Reading Lists

Read Christie 2023

Outset Professional Sad Cypress
Our January book: Sad Cypress

Welcome to Read Christie 2023! This year we are focusing on the methods and motives used within Agatha Christie's books. To receive your copy of the postcard simply sign up to our newsletter. Already a subscriber? You will have received your copy of the challenge in your most recent Agatha Christie newsletter. To find out more about the challenge visit our FAQs.

NB. Our murder methods are quite straightforward and often referenced in the title, eg. Sparkling Cyanide, so this doesn't spoil the story for readers who are new to the book. The murder motives are not necessarily why the murder has taken place in the novel, but are a key theme (or motivation) throughout the story. This way we are able to discuss character motives, without too many spoilers.

Our January choice: Sad Cypress

Our very first prompt of 2023 is a book featuring jealousy and for this, we have selected Sad Cypress which was published in 1939. The novel is split into three sections: firstly, the build up to the murder, secondly, Hercule Poirot's investigation, and finally the court case itself and the unveiling of the truth.

What's it about?

Elinor Carlisle has been charged with the murder of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. Only she had the motive, opportunity, and means to administer the fatal poison, but someone is adamant that Miss Carlisle did not commit the crime and has asked Hercule Poirot to prove her innocence. Is it possible that someone else is responsible or is the defendant guilty after all?

'Elinor Carlisle killed Mary Gerrard out of jealousy…'
Agatha Christie, Sad Cypress

Alternative Stories

Jealousy is a popular theme within Agatha Christie's novels so there are plenty of other books to choose from if you don't fancy reading Sad Cypress. You could select a firm favourite of Christie fans to start the year and read Death on the Nile which features a love triangle, bound by jealousy. Cards on the Table is another excellent choice for this month; a flamboyant party host is murdered in full view when a seemingly innocent game of bridge turns deadly. Other Poirot novels you may also like to opt for include Five Little Pigs, The Murder on the Links, Murder in Mesopotamia and Elephants Can Remember. If you'd prefer to start with a Miss Marple novel we recommend The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. Looking for a standalone story? Towards Zero suits this category too.

How to get involved

Once you've printed your challenge postcard, simply fill in the story you've chosen for this category and get reading! If you post about your choice on social media make sure to tag us in the photo so we can see it. Use #ReadChristie2023 on Instagram for your chance to be featured in our monthly reading round-ups. Alternatively, you can let us know via our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram which book you've chosen, in the comment sections of our posts. Some readers choose to join our end of the month book club, or incorporate it into their own book club plans. However you join us, we hope you have fun with this year's challenge.

The book club

We will be hosting our first book club of the year on Thursday 26th January at 9am and 5pm (UK time) on both Instagram and Facebook. To get involved, simply head to the comments section where we will pose live questions about our chosen book for a whole hour, and share your opinions on the novel.

Our 2023 reading choices

ACL Reading List 2023 Filled copy
This year's official picks for the Read Christie 2023 challenge

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