Reading Lists

Agatha Christie's Summer Stories

Outset Midsummer Mysteries US
Discover the summer short story collection, Midsummer Mysteries

With long, warm days, a little more free time, and a chance to relax, summer is the perfect moment to lounge in the sun and read a mystery story. If winter has set in where you are though, don't despair. Everyone can at least escape the ordinary for a few hours by reading a good book. So if you are looking for a sunny read, what could be better than one of these Agatha Christie stories featuring summery settings, brilliant beaches, and British festivities? These stories are also perfect for those in the Southern Hemisphere, whose warmer days feel like rather a distant memory.

Midsummer Mysteries

This collection is the perfect way to celebrate a summer staycation. Whether you want to be transported to the Cornish Coast with Miss Marple's crime-solving skills for company, or travel to a smart London hotel for a touch of adventure, this selection of short stories is for you. Expect to see the usual suspects – Hercule Poirot, Mr Harley Quin – attempting to take a break from it all, with little success!

The Murder on the Links

The second published Poirot novel sees the sleuth heading to Northern France, accompanied by Captain Hastings. Set in the summer months, and with plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy, it seems a shame that the pair are there on business, to help a new client named Paul Renauld. His body is discovered near to a golf-course before they reach him, and now the responsibility of finding his killer surely rests with the Detective of the Paris Sûreté? This story was recently narrated by Phoebe Judge as part of the Phoebe Reads A Mystery series. Listen now

Murder in Paradise

This new audio collection is perfect for fans looking to lose themselves in a good story. Take a trip with 13 Poirot tales read by David Suchet. The common theme? Holidays… When the body of a young woman is discovered on a train to the South coast, Poirot’s help is requested by a father determined to uncover the truth in ‘The Plymouth Express’. Poirot, Hastings and Inspector Japp indulge in a weekend in the countryside together, before a locked-room mystery disrupts their bacon and eggs in ‘The Marketing Basing Mystery’. From jewel thieves to Egyptian tombs, this set of stories has an adventure for everyone.

Peril at End House

Hercule Poirot can’t take a break, even when he’s on vacation. While staying at the seaside town of St. Loo with Captain Hastings, Poirot firmly ignores the telegrams and letters from desperate politicians and prominent people asking him to cut his holiday short and help them. However, when a bullet pierces the hat of a charming young woman of Poirot’s acquaintance, and it turns out that she’s been the target of multiple attempts on her life, Poirot gladly steps in to protect her, and wanders into a web of murder, illegal drugs and forgery.

The Thirteen Problems

This collection of short stories, featuring Miss Marple solving cases brought to her by loved ones, depicts a couple of summery beach settings. In ‘The Blood-Stained Pavement’, Joyce, the girlfriend of Miss Marple’s nephew, discovers a grisly scene… far away from where one of her fellow vacationers suffered a violent death. When a later holiday leads to the prospect of history repeating itself, Joyce is determined to stop a multiple murderer... In ‘The Companion’, Miss Marple’s friend Dr. Lloyd tells her the story of a mysterious drowning in the Canary Islands, where a rich woman’s poor companion died. One witness thought it was murder, but there was no evidence, and what motive would a wealthy woman have to kill her penniless employee?

Murder Under the Sun

This summer audio collection features 13 summer stories, read by Hugh Fraser. It includes ‘Death on the Nile’ a short Poirot-less story starring Parker Pyne, which takes place on board a boat to Cairo. Sound familiar? We assure you this isn’t the tale you think it is. For those fans of Mr Harley Quin, ‘The Man from the Sea’ is a real highlight of this audiobook. Mr Satterthwaite has switched his regular holiday in the Riviera for an island retreat, but, as always, his hopes for an incident-free trip are futile. This audio collection shines a light on some lesser-known summer stories, as well as including a charming mix of Poirot tales. Why not click download and put your feet up?

Dead Man’s Folly

Nothing says British summer like a fête! Expect coconut shys, fortune tellers and plenty of lively stall-holders. There’s even a murder mystery hunt, created and written by crime writer Ariadne Oliver. Her friend Hercule Poirot is on hand, seemingly to present prizes, but his presence is actually designed to prevent a murder… a task which he ultimately fails at. The story’s setting at Nasse House, Devon, is based on Christie’s own holiday home, Greenway, adding a dash of local insight for the reader.

Afternoon at the Seaside

Christie was a record-breaking playwright as well as a novelist, and her trilogy of one-acts Rule of Three features the drama entitled Afternoon at the Seaside. There is not a murder at the heart of this story though. Instead a piece of valuable jewellery has been stolen, and everybody on the beach is a suspect. Who took it? Where is it hidden? Who is lying about their backgrounds? And what secrets is the glamorous bathing beauty keeping to herself?

The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (US only)

This story selection stars Miss Marple, Parker Pyne and Hercule Poirot tales. The eponymous boating regatta takes Parker Pyne to Devon to catch a diamond thief. In 'Miss Marple Tells A Story' the sleuth solves a crime from her armchair, proving that there's plenty you can get done by sitting at home! Poirot is once again in Egypt for 'Problem at Sea', when a wealthy woman is found dead on board a ship.

Problem at Pollensa Bay (UK Only)

This brightly coloured collection will make a great addition to your bookshelves! Containing eight short stories, featuring Parker Pyne, Mr Quin and Hercule Poirot. ‘Problem at Pollensa Bay’ is a Parker Pyne story set in Mallorca, which begins with a travel nightmare – as there are no rooms available in the city. 'Yellow Iris' is a poisoning case containing the Belgian detective, and would go on to become the full-length novel, Sparkling Cyanide, with Colonel Race.

All of these books will help you relax into a reading vacation… wherever you are in the world. Let us know what you are reading via email, or on social media (Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). We love hearing from you.

These stories were chosen by Agatha Christie expert Chris Chan, and Digital Marketing Manager Sarah Thrift.

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