Christie's Best Opening Lines

Thumbnail Opening Lines Appointment With Death

Nothing beats the excitement of beginning a book. Whether you are starting a new story, opening a recommended read, or revisiting a favourite novel, the sheer pleasure of those first lines is hard to quantify. In this feature, we share 15 of our favourite first sentences in Agatha Christie, to showcase how varied and intriguing the Queen of Crime's writing is from the outset.

It is difficult to know quite where to begin this story, but I have fixed my choice on a certain Wednesday at luncheon at the Vicarage.
The Murder at the Vicarage
Mrs Ferrars died on the night of the 16th–17th September — a Thursday.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?
Appointment with Death
Captain Crosbie came out of the bank with the pleased air of one who has cashed a cheque and has discovered that there is just a little more in his account than he thought there was.
They Came to Baghdad
Six people were thinking of Rosemary Barton who had died nearly a year ago . . .
Sparkling Cyanide
Thumbnail Opening Lines Sparkling Cyanide
Hercule Poirot was sitting at the breakfast table.
Third Girl
It was the opening night of London’s new National Opera House and consequently an occasion.
Giant's Bread
Mrs McGillicuddy panted along the platform in the wake of the porter carrying her suitcase.
4.50 From Paddington
Mr Satterthwaite sat on the terrace of ‘Crow’s Nest’ and watched his host, Sir Charles Cartwright, climbing up the path from the sea.
Three Act Tragedy
There are two methods, it seems to me, of approaching this strange business of the Pale Horse.
The Pale Horse
Thumbnail Opening Lines The Pale Horse
Elinor Katharine Carlisle. You stand charged upon this indictment with the murder of Mary Gerrard upon the 27th of July last. Are you guilty or not guilty?
Sad Cypress
Mrs Ariadne Oliver had gone with the friend with whom she was staying, Judith Butler, to help with the preparations for a children’s party which was to take place that same evening.
Hallowe’en Party
In the heart of the West End, there are many quiet pockets, unknown to almost all but taxi drivers who traverse them with expert knowledge, and arrive triumphantly thereby at Park Lane, Berkeley Square or South Audley Street.
At Bertram’s Hotel
Who is there who has not felt a sudden startled pang at reliving an old experience, or feeling an old emotion?
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
It was Miss Lemon, Poirot’s efficient secretary, who took the telephone call.
Dead Man’s Folly
Thumbnail Opening Lines Dead Mans Folly

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