I remember my very first time encounter with Agatha Christie: I was nine years old scouting out my new elementary school library—a graduation from the primary school shelves from which my bookish overachiever self was desperate to move on. No more children’s books—I wanted real novels by real writers. Luckily, I turned down the right aisle and discovered a long, glorious row of mysteries by dame Agatha.
Her name is practically synonymous with the genre; during her lifetime Christie wrote 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections, and the world’s longest running play (yes, you read that right—The Mousetrap is still playing in London today!). The stories are genteel, cozy mysteries that reveal the darkness of human nature in perfectly polite environments, highlighting the stiff upper lip of classic English characters as well as the necessity of a good cup of tea. Since she first opened my eyes to a world of crime, mystery and detective fiction, I have torn through Christie’s collection and am waiting eagerly for this fall’s adaption of one of my favorites: THE MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. If you’re also counting the days until the film release, here are a few Christie-inspired page-turners to keep you occupied.