I have always been a Sherlock Holmes lover. Ever since I was eight years old and sneaking into my library’s restricted section (this seems so hardcore, but it was along the back wall and strictly for people aged 12-13, and if the librarian caught you in there you’d get in major trouble. But I’ve always been a reader, and I had always read far above my age group, so everything else bored me, I simply had to sneak in. And I also kind of wanted to be Harry Potter). I remember reading A Study in Scarlet, and thinking I’d never come across anything so interesting before, but then I read The Adventure of the Speckled Band and it’s still an absolute favourite. I love Sherlock Holmes so much I carry around a battered penguin classics copy in my handbag. Lately, though, I’ve felt the urge to branch out a little in my pursuit of classic crime fiction. I realised while watching Murder on the Orient Express the other night, that I’d only ever actually read one Agatha Christie novel. One! I’ve decided I need to rectify that.
Simply put, I am going to read every Agatha Christie story ever published. Christie was a prolific writer, and by that I mean she wrote 75 novels and 28 collections. That’s more than I read in 2017, so I’m under no impression that I’ll be able to read my way through her body of work in a short amount of time (especially because I don’t want to be reading solely Agatha Christie novels), so this will be a very long-term reading goal (I mean, I hope I can get it done before I’m thirty, but because that is an age that is closely approaching (okay, not closely, but I’m almost halfway between 15 and 30 so it’s close-ish) I’m not 100% certain I’ll do it).
Christie has two main fictional detectives – Poirot and Miss Marple. I’ve decided to start with her first detective, Poirot, and read through those stories chronologically in order of publication before moving onto Miss Marple, and then finally onto her other works. Of her 103 works, 45 were Poirot, and 32 were Miss Marple, leaving 26 miscellaneous works. I don’t know why, but I’m super excited about this. Like, excitement bubbling in my chest, fingers tingling and bones itching kind of excited. One day, I’m going to be that nerd that can definitively tell you her favourite Agatha Christie novel, and if Miss Marple was better than Poirot, or if one of her lesser-known fictional detectives is actually better than the more famous two.
First up: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorpe, and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary–from the heiress’s fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary. Making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case.
One little bookworm, and 103 works by Agatha Christie. This is going to be fun. If you want to join in, or just keep up with my reading progress, use the hashtag #riversideinvestigates on Instagram and Twitter.