Dectective Series Order Question

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Dectective Series Order Question

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maig 2, 2008, 7:54 pm

I was just wondering where everyone stood on series order. Would you recommend that you read Poirot or Miss Marple series in order? or does the order not matter?

maig 3, 2008, 1:46 am

I did not read either series in order, and in fact I don't really regard them as series. Yes, you've got the recurring characters, but there's no feeling of progression from book to book. Maybe there is a feeling that I've missed by not reading them in order - but I doubt it. Perhaps Miss Marple gets more frail as time goes on, and perhaps Poirot gets more retired, but it doesn't seem to matter much.

maig 3, 2008, 11:22 am

I agree, IMO the order doesn't really matter for these.

maig 3, 2008, 6:05 pm

Aside from the publication dates, the only way to tell what came before are the brief references to past cases or police officers that Poirot has worked with before. These asides don't affect the story at all so I read them in no specific order.

maig 7, 2008, 1:15 pm

Order doesn't particulary matter to me for Poirot or Miss Marple, but - correct me if I'm wrong - doesn't the Tommy and Tuppence series have them "age"? If so, it might be good to read them in order. Personally, I'm less fond of them than Poirot, Marple, Quin, etc.

Having said that, I'm reading Agatha Christie An Autobiography now (on page 385 of 519 and LOVING it) and am playing with the idea of reading ALL her books (again for all and multiple times for some) in chronological order of when they were published. Just a thought.

maig 7, 2008, 11:39 pm

Yes, Tommy and Tuppence age, but for the most part, there are decades between when we see them, so there's no strong continuity. If I remember correctly, there are two post-World War I books when they are young, one World War II book when they're middle aged, and a couple of books in the 1960s or so when they're old. I love the idea of them living in real time, but I wish more of the blanks had been filled in.

I like the idea of reading all of the books in order, but my preference would be to read them in the order in which they were written, rather than the order in which they were published, since Curtain and Sleeping Murder were written earlier and deliberately published much later.

maig 8, 2008, 6:16 am

Miss Marple does definetly age over ther series, and the village expands too, so there is some sense in working out the chronological order of her cases. I don't think this is the published order though. I have the novels in 3 omnibuses, where they seem randomly distributed and the character jumps all over the place, so I'd like to know what order makes more sense.

maig 8, 2008, 7:11 am

There is one point I'd make about reading order in Christie's case: don't read Dumb Witness (aka Poirot Loses a Client) before reading all previous Poirot stories, as the author actually tells you the name of the murderers in some of the earlier books!

maig 8, 2008, 7:14 am

>8 JonRob:
Oooh! Thanks for that. I'll make a note of it on my Poirot reading list.

Editat: juny 24, 2008, 9:33 am

Over the weekend I was putting all of my Christie Paperbacks in alphabetical order when I ran across a book called An Agatha Christie Chronology which tells you what her order he books were Published beginning with The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920 and going through Curtain which was Published in 1975. An Agatha Christie Chronology was Published in 1976 so it didn't list Sleeping Murder.

Anyway, it also lists all of her books in Chronological Order by her Detectives too. You might be able to find a copy of the book in your local Library or a Used Book Store. No Christie fan should be without a copy of this book. I haven't decided yet if I will go back and rearrange the books in Chronological Order starting with the first Christie I own. Normally I am the type of person who files all of their books alphabetically by Author's last name then alphabetical by title of the book unless it's a Series like Harry Potter, The Dark Tower, Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, Tales Of The New Vampires,or the C.S. Lewis Narnia Series, Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, etc. I just prefer to have everything nice and neat in alphabetical order as a rule.


Editat: juny 24, 2008, 12:59 pm

I'm writing this on the fly at work--heehee--so I'm making it quick. As someone who's read her books both in random order as I came across them and in publication order once I had all but 1 of her collection, I found it really didn't make a difference, either within each of her individual detective series, or her books as a whole. There really is a timeless quality about her writing and she seemed to prefer steering clear of topical issues that could date her work, or she wove them into her books tangentially, like juvenile delinquency in The Mirror Cracked or Tuppence as the embodiement of flapper-era female independence in whatever the first T+T book was...

>10 beatles1964: Another good reference book re publication dates/series order/book synopsis is The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie. It also lists the various plays she authored. BTW: Does anyone know if her plays---besides the Mousetrap---are available in book format?

juny 24, 2008, 1:14 pm

#11 EAG - I have the Bantam Blue Leatherette editions of all her books. I'm at work and can't check the actual books themselves, but at least 3 - Black Coffee, Akhenaton, and The Unexpected Guest (according go Wikipedia) are listed as plays. I have them. Perhaps some others are plays, too.

I also have the BB&A Companion to Agatha Christie, but darn! Everything's at home and I'm here at work.

I'll try to check tonight between watching Wimbledon and playing piano.

I've put her books in publication order on my shelves recently and have re-read The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Secret Adversary. I plan on re-reading them all again. I'm looking forward to it. I agree with your comment about the timelessness of her works. They are dated in some superficial things but not the important themes and behaviors of people.

Editat: juny 24, 2008, 4:36 pm

I forgot about the BB&A Companion to Agatha Christie. I think I have a copy lurking around somewhere at home. I'll probably find it when I'm not even looking for it. You know that's the way it always goes. You never can find something when you're looking for it at the time. At least that has always been my experience. That must be one of Murphy's Laws.


juny 24, 2008, 8:29 pm

beatles, you sound scarily organised, lol. My bookshelves are catalogued by author first, but, um, colour-coded second. What can I say? I'm into aesthetics.

juny 24, 2008, 8:57 pm

>11 EAG: Does anyone know if her plays---besides the Mousetrap---are available in book format?

The Mousetrap and other plays contains several of her plays. I think it has: The Mousetrap (of course), And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians), Verdict, Appointment with Death, Witness for the Prosecution, as well as several more that I can't remember off hand. As I recall, all but one were adaptations of her novels.

juny 25, 2008, 6:11 am

Everything I've discovered is basically a bust. The books I have that are referred to as plays in BB&A Companion are Black Coffee, Witness for the Prosecution, Spider's Web, Verdict, The Unexpected Guest, Rule of 3, and Akhnaton (unless I got sloppy and missed one). Except for Akhnaton, all my editions are not in play format.

When I pulled my copy of The Unexpected Guest to check it out, I found an essay in the back, written by Charles Osborne. He has adapted 3 of her books as plays according to wikipedia:

Plays adapted into novels by Charles Osborne
1998 Black Coffee
1999 The Unexpected Guest
2000 Spider's Web

He refers to something called Fiddler's Three that isn't in the BB&A.

I don't know if any others have been published.

juny 25, 2008, 7:59 pm

>16 karenmarie: Thx, karenmarie! I thought I was doomed to reread the books I had---waiting enough yrs in between in hopes of forgetting at least some of the plot twists---but now I can be on the hunt again for what you've listed above. Though it may take me a while to find them and/or afford them: just checked out if Verdict was available on amazon and it was going for $55US. sheesh!

des. 16, 2008, 3:59 am

#10 beatles1964

Found the Agatha Christie Chronology on my shelves,
and am now looking forward
to reading them all again and
in order.

Good Heavens! How could we all have forgotten
Ariadne Oliver?

Ain't L T great!!