Over this past year, I’ve become a huge Agatha Christie fan. After being blown away by And Then There Were None, which I read in a weekend, I discovered the delight of Christie’s Detective Hercule Poirot books. Christie’s novels are often classified as cozy, but make no mistake: she had a crafty mind capable of imagining the worst in human beings and the unspeakable crimes they could commit. Since becoming a Christie fan, I’ve explored other authors like Agatha Christie. Fortunately there are plenty of contemporary writers who engage with Christie’s conventions and innovate at the same time…hence this list!
If you’re looking for books to read if you like Agatha Christie, you’ve come to the right place. These ten writers like Agatha Christie are perfect for fans of her unique blend of suspense and tension. You’ll find a mix of cozy mystery writers and thriller authors who can spin a yarn as unputdownable as Christie. These writers harness Christie in multiple ways, which you’ll see broken out in the Key Christie factors, and you’ll also find what book to start with for each of these stellar authors like Agatha Christie.
You’ll quickly fall in love with Inspector Singh, the Singaporean detective in Shamini Flint’s cozy mystery series. Always well-intentioned and sharp-thinking, Inspector Singh solves puzzling crimes in page-turning novels with happy endings. The series, which comprises seven books to date, kicks off with Inspector Singh Investigates, in which a model is suspected of murdering her ex-husband, and Singh tries to prove she’s been framed and find the real murderer.
Key Christie factors: Eccentric detective, twisty whodunnit, page-turning pacing
If your favorite Agatha Christie novels are the locked room mysteries And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, you definitely want to pick up Lucy Foley’s thrillers, which are known for pitting the complex group dynamics and secrets hiding just under the surface…secrets that lead to murder. Pick up The Hunting Party first. In this thriller, friends on a winter vacation become sealed off from the rest of the world after a blizzard. And it’s during that time that a killing takes place…Who can you trust? No one! Who could be responsible? Anyone! Have fun flipping pages to find out.
Key Christie factors: Crime committed in an isolated setting, layered tension among group members, locked room mystery
I cannot count how many times I’ve recommended Anthony Horowitz’s books to Agatha Christie fans through TBR. Horowitz is such a clever writer, someone who really understands how to both pay homage to and innovate the cozy mystery genre. Start with Magpie Murders, an immensely satisfying mystery within a mystery about a thriller writer who dies under mysterious circumstances and the editor who tries to uncover the truth.
Key Christie factors: European detective, English countryside, quirky community members, loaded with references to the mystery genre
Good news: after you marathon read Christopher Huang’s A Gentleman’s Murder, be reassured that Huang is penning a sequel to this gripping historical mystery debut. Christie fans who like the way that class and the aristocracy factor into her mysteries will appreciate Huang’s A Gentleman’s Murder, in which detective and war veteran and amateur sleuth Eric Peterkin suspects murder among a London gentlemen’s club. Huang is skilled at layering in red herrings, just like Christie.
Key Christie factors: 1920s setting, crime among the British aristocracy, class as a theme, amateur sleuth
Sujata Massey burst onto the mystery scene with The Widows of Malabar Hill, the start of a new historical mystery series starring lawyer-turned-sleuth Perveen Mistry. Set in 1920s Bombay, The Widows of Malabar Hill has that signature sense of place that Christie manages so well. And headstrong, intellectual, and relatable heroine Perveen recalls Christie’s Miss Marple detective. After you gobble this one up, be sure to check out the follow-up, The Satapur Moonstone.
Key Christie factors: 1920s setting, class as a theme, formidable female detective
Jorge Zepeda Patterson
Mexican writer Jorge Zepeda Patterson is a writer to watch for sure. Perhaps no recent thriller has channeled Agatha Christie better than Zepeda Patterson’s The Black Jersey. Set on the cutthroat Tour de France, The Black Jersey features a cyclist’s team member as he tries to figure out why so many contestants are dropping like flies after mysterious “accidents.” As in Christie’s And Then There Were None, there is an escalating tension in The Black Jersey. The closer the race gets to the end, the fewer people are left, meaning anybody could be the killer…and anybody could be next.
Key Christie factors: Twisty plot, amateur sleuth, mounting suspense, anyone could be a suspect
It would be impossible to write about authors like Agatha Christie without highlighting the work of Louise Penny. In her signature cozy mystery series, which currently stretches to 16 books and counting, Penny features Chief Inspector Gamache, a soft-spoken, intelligent detective who solves crimes in the seemingly sleepy small towns in the Montreal area. The Gamache series starts with Still Life, a mystery representative of Penny’s unique cerebral touch and lyrical prose.
Key Christie factors: Countryside setting, quirky community members, cerebral detective
Although Stuart Turton’s only published one book so far, that book definitely earns him a spot on this list. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a clever play on the cozy mystery conventions that Christie did so well. At an English country house, Aiden Bishop wakes up over and over again trying to stop the inevitable murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. Which of eight suspects did it? Everyone has something to hide, but Bishop must untangle the threads to find out. Turton is a writer on the rise.
Key Christie factors: Crime among the British aristocracy, atmospheric, locked room mystery
Ruth Ware hasn’t been on the thriller scene long, but she’s already made a mark for her Christie-esque books. My favorite is The Turn of the Key, which draws inspiration from Gothic mysteries like The Turn of the Screw. For the most Christie-esque read, try The Woman in Cabin 10, a locked-room mystery in which a set of wealthy individuals assemble on a luxury ship and may or may not have participated in murder.
Key Christie factors: Atmospheric, locked room mystery, characters with something to hide, anyone could be a suspect
If you’re craving a cozy mystery series anchored by female sleuth as intuitive and brilliant as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, look no further! Jacquline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books are a refreshing take on the Golden Age of Mystery series. Like many of Christie’s novels, the Maisie Dobbs books are set in England during the 1920s and 1930s. Our heroine, Maisie Dobbs, relies on her smarts and her knowledge of England’s class structure to crack the toughest cases. It all starts with the first of 15 novels, Maisie Dobbs.
Key Christie factors: 1920s and 1930s British settings, Formidable female detective, class as a theme
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