The Best Non-Series Agatha Christie Novel – The Results

And now it’s time for the results of the Best Non-Poirot, Non-Marple and Non-Ten-People-Stuck-On-An-Island-Novel. Why did I exclude And Then There Were None? Because it would have won by a mile and the WordPress poll doesn’t cope with second places, and I was more curious about what other books people liked. So here’s the results – in reverse order, obviously…

0 votes: Murder Is Easy, Destination Unknown, Passenger To Frankfurt, Postern Of Fate

Well, I’m a little surprised about Murder Is Easy, as there was that TV film with Bill Bixby, and it’s not awful. Haven’t read the other three though…

1 vote: The Secret Adversary, They Came To Baghdad

Poor old Secret Adversary – I rather liked that one. Hope it hasn’t been irredeemably scarred by the Walliams-Raine version…

2 votes: The Seven Dials Mystery, The Sittaford Mystery, Ordeal By Innocence

Not much to say about these really. I read Dials an absolute age ago and can’t remember anything about it. Not a good sign, but not as bad as Ordeal By Innocence that apparently I read four years ago but can’t remember anything about it. And I still think Sittaford cheats…

3 votes: The Man In The Brown Suit, The Secret Of Chimneys, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, N or M?, Death Comes As The End, By The Pricking Of My Thumbs

So the best Tommy and Tuppence can muster is three votes? Oh dear… And shame about Death Comes As The End – my choice, by the way – it was in joint first place very early on and then got no further votes. Boo.

4 votes: Endless Night

Very glad this over-rated tosh only got four votes. I was a bit worried that it was going to win…

5 votes: Towards Zero

Um… read it ages ago. Can’t remember much… think I liked it.

And now the top three, with a significant jump in the voting…

11 votes: The Pale Horse

A genuine surprise – never expected it to get this high. And, as this informed commentary continues, I also can’t remember anything about it. Does a vicar get killed at the start? Is there something about witches? That’s about it.

13 votes: Crooked House

Thought this was going to win – as I’ve said many times, not read it as someone spoiled it for me an age ago and I’ve never forgotten… One day…

15 votes: Sparkling Cyanide

Boosted probably by a couple of adaptations, this is nonetheless classic Christie. I described it when I reviewed it as “probably the best non-series Christie”. I guess I was right (apart from And Then There Were None, obviously).

So, some interesting results there – most interesting that there were more votes cast in this than in the Best Miss Marple Semi-Finals. Any suggestions for another poll (which enough people will be informed enough to vote in) gratefully received.


  1. Well, in your reviews you were not as enthusiastic about Death Comes At The End as you were about Sparkling Cyanide. In fact, your reviews fooled me into believing that you voted for Sparkling Cyanide !


    • I know – rereading the reviews, I’d have come to the same conclusion. But with hindsight, the attempt at something genuinely originally lingered in my memory more than a top notch “normal” whodunit.


  2. Gutted Crooked House just lost out at the end, having voted for it. I don’t think you are missing out on not having read Passenger to Frankfurt, which would have to win the Worst Christie novel poll by a long mile! As to other polls you could do you could always do a poll on the best GA fictional sleuth (which could be split into two – male and female). Or you could take a more thematic approach and do the best country house murder mystery or something. Or best GA novel set in an academic setting. Though they might be slightly trickier to set up e.g. picking the novels to include etc.


    • It’s picking topics that the casual reader would know enough about. For example, how many readers have read more than one Bobby Owens book? I’ll let someone lese do take over from now.


  3. Hey, I voted for that over-rated tosh! Whatever tosh is–must be some kind of Brit thing–some sort of porridge?


  4. Puzzle Doctor, I’m very glad that you and I agree about over-rated tosh. I remember rereading it a couple years ago (shortly after you did) just to see if I would like it any better on a second go-round. I didn’t. And I doubt I’ll read it again any time soon (if ever).


  5. […] Just a few links to some posts that I did concerning some wider aspects of crime fiction – The Mystery Of History; Bodies From The Library 2016; Some thoughts on Bias In Blogging; Parts 1, 2 and 3 of my trawl through medieval-set crime fiction; The ridiculously hard 1000th Post Competition; My Hosting of The Verdict Of Us All – Which Author Will You Never Read. And of course, you, dear reader, helped decide the Best Poirot Novel, Best Marple Novel and Best Non-Poirot, Marple or Ten-People-Stuck-On-An-Island Christie. […]


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