Reading Lists

Christie's London

L Inline Christie London RL

Agatha Christie’s evocative settings are part of what makes her work so magical, and her stories set in England, and particularly London, have captured many hearts and imaginations. We explore the books set in the capital.

At Bertram's Hotel

Join Miss Marple on a two week break in this London hotel, which she remembers fondly. The story gives us ample opportunity to nose around the upper echelons of society, from the comfort of the lounge. But don’t let nostalgia fool you, this charming atmosphere can’t mask the undercover goings-on at Bertram’s Hotel. The setting is thought to be inspired by one of Christie’s favourite venues, Brown’s Hotel.

Cards on the Table

You are cordially invited to Mr Shaitana’s superb flat in London’s Park Lane for a party like no other… The rich host has notorious parties, but this one is designed exclusively for his guest, Hercule Poirot, it is a meeting of murderers who got away with it. You will meet Ariadne Oliver, Colonel Race, and Superintendent Battle in this mystery too. With four experts in the room, what could possibly go wrong?

I fancy, Mr Shaitana, that your hobby might be a dangerous one!
Hercule Poirot, Cards on the Table

Hickory Dickory Dock

This story is a departure from the glitz and glamour of London’s high society. Instead we find ourselves at 26 Hickory Road, where Hercule Poirot feels duty bound to assist Miss Lemon’s sister with a bizarre case of thefts at a student hostel, at which she is the warden. A puzzling mystery which depicts the fascinating, ordinary lives of city-dwellers in the 50s.

Lord Edgware Dies

Poirot is embroiled in a complicated divorce case, when an American actress entreats him to help her whilst the detective is dining at the Savoy hotel with Captain Hastings. Her marriage to Lord Edgware was an utter mistake, but he isn’t willing to let her go. Just 24 hours later the Baron is dead, though it seems plausible he had permitted a divorce after all…

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

The story starts at the premises of Poirot’s dentist, one Mr Morley, who lives and works on Queen Charlotte Street in London (we can presume this is Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia). Poirot grudgingly leaves his home at Whitehaven Mansions to pay Morley a visit for one of his six-monthly check-ups. Not more than an hour after Poirot has left (happily, with no dental work required), Mr Morley is found dead. A number of Morley’s patients are investigated in relation to his demise, taking us readers across London to locations including a large property overlooking the River Thames on Chelsea Embankment, the Savoy Hotel, Battersea Park, Hampstead and Ealing Broadway.

Poirot Investigates

In the first ever short story collection starring Hercule Poirot and the inimitable Hastings, we begin in Poirot’s home, before travelling to a variety of exclusive London addresses. In ‘The Adventure of the Cheap Flat’ Poirot is alarmed by the seemingly impossible deal a couple have obtained on their Knightsbridge accommodation, Montagu Mansions. He rents a room himself to ensure their safety, with shocking results!

The Pale Horse

This story explores the complex area between science and magic, and the contrast of modern 1960s London life with the disturbing goings-on in a traditional country village. Narrator Mark Easterbrook finds himself in a trendy Chelsea coffee shop with the offer of banana and bacon sandwiches (another subtle juxtaposition from Christie). He observes the “Chelsea set”: young people from wealthy backgrounds that give it all up to live a bohemian lifestyle, while he himself enjoys the finer cultural activities, including plays at the Old Vic. Later, we hop to the murder of a priest in a dingy street near Paddington, leading us to the village of Much Deeping and the three mysterious ladies that reside at The Pale Horse.

The Secret Adversary

Childhood friends Tommy and Tuppence bump into each other outside Dover Street Station (now Green Park) at the end of the First World War, and head to a Lyons Tea Room to catch up. Jobless, and looking to make some money, they set themselves up as “The Young Adventurers”, and proceed to become embroiled in dangerous situations with master criminals. Their exploits take them across the city, from a den in Soho to the Ritz Hotel and from Gloucester Road to a house off Park Lane.

The Seven Dials Mystery

This story brings back ‘bright young thing’ Eileen ‘Bundle’ Brent from The Secret of Chimneys and places her at the centre of the action. A house party at the country manor of Chimneys ends in the death of one of the guests, who is found in his room surrounded by seven clocks. Bundle heads to London to investigate the murder, and descends into the depths of the seedy Seven Dials Club in Covent Garden, where she encounters a secret society and gets mixed up with the criminal underworld.

Third Girl

Young Norma Restarick calls on Poirot in obvious distress, concerned that she has committed a murder. Before he can help her, however, she runs away, telling him that he’s too old! Poirot, aided by Ariadne Oliver, sets out to find out who she is and what could have caused her to react in this way; their investigations take Poirot to Norma’s flatshare at Borodene Mansions (somewhere in South Kensington), and put Ariadne Oliver in grave danger as she follows a suspect on the underground from Charing Cross, onto a bus to World’s End, and then into a maze of alleyways by the River Thames.

Sign up to the newsletter to receive The World of Agatha Christie: 1920s magazine