My Reading Life: A Season of Hercule Poirot

September 07, 2022

This summer was the Season of Poirot in my reading life. I intended to read through the catalog of Poirot (by audiobook). At the beginning of last summer, I hadn’t read one Agatha Christie book. Ever. 


I belong to a neighborhood book club, but for a couple of months, the books selected weren’t going to be my cup of tea. So, I came up with my own reading selections.


That’s when I decided it would be a summer with Hercule Poirot.

Read my post: How to Complete
a Reading Season of Hercule Poirot


I have been cardmaking lately, and instead of Netflix, I listened to audiobooks instead. I mostly listen to Netflix instead of watching (since I’m keeping an eye on what I’m making), so audiobooks are perfect.  


However, the season of Poirot began before I realized it would be a season of Poirot.


I had already finished some titles, so I was on a roll toward completing the nearly 40-book catalog.


The strategy


With a free PDF I downloaded from, I decided that I would start at the beginning and read in order (depending on what was available on YouTube and on Libby). I also decided to skip the Christmas titles, plus Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. (I recently watched these movies, starring Kenneth Branagh.) The plan worked well, but I skipped around a bit.

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What I learned

While reading through the series, I discovered
several titles where Poirot was not the primary character. In fact, he appeared after I was halfway through the book.

Those familiar with Agatha Christie and her work may know that she tired of writing Poirot, but he had become such a beloved character for her readers. In writing some mysteries, she may have included Poirot as a minor character to keep fans happy.

What also became evident is that I could not read the book and then go to the TV series (with David Suchet) to watch the same story. This was particularly frustrating when I went to watch the episode of The Clocks. It fell flat because it did not strictly follow the book.

Reading Results

I ended my season of Poirot on Labor Day (September 5, 2022), which always marks the end of summer for me.

How did I do? I read an additional 14 Poirot books, totaling 22, since I began reading Christie last year.

My summer total doesn’t include five other books. I finished three Miss Marple titles:  Murder at the Vicarage, Body in the Library, and The Moving Finger (another title where the series namesake, Miss Marple, doesn’t appear until very late in the book). There was also The Seven Dials Mystery (a Superintendent Battle book) and The Sittaford Mystery, a standalone title. These books were read as I waited for other Poirot titles on hold through the library.

Another title, Black Coffee (1996, numbered #6.5 on most Poirot lists), is an Agatha Christie book but is actually one of her plays, adapted by Charles Osborne into a book. Osborne (along with Sophie Hannah) is allowed by the Agatha Christie Estate to adapt works in her name.

The last book of the series, The Curtain, is one that I did not read, nor will I think I will ever read. I watched this story as the last episode of the TV series. Although the story is compelling, it is also quite sad and unexpected. By reading the book, I would feel as though I had lowered a curtain on Poirot, and someday I want to revisit some of my favorite Poirot titles.

Will I keep reading Poirot now that summer is finished? No, I don’t believe so. I’ll instead revert back to my regular reading stack and give Poirot a rest. However, I intend to keep working through the Christie catalog in between my other reading. There are other popular titles that I want to read when available, such as The Main in the Brown Suit and Crooked House.

Tell me in the comments: what is your favorite Agatha Christie book?
What do you suggest I should read next?

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