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From My Bookshelf: Agatha Christie

My first online book order/package of the year was delivered today, and the three books inside are the perfect subjects for my first From My Bookshelf post of the year.

For more titles From My Bookshelf, visit this page.

Agatha Christie Book Stack | Queen of Mystery

Last year I discovered the Little Audder Shop on Etsy (thanks to bookstagram), and their selection of vintage Agatha Christie paperbacks. I’m mostly interested in the Bantam books, but as you can see below, I can hardly resist Pocket Books either…

What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!

  • Original British Title: 4:50 From Paddington
  • Recurring Character: Jane Marple
  • Originally published in 1957 by Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.
  • Pocket Book edition, 1968 (5th printing)
  • I’ve read this Agatha Christie mystery, and recommend watching the 2004 adaptation (for ITV’s series Marple). There are a few changes from the novel, but I love Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple so they don’t bother me too much.

She was the only witness to a murder!

Standing with his back to her was a man. His hands were around a woman’s throat. He was slowly, relentlessly strangling her. As Mrs. McGillicuddy watched, fascinated, the end came. The body went limp and crumpled in the man’s hands.

Nobody believed Mrs. McGillicuddy…because there was no corpse!

Nobody, that is, except an old lady named Jane Marple, who figured out where the body was hidden—and then showed Scotland Yard how to trap the killer!

The Secret Adversary

  • Recurring Character(s): Tommy and Tuppence
  • Originally published in 1922 by Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.
  • Bantam edition, 1967
  • I think this is one of the most re-readable Agatha Christie novels, because there are so many details and intricacies of the mystery that are likely to go unappreciated on a first or even second read. Plus, I just adore Tommy and Prudence (Tuppence).

Can you match wits with the best?

Agatha Christie—universally hailed as the genius of the novel of deduction—leads her young detectives (and readers) up a garden path of harrowing scrapes and puzzling clues. The trail to the solution is plainly marked…for those who can recognize the signs!

Who is The Secret Adversary? Prudence Cowley and Tommy Beresford—an engaging team of amateur sleuths—endeavor to solve a perilous problem of murder!

Towards Zero

  • Recurring Character: Superintendent Battle
  • Originally published in 1944 by Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.
  • Pocket Books edition, 1967 (8th printing)
  • This is the one book of the three that I have not read—I actually had not heard of it prior to this purchase. I included it in my order because I thought What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! needed a Pocket Books companion. Judge my logic as you will, ha!

This masterpiece of murder brings violent death to a woman who in life never harmed anyone. She didn’t even have time to yell before the heavy golf club shattered her skull. 

All the evidence pointed in one direction—unpremeditated violence. Even a child could follow the signs. But it was too neat. Superintendent Battle knew something about murder and murderers, and in this case he saw the hand of a true master. 

“Murder,” said the Superintendent, “is the culmination of a lot of different circumstances, all converging at a given moment at a given point. The murder itself is the end of the story. It’s Zero Hour. “In this case,” he continued, “I believe this murder is only the beginning. We are still headed Towards Zero.” 

Agatha Christie fans, vintage edition collectors, and book lovers alike—let’s chat about these and your first bookshelf additions of 2022 in the comments below.


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