Reading Lists

Holidays with a Twist: A Reading List

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Summer romances turn fatal, planes go missing and hotel guests wind up dead in these devilish summer mysteries. Best enjoyed sunbathing with a cocktail in hand or in the midst of winter when in need of some sunny escapism.

Victoria had come to two decisions: the first was that (like Juliet) she loved this young man, and meant to have him. The second decision that Victoria had come to was that as Edward would shortly be in Baghdad, the only thing to do was for her to go to Baghdad also.
Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad

The Mysterious Mr Quin [1930]

A conventional aesthete, Mr Satterthwaite never considered himself a participant in the trials and tribulations of love. But, his first meeting with the mysterious Mr Quin proves that being a good listener will always come in handy. Explore 12 unique cases with an utterly unexpected coupling of characters, who will illuminate and improve the lives of those around them, travel from society residences to the casinos of Monte Carlo. Just don't expect to be able to predict when Mr Quin will appear to help...

Parker Pyne Investigates [1934]

A retired civil servant, Parker Pyne is possibly the least conventional private investigator. Those who consult him, via his advertisement in The Times, are looking for happiness… His skills are unrivalled and he will take on any case, whether it’s a matter of the heart or an evil mastermind at work. He prefers to work out of his London office, but is nevertheless drawn into plenty of work whilst holidaying around the globe too. This collection of 14 short stories spotlights Parker Pyne’s innovative methods of detection.

Evil Under the Sun [1941]

Arlena Stuart was a beautiful woman and was often found relaxing on the beach. Only today she was not sunbathing, she lay face down and had been strangled. On this luxury retreat, everyone is a suspect, each with a motive to kill her. But Hercule Poirot suspects this “crime of passion” is concealing something much more sinister. Join the Belgian sleuth at The Jolly Roger Hotel for a perfect dose of summer escapism. Sun cream not provided.

The Body in the Library [1942]

Dolly Bantry is startled awake by a servant declaring that there is a body in the library. The woman is dressed in an evening gown as if she has been at a party. But who is she and how on earth did she wind up in the Bantry's library? Dolly telephones the one person she knows will be able to help uncover the mystery, Miss Marple. What follows is a trip to the great British seaside to untangle a web of jealousy, infatuation and secrets.

There was that about her which made every other woman on the beach seem faded and insignificant. And with equal inevitability, the eye of every male present was drawn and riveted on her.
Agatha Christie, Evil Under the Sun

Towards Zero [1944]

What connects an awkward gathering at Gull’s Point, a theft and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the eyes of the general public, nothing. However, when a party gathers at the seaside home of an elderly widow, Superintendent Battle begins to make connections and discovers it is all part of a carefully laid plan for murder. A fascinating exploration of how the past can catch up with you.

The Hollow [1945]

Rather than the warm and inviting welcome to The Hollow, Hercule Poirot is greeted by a dead man lying at the edge of the swimming pool, with his wife standing over him with a revolver. But as Poirot begins his investigation, a tangled web of love affairs comes to light and it soon becomes obvious that the dead man’s wife may not be the only suspicious member of this party.

They Came to Baghdad [1951]

Victoria Jones is yearning for a change. When she meets a charming young man in FitzJames Gardens and hears of his trip to the Middle East, she is eager to seek a little adventure (and love) of her own. However, Victoria gets a little more than she bargained for when a wounded spy winds up in her hotel room and utters his final words: '…Lucifer…Basrah…Lefarge…’. But what does he mean? Soon Victoria finds herself tangled in a dangerous web of espionage, deception and secrets.

'It's a long time since I've had a holiday,' he said. 'I'm rather sick of this office. I might take a little trip abroad...'
Agatha Christie, Destination Unknown

Destination Unknown [1954]

After a number of leading scientists are reported missing, Hilary Craven is given the opportunity to partake in a thrilling mission offering adventure, espionage and perhaps even love. To succeed she must impersonate the wife of one of the missing scientists whilst journeying to an unknown destination. Hilary soon finds herself amongst a rather eclectic group of travellers including an English, an American and a French holidaymaker. But can Hilary convince the group that she's in love with a man she's never met? And will her fellow travellers turn out to be allies or enemies?

A Caribbean Mystery [1964]

Miss Marple's trip to the Caribbean was a present she mustn't take for granted, but listening to old Major Palgrave witter on isn't her idea of the perfect break. Much more intriguing, Jane reflects, are the couple who have taken over at the Golden Palm Hotel, and their eclectic array of guests: married botanists and birdwatchers; the elderly and enraged Jason Rafiel alongside his cohort of staff. There is perhaps as much to observe from her sun lounger in St Honoré, as from her window in St Mary Mead, and affairs of the heart seem to cause chaos even in paradise.

Midsummer Mysteries [2022]

From the steep streets of a Cornish fishing village to the ruins of Ancient Greece, the settings in this collection will take you on a holiday you’ll never forget. Miss Marple will be on the case, but so too will Parker Pyne, Mr Quin and Hercule Poirot. Expect stories of love, loss, and of course murder! This newly curated short story collection gathers the best stories to dive into this season.

Lovely and warm, yes - and so good for her rheumatism - and beautiful scenery, though perhaps - a trifle monotonous? So many palm trees.
Agatha Christie, A Caribbean Mystery

There are plenty more summer stories for you to explore as well as books featuring love once you've worked your way through these. Don't forget to share your summery photos with us on Instagram and tag us for your chance to feature on our page.

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