Masters of Mystery have been making games for while now, but the concept of the murder mystery goes back much further. In our “Who are the best murder mystery authors” blog we discuss some of the best murder mystery authors of all time. But who claims the title of best murder mystery author? After reviewing countless sources, watching TV shows, movies and reading books and playing games one very specific person is mentioned every single time. The late, great Agatha Christie with 66 detective novels, 15 short stories and over 20 plays as well as multiple TV and film adaptations she has well and truly earned her title.
Agatha Christie not only holds the record of best-selling author of all time, with over 2 billion copies of her stories sold and her works translated into over 100 different languages. Only one other published book has managed to surpass her and that is the Bible.
Who is Agatha Christie?
Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on 15 September 1890 in Devon, UK. She was educated at home by her mother and then worked as a nurse during WWI, she married her first husband Colonel Archibald Christie in 1914. She started writing during the war, but was unsuccessful to begin with. It wasn’t until 1920 when she wrote “Mysterious Affair at Styles” (the first book in which we are introduced to the famous Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot) that her career took off. She continued to write and publish more novels including works such as Murder on the Links, The Secrets of Chimneys and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as well as one or two others.
In 1926 her mother died and around that same time her husband Colonel Archibald Christie requested a divorce, so he could marry another. It was around this time that the mystery of Agatha Christie also occurred. She disappeared for eleven days, her disappears initiated a countrywide search and made the headlines of the newspapers. Eventually she was found in a hotel under the name of the woman her husband wanted to marry. This disappearance and its causes still remain a mystery today.
In 1930 she published “Murder at the Vicarage” introducing the world to the sharp eyes and keen senses of the elderly Miss Marple. Around this time she married again, this time to Sir Max Mallowan and the pair spent much of their life together traveling and seeing the world and Christie continued to publish many more novels, often set in locations, inspired by her travels. Some of her more famous works include Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None and Death on the Nile.
In addition to novels and short-stories Agatha Christie has written multiple plays, including Witness for the Prosecution and The Mousetrap. The Mousetrap has since become the longest running play having continued its run in the West End of London since 1952.
Agatha Christie was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1971 for her contributions to literature and she holds the Guinness world record for bestselling fictional writer of all time.
Agatha Christie died on 12th January 1976, age of 85 and has remained to this day the most successful murder mystery and crime fiction writer of all time.
One of the things that make Agatha Christie so popular is her ability to create engaging and imperfect characters, who are real and relatable and we as readers empathise with them. But who are they?
Hercule Poirot is a Belgian Detective who first appears in Mysterious Affair at Styles, due to the German occupation of Belgium he is a refugee staying in the British countryside, it’s here he meets his friend and companion Captain Hastings. He was a well-known Police Officer in Belgium, known for being short, with a moustache and a near- perfect suit. Taking inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie’s Poirot represents the eccentric detective, working alongside his ex-military companion and a bumbling, incompetent chief inspector of Scotland yard sound familiar? Poirot has appeared in 33 novels.
Miss Marple is often portrayed as an elderly spinster who lives in the English country village of St. Mary Mead, often helping those in need and taking in young girls from the orphanage to train them up as domestic servants and providing them with opportunity to support themselves and earn an honest living. She has only one relative, a nephew whose a famous author but she has many close friends who are in positions of power and uses their influence to make sure she’s taken seriously. Due to her age, people underesetimate her, but she’s keen and shrewd, listens attentively and is able to piece together clues from just simple gossip and passing comments she overhears. Marple has appeared in 12 novels and short stories.
Tommy and Tuppence are two fictional detectives that appear in 5 of Agatha Christie’s novels, a husband and wife duo, Thomas Beresford and his wife Prudence Beresford who start out as friends just looking for adventure and money but they fall in love and soon discover how profitable being a detective can be. While Tommy is sensible, reviews facts and uses logic to help them. Tuppence (Prudence) is more charismatic and impulsive, she thinks outside the box. They make a good team. Unlike her other characters Tommy and Tuppence age in real time. Starting out as young adults in the 1920s in their first novel “The Secret Adversary” and are a married couple in their 70s by their last novel “Postern of Fate”.
Superintendent Battle appears in five of Agatha Christie’s novels, he’s noted as being rather intelligent, with a good sense of case management. He relies greatly on public perceptions that police officers are stupid and uses this to his advantage when solving crimes as he’s more astute than people give him credit for.
With so many novels, short-stories and plays written it can be difficult to narrow down, the best Agatha Christie murder mysteries. We’ve scrolled through countless blogs, lists and reviews and have compiled a list of the best Agatha Christie novels and plays to read if you want to gain some inspiration for your own murder mystery party.
Top 20 best Agatha Christie Murder Mysteries
- A Murder is announced
- Murder on the Orient Express
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
- And Then There were none
- The Murder at the Vicarage
- Death on the Nile
- Crooked House
- Peril at End House
- Five Little Pigs
- The ABC Murders
- Endless Night
- The Body in the Library
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles
- The secret Adversary
- 50 from Paddington
- Ordeal by innocence
- The Moving Finger
- Evil Under the Sun
- The Mousetrap
- Curtain: Poirot’s last case
To scroll through some of the games we have on offer head over to the Masters of Mystery product page where you’ll find a great selection of games and themes for all your Murder Mystery Party game needs.