10 Agatha Christie Books Like 'Only Murders In The Building' – Collider

Is ‘Only Murders in the Building’ worthy of the best-selling fiction author ever?
Only Murders In The Building excellently blends intrigue, true crime podcasts, and a classic mystery (complete with twists, characters who aren’t all they seem, and mysterious events from the past) all bound together with a healthy dash of humor.
RELATED: TV's Best Mystery Comedies, Ranked: From 'The Afterparty' to 'Murderville'
Who else was also great at everything mentioned above? Only the best-selling fiction writer of all time, Agatha Christie! Known for her murder mysteries and detective novels, of which she wrote 66. Nearly any book that starts your journey with Agatha Christie is bound to be at least good, but here are the top ten that focus the most on that exciting, twisty experience that Only Murders In The Building does so well.
The Secret Adversary is a perfect cozy mystery, starting off the relationship between Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley. These characters later become an iconic husband-and-wife detective duo, but for now they’re just young adults trying to make ends meet. After being hired to find a woman who vanished on the SS Lusitania, along with the sensitive international information she carried, the two of them are dragged into a world of mysterious deaths, amnesia, and imposters.
The book serves as a great introduction to characters who would go on to star in four other novels and multiple short stories (and inspired a short-lived television adaptation), and, while Tommy and Tuppence’s adventures never quite reached the heights of other Christie mysteries, this one is certainly gripping.
The precursor of the hit miniseries on BritBox of the same name, Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans is a great novel to cozy up with–even if the adaptation was mostly faithful, it’s always a fun time searching for what was left out and what might be different between a show made in 2022 and a book published in 1934.
RELATED: 9 Essential Agatha Christie TV Adaptations, From 'Why Didn't They Ask Evans?' to 'Poirot'
Two childhood friends in a small Welsh seaside town investigate a murder, their only clues being the man’s last words, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”. Director Hugh Laurie proved his writing talent with the miniseries, and Agatha Christie definitely shows hers here with the addictive twists and turns found in this book.
Agatha Christie is a well-known mystery writer now, with crime fiction authors citing her as their inspiration and her books spawning adaptation after adaptation. However, in the year 1926, Christie was no one big until her newest release, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, broke onto the scene and propelled her into the fame she’s known for now.
And for good reason! The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a classic locked-room mystery in the style emulated by films like Knives Out: the death of a wealthy man in his closed study brings Hercules Poirot, assisted by Dr. James Sheppard, to solve the mystery. The novel masterfully plays with the audience’s expectations, misleading readers with red herrings and slowly revealing the intricate plot, until the explosive ending twists everything the audience thought they knew.
Miss Marple and her calm mystery-solving from over her knitting needles resulted in one of Agatha Christie’s best-loved characters next to Hercules Poirot. Novels featuring this spinster are sure to be as exciting as they are relaxing to read, and A Caribbean Mystery in particular is a great book to spend a summer diving into.
After Miss Marple decides the best way to recover from illness is to spend a while at a resort in the Caribbean, she can’t stay away from crime-solving for too long. A conversation with a mysterious guest who has information about a man who’s gotten away with murder turns into an investigation when this man, too, ends up dead.
The calm of a wealthy seaside home is broken when the elderly, bed-ridden Lady Tressilan insists on inviting a diverse group of guests to stay with her. Predictably, the situation leads to the murder of Tresillan as well as multiple guests, and the recurring Christie character Superintendent Battle arrives on the scene to help put together the evidence.
RELATED: 8 Characters From 'Only Murders in the Building' That Need More Screen Time in Season 2
Towards Zero is one of Agatha Christie’s most-praised books, with particular attention being given to the character development and the ingenious plot. Tennis stars, ex-wives, and lawyers with important cold cases all come together in a slow but steady story.
Adventurous and ambitious, The Secret of Chimneys is one of Agatha Christie’s first attempts at a thriller, and it certainly succeeds!
International politics come to a head in an otherwise domestic little novel. In Christie’s fictional Balkan country of Herzoslovakia, a king is murdered, foreboding bad news for the international landscape. Narrator Anthony Cade is slipped a mysterious document along with some blackmail letters to deliver, making him into a party of interest to many intelligence agencies. Everything–which includes hiding dead bodies, robberies, imposters, and quite a lot of dry humor–comes to a head at the country estate of Chimneys.
Besides being a novel writer, Agatha Christie also wrote plenty of short stories, which were usually published in the newspapers and gathered into collections later. The Thirteen Problems features the very first Miss Marple short stories. The short story format means it’s extremely easy to get into, even for non-book lovers!
The unique thing about Christie’s short story collections is that even across the different tales there is an overarching plot, which makes it almost like a television show, with one story split up into bite-sized pieces.
Cyanide is a classic element in murder mysteries, and Agatha Christie made prolific use of it in many of her novels. This book exemplifies all of the tried-and-true crime tropes–fancy restaurants, unrequited love, poisoned champagne, and family inheritances–without them feeling dull or uninspired.
Sparkling Cyanide is yet another Agatha Christie plot destined for adaptations (of which there are many); the coziness of the mystery, the familiar old-money aesthetic that characterized so many of Christie’s works, and the suspense of the race to find the culprit all come together into a fun book to spend a few days reading.
Crooked House is a complex, twining book—much like the large family residing in its eponymous house. Red herrings abound in what has been announced as one of Agatha Christie’s best books, as a prospective fiance attempts to help the police solve a poisoning that has occurred in his soon-to-be family.
RELATED: 10 Agatha Christie Film Adaptations to Watch Ahead of 'Death on the Nile'
Finishing off with one of Christie’s most notable twists, this story delves into the twisted (one might even say ‘crooked’) relationships brewing among its cast of characters. The meticulously scattered clues and hints as to the poisoner’s identity are bound to enthrall an audience!
This one is a classic! The book that everyone thinks of when Agatha Christie’s name is brought up actually lives up to its reputation with a great, chilling murder mystery.
When eight people are invited to a private island manor by a mysterious, unknown benefactor, everything seems to be going well…at first. The peace is broken after dinner, when a phonograph recording accuses the guests of murder, and one of them promptly dies of poisoning. As the group is thinned down one by one, the survivors fight to discover which one of them is the murderer, and who these unknown, absent hosts are.
NEXT: 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2 Review: An Exciting But Messy Overachievement
Bethany is a writer for Collider. She lives in North Carolina, and loves the small home she’s grown up in. When she isn’t writing original fiction or watching her current favorite show, she’s reading fanfiction or riding her bike along the local trails.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *