Publication History

The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection is a book club set released by Bantam. Typically, the volumes feature leatherette hardcover boards with gold lettered titles on the spine and a uniform silhouette of Christie and the series title on the front cover. The colour of the boards is called “Sussex Blue”, which is a very dark navy that often looks black in certain lighting.

agatha christie bantam books cover
agatha christie bantam books endpapers

The decorative endpapers for each volume were designed by Peggy Skycraft with book design by Barbara N. Cohen. Books are approximately 5.75″ x 8.75″. Akhnaton and Absent in the Spring were released without the silhouette on the cover.

How many books are there in the complete series?

The first set of 81 volumes was published by Bantam between 1983 to 1990. A second set of 18 titles was published by Literary Express between 1992 to 2000, including 7 new volumes and 13 books that were renamed under their UK title variants (as well an additional 7 re-releases of previously published titles). The covers of the second set have the Bantam name and logo on the spine, but different information on the copyright page of the books. Many early volumes in the series had multiple printings (at least 15 in some cases), and there are also a few variants in the titles and authors for these editions. So it depends how you define ‘complete’ to get the exact number of books in the series. If you just want a copy of each book, then you would be looking at 88 volumes. If you want to collect all the different titles, then you are looking for at least 101 books, or around 125 if you include all the variants including re-releases, the bookends and the numerous engagement diaries that were released in series binding between 1989 to 1997.

For the true completist, Come, Tell Me How You Live which was released in two versions with both Agatha Christie and Agatha Christie Mallowan listed as the author, and Witness for the Prosecution has only 9 stories while the far rarer The Witness for the Prosecution contains two additional stories to make a total of 11 tales (note a missing ‘the’ in the former title). Unfortunately, variants typically have the same ISBN, so you will have to view the specific book you are purchasing if you are keen to get these additional volumes. 

In addition to the engagement diaries noted above, a special set of matching bookends featuring the cover silhouette and endpaper design were also released.

agatha christie bantam books bookends
agatha christie bantam books deluxe gilt edges

And finally, a small number of ‘deluxe’ versions were also released for many of the volumes in the first wave of books. These editions were bound in genuine leather with gilt-edged pages. They are more sturdy than the standard volumes and are quite lovely, but also more rare than the standard leatherette editions. 

    Is this series truly “complete”?

    Because Bantam Books is an American publishing company, this series was based on the American releases of the Christie books, so there are a few UK titles that were not included. Most of these are short story collections (where the stories were included in different volumes in the US) or works that were cowritten with other authors. Examples of these titles include Poirot’s Early Cases (short story collection), The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short stories), The Spider’s Web (a play adaptation by Charles Osborne) and The Floating Admiral (a collaborative novel written by the members of The Detection Club).

    Which books are the rarest (and what are they worth)?

    Most of the volumes in this series are readily available second-hand, so they can be obtained fairy cheaply from around $3 to $20 or so each (depending on condition) if you are interested in collecting a set. However, the later publications (those published from 1992 onwards) are much less common, with a few truly rare volumes commanding prices of $100 plus. I have seen complete sets of 101 or more volumes sell in excess of $1500, but these high prices are usually due to the presence of all the rare variants which would otherwise be difficult and time-consuming to track down. 

    A couple of volumes are hard to find if you shop online because they were released with different US and UK titles using the same ISBN, including The Sittaford Mystery Murder at Hazelmoor, and There is a Tide… / Taken at the Flood. Very confusingly, a couple of completely different titles were released with the same ISBN, namely Evil Under the Sun(common) and The Harlequin Tea Set (very rare).

    Hard to track down volumes include the UK variant titles such as Death in the Clouds (published in the US as Death in the Air) and Murder in the Mews (US title: Dead Man’s Mirror) which typically sell for $100 plus. The Witness to the Prosecution variant mentioned above goes for >$500. And the two rarest UK variant titles (published last in October 2000) hardly ever appear so sellers often command what they will, including Hickory Dickory Dock (Hickory Dickory Death is the common US title) and After the Funeral (equivalent to the US title Funerals are Fatal). Less common volumes are those that were published in the later ‘wave’ that had no earlier equivalent in the US, namely Star Over Bethlehem, Poems (usually sells for >$25), The Unexpected Guest (usually >$50)Black Coffee (usually >$200), and The Harlequin Tea Set (very hard to find, another volume where sellers charge what they want). 

    Complete List of Books in the Series

    You can sort the table below by US title, UK title, or date of publication. Clicking on the linked titles or ISBNs will take you to AbeBooks if you are trying to track down a specific book in the series. Variant editions are listed where available, and the notes column includes information about rarity, alternative titles under which the books have been published, and other details.

