towards Zero (1944)
#7 Colonel Race Books in Order of Publication
Colonel Johnnie Race is a former Army Colonel and MI5 agent. In addition to being described as highly intelligent, he is immensely rich. He is also patient, composed, and quick-thinking.
As previously mentioned, there is overlap with Col. Race, Superintendent Battle, and Hercule Poirot. All feature in the 1936 novel Cards on the Table. As well, Race features in Poirot’s 1937 mystery Death on the Nile.
- The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)
- Cards on the Table (1936)
- Death on the Nile (1937)
- Sparkling Cyanide (1944)
#8 Harley Quin Books in Order of Publication
Not to be confused with the enigmatic DC character, Agatha Christie created her own Harley Quin based on the Harlequin of the Commedia dell’arte. He is described as perhaps the most unconventional of Agatha Christie detectives with extraordinary skills and almost mystical instincts.
- The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Short Story Collection (1930)
- The Love Detectives (1993) (Short Story)
- The Coming of Mr. Quin (2021) (Short Story)
#9 Agatha Christie Books in Order as Mary Westmacott
The following books are a list of Agatha Christie books in order of publication under her pseudonym, Mary Westmacott. These books are out of print and are not available for purchase from most retailers.
The below books are a departure from Christie’s signature mysteries and her connection to the novels remained a secret for nearly 20 years. Christie’s daughter describes the books not as love stories, but as stories about love in some of its most powerful and destructive forms.
- Giant’s Bread (1930)
- Unfinished Portrait (1934)
- Absent in the Spring (1944)
- The Rose and the Yew Tree (1947)
- A Daughter’s a Daughter (1952)
- The Burden (1956)
#10 Agatha Christie Standalone Books in Order
Agatha Christie also wrote nearly a dozen standalone novels that do not feature any of her iconic detective characters. Despite not featuring the likes of Poirot or Miss Marple, these books are quintessential Christie mysteries and must-reads for any fan.
- The Sittaford Mystery / The Murder at Hazelmoor (1931)
- Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)
- And Then There Were None (1939)
- Death Comes as the End (1944)
- Crooked House (1949)
- They Came to Baghdad (1951)
- Destination Unknown (1954)
- Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
- The Pale Horse (1961)
- Endless Night (1967)
- Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)
#11 Agatha Christie Books in Order – Short Story Collections
Agatha Christie loved to write short stories and she wrote more than just the collections listed above for Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and others. Here are the rest of her short stories in order of publication.
- The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1932)
- The Hound of Death (1933)
- The Listerdale Mystery (1934)
- Parker Pyne Investigates (1934)
- The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948)
- Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1952)
- Star Over Bethlehem and Other Stories (1965)
- The Golden Ball and Other Stories (1971)
- Masterpieces in Miniature (2005)
- Midwinter Murder (2020)
- A Deadly Affair (2022)
#12 Non-Fiction Books
If you are looking to learn more about Agatha Christie and her life then her non-fiction books will be the perfect reading material for you.
- Come, Tell Me How You Live (1946)
- Agatha Christie: An Autobiography (1977)
- The Grand Tour: Around the World With The Queen of Mystery (2012)
Agatha Christie also wrote plays, and as a bonus, we have included the plays she wrote in the order of their publication.
Publication of Plays in Order
A Summary of Agatha Christie Books in Order
Since we have already provided you with the 15 best Agatha Christie books, here are the first 15 books Christie ever published. The below selection features books from nearly all of her series: Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence, Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle, Miss Marple, and a standalone book.
1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
A refugee of the Great War, Hercule Poirot has settled in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactor, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled, Poirot puts his prodigious sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s much younger husband, her resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.
All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists that contribute to Agatha Christie’s well-deserved reputation as the queen of mystery.
2. The Secret Adversary
Tommy Beresford and Prudence ‘Tuppence’ Cowley are young, in love, and flat broke. Just after Great War, there are few jobs available and the couple are desperately short of money. Restless for excitement, they decide to embark on a daring business scheme: Young Adventurers Ltd.
Hiring themselves out proves to be a smart move for the couple. In their first assignment for the mysterious Mr. Whittington, all Tuppence has to do in their first job is take an all-expense paid trip to Paris and pose as an American named Jane Finn. But with the assignment comes a bribe to keep quiet, a threat to her life, and the disappearance of her new employer. Now their newest job are playing detective.
Where is the real Jane Finn? The mere mention of her name produces a very strange reaction all over London. So strange, in fact, that they decided to find this mysterious missing lady.
It isn’t long before they find themselves plunged into more danger than they ever could have imagined. A danger that could put an abrupt end to their business…and their lives.
