Mysterious Affair at Styles Bibliography

Here is the Complete, Annotated Mysterious Affair at Styles bibliography. The website links have been made active, and some book titles have also been linked to Amazon.

Noteworthy books for Christie fans are highlighted in bold.

Adams, Cecil. “What do ‘drawn and quartered’ and ‘keelhauling’ mean?” The Straight Dope, accessed Sept. 19, 2012.

Ager, Stanley and Fiona St. Aubyn. The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1980.

Anonymous. The Illustrated Life and Career of William Palmer of Rugeley. London: Ward and Lock, 1856.

Apperson, George Latimer and Martin H. Manser. Dictionary of Proverbs. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 2006.

Barnard, Robert. A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1980. Barnard draws on his experience as a mystery writer — whose books I highly recommend — to discuss aspects of Christie’s life and works: her thrillers, her Miss Marple books, the way she surprises the reader and her disappearance. This takes up only 126 pages. The remaining 88 pages are devoted to a substantial Christie bibliography.

Benstock, Bernard, editor. Essays on Detective Fiction. London: The Macmillan Press, 1983.

Buckingham, John. Bitter Nemesis: The Intimate History of Strychnine. New York: CRC Press, 2008.

Bunson, Matthew. The Complete Christie: An Agatha Christie Encyclopedia. New York: Pocket Books, 2000. The best of several books that have gathered information about Christie’s works, characters, movies, plays and TV shows. Also contains a long suggested reading list.

Cade, Jared. Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days. London: Peter Owen, 1998. Christie’s grandson Mathew Prichard understandably railed against the book and its author. Cade draws on the memories of a different branch of the Christie family. Its conclusion that Christie planned her disappearance as a way of getting back at her husband, Archie, deviates from the official history. Laura Thompson responds to this book in her biography.

Christie, Agatha. An Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books, 1977. The author’s story in her own words. What she leaves out can be just as revealing as what she discusses.

———————, Mathew Prichard, editor. The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. In 1922, Christie accompanied her husband, Archie, on a world tour as part of his job promoting the British Empire Exhibition. This collection of letters, photographs and memorabilia, expertly edited by her grandson, reveals Christie as a delightful traveling companion with a sharp eye for character.

———————. Hercule Poirot’s Casebook. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1989. Although out of print, this compilation is an inexpensive way to collect all of the Poirot short stories.

———————. Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1985. This volume is a worthy companion to Hercule Poirot’s Casebook. Together, they make available 80 of Christie’s short stories.

Cray, Ed. The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs. Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1999.

Curran, John. Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks New York: Harper, 2009, and Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making. New York: Harper, 2011. Curran draws on Christie’s notebooks in the family’s archives to reveal insights into her working methods. Mystery writers in particular should find them fascinating as will fans who delight in peeking behind the scenes.

Devlin, Vivien. “Murder on the English Riviera.” TravelLady Magazine., accessed Feb. 1, 2013. A travel writer describes her visit to the Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay in 2007.

Framer, John Stephen and William Ernest Henley. A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English: Abridged from the Seven-Volume Work. London: G. Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1905.

Fitzgibbon, Russell H. The Agatha Christie Companion. Bowling Green, Ky.: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1980.

Gill, Gillian. Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries. New York: The Free Press, 1990. This unauthorized biography discusses the Christie as revealed through her writings, particularly as Mary Westmacott. An interesting alternative take.

Green, Jonathon. Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, 2nd Edition. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2005.

Hack, Richard. Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Phoenix Books, 2009. Included only as a warning. Covers the same ground as the more thorough official biographies, and the boast on the cover that the book was based on “over 5,000 unpublished letters, notes and documents” is a reference to the papers of Christie’s agent, not the Christie archives.

Hurdle, Judith. The Getaway Guide to Agatha Christie’s England. Oakland, Calif.: RDR Books, 1999.

International Program for Chemical Safety. “Strychnine.” Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.

