Thank you for all your thoughtful and kind comments on my last post. Things haven't got any better, in fact, they're a whole lot worse. We got called into the hospital on Tuesday to see the consultant who basically told us that my dad isn't going to get better. They've now referred him to the palliative care team in the hospital and are keeping him as comfortable as they can with pain relief. We're allowed to visit for as long as we want and as often as we want, though only one person at his bedside at any one time. His deterioration since his hospital admission on the 30th of May is drastic. He was unable to speak when I visited yesterday and I'm not even sure he's fully aware. It's such a very sad time.
It was back in 2015 when I started my Agatha Christie challenge. I wrote about my 2015 Challenges, one of which was to read all sixty six of Agatha Christie's murder/mystery novels in chronological order.
I started with the very first novel Christie had published, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which she wrote in the middle of the First World War in 1916, and which was first published in the United States in October 1920. Quite fitting that I've come to the end of my challenge exactly one hundred years after that first book was published. I decided that I'd read one book each month, in between reading other authors. I'm pleased to say that I kept on track with this, sometimes reading more than one each calendar month, but then I might go a month or two without reading any, but I've just read her last published novel, Sleeping Murder, so I've averaged exactly one book each month. At this rate, sixty six titles equals five and a half years, which is quite a long challenge, but one I've enjoyed.
Although Sleeping Murder was Christie's last published novel, it wasn't the last one she wrote. It was set in the 1930's, written during the Second World War and published posthumously after her death.
Looking now at the list of titles of all sixty six books, some are definitely more memorable than others. There were a couple of real duds in my opinion, Endless Night particularly springs to mind, and some which I definitely enjoyed more than others. Particular favourites are And Then There Were None and Evil Under The Sun. I really enjoyed the one I've just finished too, Sleeping Murder, though I did guess the murderer very near the start. I must have found a knack to solving these crimes after reading all sixty six books.
Christie created some fabulous characters. She had three particular collections, those featuring Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head, Miss Jane Marple, the elderly spinster who lives in the village of St.Mary Mead, and Tommy and Tuppence, the 'Young Adventurers' who appeared in four novels and a short story collection. Of course, there were many other characters who appeared regularly throughout her books, Hastings, Ariadne Oliver, Inspector Japp and Superindendent Battle to name just a few. You often find that people who have read a number of her books have a particular favourite from Poirot and Miss Marple, I have to say that I do enjoy the Miss Marple stories, but Poirot is my favourite.
I've got a couple of short story collections by Agatha Christie which are sitting on my bookshelf so I shall read these at some point, but my challenge has now come to an end. I've enjoyed this little venture so much that I'd like set myself another reading challenge but what that will be, I've no idea just yet.
Agatha Christie is such a popular author, she began writing during the First World War. Postern of Fate was the last book she wrote before her death in 1976, but Curtain: Poirot's Last Case, which was written in the 1940s, was published in 1975 before her death, and as mentioned previously, Sleeping Murder was published posthumously in 1976. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in 100 foreign countries. Her books are outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. As well as her crime novels and short story collections, she also wrote nineteen plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.
How about you? Have you read any Agatha Christie books? Which ones have you read and did you enjoy them? Do you have any particular favourites?