This is the first book in the Tommy and Tuppence series.
3. The Murder on the Links
When Hercule Poirot and his associate Arthur Hastings arrive in the French village of Merlinville-sur-Mer to meet their client Paul Renauld, they learn from the police that he has been found that morning stabbed in the back with a letter opener and left in a newly-dug grave adjacent to a local golf course.
Among the plausible suspects are Renauld’s wife Eloise, his son Jack, Renauld’s immediate neighbor Madame Daubreuil, the mysterious “Cinderella” of Hasting’s recent acquaintance, and some unknown visitor of the previous day. All of whom Poirot has reason to suspect.
Poirot’s powers of investigation ultimately triumph over the wiles of an assailant whose misdirection and motives are nearly — but not quite — impossible to spot.
4. The Man in the Brown Suit
Anne Beddingfeld moves to London following the death of her father, and swiftly witnesses a murder at an underground station. A doctor examines the man, pronounces him dead, and leaves, dropping a note on his way. Anne picks up the note, which reads “17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle.”
The next day the newspapers report that a beautiful ballet dancer has been found there brutally strangled. Anne is prompted to take up the case for a newspaper, which starts her on an international sleuthing journey. Voyaging to South Africa by ship, Beddingfeld becomes involved with an assortment of characters who are not all what they seem.
Confronted with multiple dangers, faced with attacks and attemped kidnapping, and searching for stolen diamonds, Beddingfeld must solve the murders while becoming enmeshed in an international criminal ring led by a mysterious mastermind known as the Colonel.
This is the first in the Colonel Race series.
5. The Secret of Chimneys
Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger.
As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret.
This is the first in the Superintendent Battle series.
6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
This book is considered one of Christie’s most controversial mysteries as it breaks the rules of traditional mystery.
The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is aghast. The widow Ferrars dies from an overdose of veronal. Not twenty-four hours later, Roger Ackroyd — the man she had planned to marry — is murdered.
It is a baffling case involving blackmail and death. One that taxes Hercule Poirot’s grey cells before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his career.
7. The Big Four
Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.
Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper?
Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about Number Four.
8. The Mystery of the Blue Train
When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake serene Ruth Kettering from her slumbers. But she will never wake again — for a heavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her features almost beyond recognition. What is more, her precious rubies are missing.
The prime suspect is Ruth’s estranged husband, Derek. Yet Hercule Poirot is not convinced, so he stages an eerie re-enactment of the journey, complete with the murderer on board…
9. Partners in Crime
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford were restless for adventure, so when they were asked to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency, they leapt at the chance.
After their triumphant recovery of a pink pearl, intriguing cases kept on coming their way: A stabbing on Sunningdale golf course; cryptic messages in the personal columns of newspapers; and even a box of poisoned chocolates.
This is the second Tommy and Tuppence novel.
10. The Seven Dials Mystery
Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper, so the other houseguests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off, one after the other, starting at 6:30 a.m. But when morning arrived, one clock was missing and the prank then backfired, with tragic consequences.
For Jimmy Thesiger in particular, the words “Seven Dials” were to take on a new and chilling significance…
This is the second Superintendent Battle novel.
11. The Murder at the Vicarage
“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,” declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favour!”
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later — when the colonel was found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.
This is the first book in the Miss Marple series.
12. The Sittaford Mystery
In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a table for a seance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: “Captain Trevelyan…dead…murder.”
Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snowdrifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot.
This is a standalone mystery by Agatha Christie.
13. Peril at End House
On holiday on the Cornish Riviera, Hercule Poirot is alarmed to hear pretty Nick Buckley describe her recent accidental brushes with death.
First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed.
So when Poirot finds a bullet hole in Nick’s sun hat, he decides that this girl needs his help. Can he find the would-be killer before he hits his target?
In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life.
14. Lord Edgware Dies
It’s true; Hercule Poirot had been present when the famous actress Jane Wilkinson bragged of her plan to get rid of her estranged husband, Lord Edgware. Now the man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride.
After all, how could Jane have stabbed her thoroughly detestable husband to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally agreed to grant her a divorce?
15. Murder on the Orient Express
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks as it travels through the mountainous Balkans. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year but, by the morning, it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
One of the passengers is none other than detective Hercule Poirot. On vacation.
Isolated and with a killer in their midst, Poirot must identify the murderer — in case he or she decides to strike again.
Well there you have it. All of the Agatha Christie books in order according to their respective series and publication dates.
Have you started reading Agatha Christie’s books? What reading order are you following? Let us know your favorite Agatha Christie book in the comments below.
Looking for more books in order?
If you’d like more mystery on your shelves, check out this list of Louise Penny books in order.