We can never know for sure of course, but given her extensive writings about the insides of British minds and the ins and outs of their households and morays, we can be sure that Agatha Christie would have had an opinion of the phenomenally successful period drama. We trolled her voluminous library of work and came up with the following list of her mysteries that have Downton-like settings – 8 novels that will put you inside a grand English house (perhaps not quite the size of Downton, but similar in manner) and with a mystery that's sure to entertain. As we get closer to Sunday's final episode of season 2, this list hopefully comes just in time. Read on - and let's hope that Julian Fellowes has time between seasons to work on his adaptation of Crooked House.
Lord Edgware Dies
When Lord Edgware is found murdered the police are baffled. His estranged actress wife was seen visiting him just before his death and Hercule Poirot himself heard her brag of her plan to “get rid” of him. But how could she have stabbed Lord Edgware in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? It’s a case that almost proves to be too much for the great Poirot.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The heiress of Styles has been murdered, dying in agony from strychnine slipped into her coffee. And there are plenty who would gain from her death: the financially strapped stepson, the gold digging younger husband, and an embittered daughter-in-law. Agatha Christie's eccentric and hugely popular detective, Hercule Poirot, was introduced to the world in this book, which launched her career as the most famous and best loved of all mystery writers.
The Secret of Chimneys
Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger. As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret. . . .
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
Christmas Eve, and the Lee family’s reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man. . . .
A far-from-warm welcome greets Hercule Poirot as he arrives for lunch at Lucy Angkatell’s country house. A man lies dying by the swimming pool, his blood dripping into the water. His wife stands over him, holding a revolver. As Poirot investigates, he begins to realize that beneath the respectable surface lies a tangle of family secrets and everyone becomes a suspect.
The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.
They Do It With Mirrors
Miss Marple senses danger when she visits a friend living in Stoneygates, a rehabilitation center for delinquents. Her fears are confirmed when someone shoots at the administrator. Although he is not injured, a mysterious visitor is less fortunate—shot dead simultaneously in another part of the building. Pure coincidence? Miss Marple thinks not, and must use all her cunning to solve the riddle of the stranger’s visit … and his murder.
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
The quaint village of St Mary Mead has been glamourized by the presence of screen queen Marina Gregg, who has taken up residence in preparation for her comeback. But when a local fan is poisoned, Marina finds herself starring in a real-life mystery—supported with scene-stealing aplomb by Jane Marple, who suspects that the lethal cocktail was intended for someone else. But who? If it was meant for Marina, then why? And before the final fade-out, who else from St Mary Mead's cast of seemingly innocent characters is going to be eliminated?