Agatha Christie Book Collections

I'm sure that there are many people on this site who, like me, have the complete collection of Agatha Christie's works in their possession. I was just wondering (not counting any seriously valuable collections like first editions or signed copies or whatever), if anyone collects all the books in a certain version, issue date or by some other criteria of their own choice?

I have a set of the books in paperback, in what I refer to myself as the current covers. These are listed as Harper publishers, and have the facsimile Agatha Christie signature emblazoned along the spine and across the top of the front cover, above a stylised drawing of an image representing the story (like the pictures you can select on here to put on your profile). Publishing dates all pretty much in the past 10/12 years or so.These are the ones I read, and re-read on a regular basis. The working set!

I also have a complete set of the white, paperback Fontana books with the covers showing the Tom Adams artwork (from the 1970's), and quite a few (though by no means all) of the wonderfully evocative 1950's Pan paperbacks, with their bright, bold, primary coloured covers and images that are so of their era.

Now none of these books have any great value. The older books were all bought second hand over the years for no more than a couple of pounds (or should I say NZ Dollars) each. The working set probably cost me the most as these were bought new, in ones and twos but at the full cover price. I started reading her books when I was about 13 years of age (so late 1970's), and have built up my gradually over the past 35 years or so. In addition to the novels and stories I have also bought or been gifted many books either about Agatha, her inspirations, her houses, the actual crimes often used or referred to in her books etc, etc etc. I have a wonderful book (long out of print) solely about the Tom Adams covers mentioned earlier and with comments by the artist himself about how/why he painted the images he did. Again, not valuable but to me priceless.

I also have the complete ITV David Suchet 'Poirot' and BBC Joan Hickson 'Miss Marple' adaptations on DVD together with some of the stand alone alone films of her books (such as 'And Then There Were None', 'Death on The Nile', 'Murder on The Orient Express' films from the 1950's, 60's and 70's) and of course the Margaret Rutherford films. So I guess you could say I'm a bit of an anorak when it comes to Agatha Christie. My biggest regret is that Greenway House was only opened to the public by the National Trust after I left the UK, but a visit is top of the list of things to do when I go back to the UK. 

So do you collect anything related to Agatha?


  • shanashana Paramaribo, Suriname
    As I"m Dutch speaking I obviously also collect her books in their Dutch version along side with the original English version. Apart from that it"s pretty much the same story you"re telling only, my collection in English is not complete and is not as diverse as yours is. That"s because down here anything on AC is very hard to find and if you find something it will be an used book. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one novel of AC I haven't been able to find in English.  Besides that, a couple of years ago I started to note down/collect the nursery rhymes AC uses in her stories with the intention of studying their origins. but I stopped halfway and it's not nearly complete.
  • mike1410mike1410 Franklin, New Zealand
    Wow, I'm surprised you haven't been able to get 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' in English, I would have thought that would be an easier one to find given that it's considered to be the one that made her famous. I always expected the more unpopular ones (like Passenger To Frankfurt seems to be) would be harder to get - less sales so less reprints. Where do you live?

    I wonder if there is one book (or maybe a select handful of books) that seems to be the most difficult to get a copy of?
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I prefer the Paperback Covers to the Hardback ones too.
  • shanashana Paramaribo, Suriname
    Well Mike I live in South America. Generally, the popular novels are more sought after and the lesser known titles lay there waiting for you. Maybe it's just my bad luck for not finding Roger Ackroyd. I do have it in Dutch though! :) . And about your last question: the Mary Westmacott novels are even more difficult to find.

    P.s. My english versions are also mostly paperbacks and very old, yellow or thorn. I had the luck to be able to buy some 50 plus in reasonable state for my collection at once at a used bookshop couple of years back. A previous collector had been deceased and his children just did away with his whole collection. Something else that's interesting to note. The amount of readers of AC novels are of a certain (old) age and are fastly declining in numbers over here.
  • mike1410mike1410 Franklin, New Zealand
    @ shana

    I personally don't think you're missing much by not having read the Mary Westmacott books, but then I don't really do romantic fiction. People who do like it will, I am sure, greatly enjoy them. I like murder mystery, whodunnits, true crime stories, autobiographies and then random things like Armistead Maupin's 'Tales Of The City' series, which are the only set of books other than Christie's that I can read and re-read and never tire of.

    I like old books. The unexpected joys of finding little slips of paper used as bookmarks by a previous owner, or scribbled notes in the margins. I think they add character, even if not value.......unless the notes happen to be in Agatha's own hand!
  • shanashana Paramaribo, Suriname
    Well Mike I'd like to read the Westmacott B once just to judge for myself. And as a matter of fact I did find several slips of paper between pages and even a postcard adressed to the previous owner. I was not as lucky as John Curran though to find AC"s own notes.:( :( And sadly I have never heard of Armistead Maupin before.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    I used to have some Fontana Paperbacks, I had the one with the skull, Halloween Party, Dead Man's Folly and a few more, I was really sorry to have to say good bye to them to make room for more Books, The worst thing about it was I gave them to someone who I don't thin would appreciate them, I love your Pictures, you have brought back some happy memories so thank you. :-) 

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Well if you do, give me first refusal :-)
  • vsmbarbozavsmbarboza Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I'm from Brazil and I decided to have a collection of the books in English. So I bought the first one, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, on the internet (cause it is hard to find books in English here at my country). I choose the Harper's paperback version. But when it arrives home I feel disappointed with the paper quality of the book. The type of the paper of the book is newsprint paper, so as the time passes it gets yellow very quickly. Anyone recommends an edition with better paper quality?
  • I collect the dutch 80ss versions  , I like the atmosphere of the drawings : you can guess the title from the picture , right?

  • I have the complete Agatha Christie collection from Planet Three. I got it for around £50.

    They are good although the paper is not acid free and the binding is a bit iffy on some volumes.
  • stephenstephen London, United Kingdom
    Hi there,
    I collected the Fontana editions that were published in the UK during the 1980s. They have been described in the past as being the most gruesome of all jackets ever published, for example 'A Caribbean Mystery' had a picture of a tropical bird with a bloody knife in place of its beak, 'Death in the Clouds' a pale blue sky with clouds dripping blood, 'A murder is announced' a plate with a cake on it ('delicious death') in the shape of a skull with blood dripping out of it instead of the creamed jam filling, 'After the Funeral' an angel from a graveyard holding a hatchet dripping with blood, 'Five little pigs' a pig in a bloody field with a bloody snout...... Although they were undeniably gruesome, I thought they looked pretty cool and I started collecting them when I was about 10 and these were the jackets at the time.  Some books were not published by Fontana at that time, in particular her very first novels such as 'The Mysterious affair at Styles', 'Secret Adversary', 'Man in the Brown Suit', etc. These were published by Triad Garnada and also had pretty cool looking covers. One or two others published by Pan and 'The Moving Finger' had a picture of a death mask covered with newspaper clippings representing the poison pen letters.  To me, these were the best jackets ever produced.
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