Iwu, Maurice M. Handbook of African Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 1993.

Jackson, Graham and Geoffrey Diggle. “Strychnine-containing Tonics.” British Medical Journal, April 21, 1973., accessed Nov. 13, 2012.

Lord K. “Soviet Tobacco Art.” Dieselpunks., accessed Feb. 1, 2013.

Macaskill, Hilary. Agatha Christie at Home. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd., 2009. Coffee-table book about Greenway, Christie’s home on the River Dart in her native Devon. It also looks at the settings ? fields, farms, coastal towns, churches, etc. ? she used in her books. Ideal for literary tourists.

McGarry, Ronald C. and Pamela McGarry. “Please Pass the Strychnine: The Art of Victorian Pharmacy.” CMAJ,, accessed March 5, 2013.

Morgan, Janet. Agatha Christie. New York: Knopf, 1985. The standard biography, written with the family’s cooperation.

Most, Glenn W. and William W. Stowe, editors. The Poetics of Murder. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.

Osborne, Charles. The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999. A biography told through Christie’s publications. Osborne would go on to novelize three Christie plays: Black Coffee, The Unexpected Guest and Spider’s Web.

Panda, H. Herbs Cultivation and Medicinal Uses. Delhi, India: National Institute of Industrial Research, 2000.

Pendergast, Bruce. Everyman’s Guide to the Mysteries of Agatha Christie. New York: Trafford Publishing, 2006.

Powell, Margaret. Servants’ Hall. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979.

Riley, Dick and Pam McAllister. The New Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie. New York: Ungar Publishing Co., 1986.

Robb, George. British Culture and the First World War. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Room, Adrian. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 16th edition. New York: HarperResource, 1999.

Rosen, Daniel. Dope: A History of Performance Enhancement in Sports from the Nineteenth Century to Today. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2008.

Rowse, A.L. Memories and Glimpses. London: Metheun Publishing Ltd., 1986. Contains a chapter on the Oxford professor’s friendship with Christie. From the discovery of his acerbic and critical notations found in his library after his death, Rowse also became known as “the tremendous disliker.”

Sanders, Dennis and Len Lovallo. The Agatha Christie Companion: The Complete Guide to Agatha Christie’s Life and Work. New York: Avenel, 1984.

Sova, Dawn B. Agatha Christie A to Z. New York: Facts on File, 1996.

Thompson, Laura. Agatha Christie: An English Mystery. London: Headline, 2007. Worthwhile companion to the Morgan biography. Written with the family’s cooperation. Thompson uses fictional techniques to tell her story and weaves excerpts from Christie’s books to buttress her suppositions. Also spends several pages rebutting Jared Cade’s book. Highly recommended.

Toye, Randall. The Agatha Christie Who’s Who. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980.

Turnbull, Malcolm J. Victims or Villains: Jewish Images in Classic English Detective Fiction. Bowling Green, Ky.: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1998.

Winn, Dilys. Murder Ink / Murderess Ink. New York: Workman Publishing, various editions. Idiosyncratic, opinionated, personal, and always enjoyable, these books discuss the mystery genre from its founding fathers (Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle), its nurturing mothers (Christie, Sayers, Allingham) and its later practitioners. There are three editions: the doorstop-sized Murder Ink (522 pages, 1977); the shorter revised version (398 pages, 1984) and Murderess Ink, which focuses on women in mysteries (304 pages, 1979). There is some overlap among the Murder Inks, but given the price of used books, who cares?

Wynne, Nancy Blue. An Agatha Christie Chronology. New York: Ace Books, 1976.


Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

Lewis, Dave. Dr. William Palmer.

The Infamous Rugeley Poisoner William Palmer.

Evans, Phil. Old U.K. photos.

Martin, Gary. The Phrase Finder.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Oxford Dictionaries.

Watton, Cherish. The Women’s Land Army.


(c) 1995-2016 by Bill Peschel