My Agatha Christie Top Ten

1. The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £7.99

"Christie placed this title in her own Top Ten and I wholeheartedly agree with her. Miss Marple is on sparkling form and all the short stories hold their own. I have gone back to these stories (especially in the audio version read perfectly by Joan Hickson) and never fail to appreciate Christie's outstanding command of the short story format."

2. Five Little Pigs - Agatha Christie
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"One of Poirot's lesser known cases and yet it is always admired by Christie's fans as being subtle and well-written with beguiling characters. This book was later adapted as the play, 'Murder in Retrospect' with Poirot, as usual being written out of the stage version. A sparkling little mystery."

3. Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie
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"Again, one of her lesser known Poirot's but this was my very first Christie mystery, (in fact, this was my first ever crime novel) when I had that 'Eureka' moment and realised that there was a whole new world of books out there waiting for me. It wasn't so much the story, but the fact that it opened new doors for me and introduced me to the world of crime fiction. So, for me it will always be in my Christie Top Ten."

4. Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie
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"This later Christie published in 1969 again has stayed with me since reading it roughly twenty-five years ago. I have read it several times, normally at Hallowe'en. Christie has been given quite a lot of stick about her later novels (yes, 'Postern of Fate' was terrible but please leave 'Nemesis' alone, already!) but 'Hallowe'en Party' I feel more than stands on it's own two feet and despite a hurried ending the plotting is vintage Christie."

5. N or M? - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £6.99

"Tommy and Tuppence Beresford only appeared in five titles and they weren't really that strong, either. However, saying that, I feel this is the strongest of the five and again was read when I was having my 'Christie Reading Fest' in my teens. This book really drew me in to the plot and again served me with a stunning conclusion."

6. Mrs McGinty's Dead - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £7.99

"I love this book simply because it is about the murder of a charlady and not someone killed in a huge mansion with lots of terribly posh people. This brings Poirot down amongst the working class and again, I feel this has one of those (I never saw that coming!) solutions despite all the clues being there for all to see."

7. The Mysterious Mr Quin - Agatha Christie
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"First published separately in periodicals of that time, Christie collected these Quin tales and placed them all together. It is never fully explained who or what exactly Quin is. Is he an angel? The devil? A demon? Or is he a ghost himself? You get the feeling Quin is somehow immortal but this is simply an impression given by Christie's suggestive prose. You feel Quin operates on the edges of shadows and Satterthwaite never truly appears to see Quin in a clear light. Quin simply appears to Satterthwaite when tragedy is about to befall someone close by. Christie didn't venture too often in to the supernatural, but when she did, as shown here and in 'The Hound of Death', she did it brilliantly. I have returned to these stories many times over the years."

8. Peril at End House - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £7.99

"I was totally wrong footed by this neat little mystery. Many fans have recognised different landmarks that show this tale was set in Christie's Devon and her love of that part of the world shines through with this story. A firm favourite with me. "

9. A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £7.99

"This title is always classed as one of Christie's best and I have to agree with them. This was one of the very first of hers I read and it blew me away. A Christie tour de force."

10. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
Harper Collins £7.99

"I would not be a Christie fan if I didn't include this in my Top Ten! I read this before seeing the Sidney Lumet film which I feel did this book justice (unlike the Suchet version) and brought glamour to the whole proceedings with a stellar cast. Here Christie pulls the wool over your eyes and the rug from under your feet. 'Murder on the Orient Express' is the classic crime novel of all classic crime novels!"