When asked to give a reading recommendation for a mystery, my first response is
“Have you read Agatha Christie?”
She’s been called the Queen of Mystery, and there is good reason for that. When you are reading one of her mysteries, you can be sure that she will have an interesting story, with a clever plot, and she will play fair with the reader. She might put a clue where you will miss it, or misinterpret it, but you will be able to
spot it if you reread it.
And I do reread Christie. After a few years, I have forgotten the details enough that I can enjoy the pleasure of revisiting old friends and relishing the game of detection.
I read my first Agatha Christie when I was ten or eleven. I don’t remember which one it was – possibly The Labors of Hercules, a collection of short stories featuring Hercule Poirot, because I was reading a lot of mythology back then. But whichever book it was, I was hooked, and proceeded to read all that I could, and other mystery novels after the. My mother aided me greatly in this, introducing my to her favorites and helping me carry the stacks of books home from the library.
Her books are available in print, audio, and electronic format – you can find them on Overdrive, Hoopla and Freading. Some of her books are out of copyright and can be read for free on Project Gutenberg. They include: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, Murder on the Links, The Man in the Brown Suit, Poirot Investigates, The Secret of Chimneys, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
All of her books stand alone – you won’t miss out if you read a book written in 1940 before one in 1930 – but if you want to begin with the first earliest cases of her sleuths, the first novel featuring Hercule Poirot is The Mysterious Affair at Styles; the first collection of Poirot short stories is Poirot Investigates; the first novel featuring Miss Jane Marple is The Murder at the Vicarage, and the first Marple collection is titled The Thirteen Problems.
Adult Services-Will Library