Agatha Christie didn’t lean into the paranormal as much as many of her contemporaries did (looking at you, Mary Roberts Rinehart), but when she did, Dame Agatha blended murder and horror with a brilliant touch. For the coming Winter months, keep reading for three creepy Christie mysteries guaranteed to tingle your spine.
A personal favorite of mine, this mystery starts with a killer premise (a children’s Halloween party) then amps up the tension with the murder of a child—a rarity for the author. Like many of her best, Hallowe’en Party has a solution where Poirot stretches the limits of credibility without actually breaking them, and one clue that, once explained, seems painfully obvious in retrospect.
What better place for a murder than a snow-bound manor house? What better way to ratchet up the tension than a game of Ouija that cries out for a murder? Who better to tell the tale than Agatha Christie? This lesser-known gem has a creepy atmosphere filled with ghost sightings, supernatural danger, and hints of the occult. An unusually chilling tale from Christie that pays off in the end with a spectacular explanation.
One of the best with Tommy and Tuppence, Pricking sets a dark stage at an old folks home. Is death a natural end to a long life or is someone giving the Grim Reaper a little help? There are hints of paranoia, black magic, and the supernatural, but the solution is firmly rooted in reality. A macabre outing for Christie, but one which shows her talent for depicting how the extraordinary hides behind the everyday.
Love a good murder? Be sure to take a stab at Thou Shalt Not Kilt, a traditional Southern whodunnit with Scottish flavor. For my latest news and book updates, follow me on Instagram and TikTok, and sign up for Fatal Fiction, my monthly mystery newsletter — plus, you’ll get a free downloadable copy of Masters of Murder, my concise guide to the detectives and authors of mystery’s Golden Age.