    US TitleUK Title (Variants)ISBNOriginal PublicationBantam PublicationNotes
    The Mysterious Affair at Styles 0-553-35004819201988
    The Secret Adversary0-553-35028-519221985
    Murder on the LinksMurder on the Links (variant publisher)0-553-35037-4
    Variant: 1-581-65017-5
    19231985, 1998 (Variant)Later variant published by Literary Express.
    Poirot Investigates0-553-35031-519241985
    The Man in the Brown Suit0-553-35077-319241988
    The Secret of Chimneys0-553-35064-119251987
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd0-553-35001-319261983
    The Big Four0-553-35041-219271986
    The Mystery of the Blue Train0-553-35068-419281985Unhelpfully, the same ISBN was re-used by Random House for their BBC Radio Drama publication of this novel.
    Partners in Crime0-553-35008-019291983
    The Seven Dials Mystery0-553-35051-X19291986
    Black Coffee 1-58165-078-719301998Novelisation of Christie's play by Charles Osborne. Rare.
    The Murder at the Vicarage0-553-35006-419301983
    The Mysterious Mr Quin0-553-35043-919301986
    The Sittaford Mystery The Murder At Hazelmoor0-553-35024-219311984Alternate titles for UK / US editions. Inconveniently, both were issued with same ISBN.
    Peril at End House 0-553-35073-019321988
    The Tuesday Club MurdersThe Thirteen ProblemsUS: 0-553-35048-X
    UK: 1-581-65133-3
    19321986 (US), 2000 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK title rare.
    Thirteen At DinnerLord Edgware DiesUS: 0-553-35076-5
    UK: 0-553-35099-4
    19331988 (US), 1996 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK title uncommon.
    Mr Parker Pyne, Detective0-553-35061-719341982Also published elsewhere as 'Parker Pyne Investigates'.
    Murder on the Orient Express0-553-03000-019341983Also published elsewhere as 'Murder on the Calais Coach'.
    Why Didn't They Ask Evans? 0-553-35005-619341983Also published elsewhere as 'The Boomerang Clue'.
    Death In The AirDeath in the CloudsUS: 0-553-35047-1
    UK: 1-581-65130-9
    19351986 (US), 2000 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK title rare.
    Murder In Three Acts Three Act Tragedy0-553-35069-219351988Alternate titles for UK / US editions. Both issued with same ISBN. UK title very rare.
    Cards on the Table0-553-35025-019361984
    Murder in Mesopotamia0-553-35029-319361985
    The ABC Murders0-553-35002-119361983
    Akhnaton0-553-35102-819371996Play. Uncommon. Published without the silhouette on the cover.
    Dead Man's Mirror Murder in the MewsUS: 0-553-35074-9
    UK: 0-553-35093-5
    19371988 (US), 1997 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK title rare.
    Death on the Nile0-553-35003-X19371983
    Poirot Loses a Client Dumb WitnessUS: 0-553-35033-1
    UK: 0-553-35098-6
    19371985Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK title uncommon.
    A Holiday for Murder 0-553-35035-819381985Also published elsewhere as 'Hercule Poirot's Christmas'.
    Appointment with Death0-553-35062-519381987
    And Then There Were None0-553-35000-519391983Also published elsewhere as the very politically incorrect 'Ten Little Indians' / 'Ten Little Niggers'.
    Easy to Kill 0-553-35055-219391987Also published elsewhere as 'Murder Is Easy'.
    The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories0-553-35079-X19391986Short story collection.
    Sad Cypress0-553-35023-419401984
    The Patriotic Murders0-553-35042-019401986Also published elsewhere as 'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'
    Evil Under the Sun Evil Under the Sun (variant publisher) 0-553-35010-219411983, 1998 (Variant)Later variant published by Literary Express (same ISBN). Same ISBN also used for the much rarer 'The Harlequin Tea Set'.
    N or M?0-553-35072-219411988
    The Body in the Library0-553-35058-719421987
    Murder In Retrospect Five Little PigsUS: 0-553-35038-2
    UK: 1-581-65016-7
    19431985 (US), 1998 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK edition uncommon.
    The Moving Finger 0-553-35009-919431983
    Absent in the Spring 0-553-35082-X19441992Tragedy. Author listed as Mary Westmacott, no silhouette on the cover. Uncommon.
    Towards Zero 0-553-35011-019441983
    Death Comes At The End0-553-35013-719451988
    Remembered DeathSparkling CyanideUS: 0-553-35030-7
    UK: 1-58165-015-9
    19451985 (US), 1998 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK edition uncommon.
    Come, Tell Me How You LiveCome, Tell Me How You Live (variant author)0-553-35049-819461985Variant volumes feature alternate author names: Agatha Christie or Agatha Christie Mallowan. Confusingly, they have the same ISBN.
    The Hollow0-553-35050-119461986Also published elsewhere as 'Murder After Hours'.
    The Labors of Hercules 0-553-35019-619471984Also published elsewhere as 'The Labours of Hercules'.
    There Is a Tide... Taken at the Flood0-553-35066-819481987Alternate titles for UK / US editions. Confusingly, they have the same ISBN.
    Witness for the Prosecution and Other StoriesThe Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories0-553-35007-2
    Variant: 1-581-65121-X
    19481989, 1999 (variant)Variant edition 'The Witness for the Prosecution' (with 'the' included in title) contains 2 additional stories. Short story collection.
    Crooked House Crooked House0-553-35054-4
    Variant: 1-581650795
    19491986, 1999 (variant)Later variant published by Literary Express.
    A Murder is Announced0-553-35040-419501986
    Three Blind Mice and Other StoriesThree Blind Mice and Other Stories (variant publisher)0-553-35080-3
    Variant: 1-581-65110-4
    19501988, 1999 (variant)Later variant published by Literary Express. Also published elsewhere as 'The Mousetrap and other stories'.
    The Underdog and Other Stories0-553-35070-619511988
    They Came to Baghdad 0-553-35034-X19511985
    Mrs McGinty's Dead 0-553-35059-519521987
    Murder with Mirrors 0-553-35027-719521985Also published elsewhere as 'They Do It With Mirrors'.
    A Pocket Full of Rye0-553-35044-719531986
    Funerals are Fatal After the FuneralUS: 0-553-35016-1
    UK: 1-581-65153-8
    19531984 (US), 2000 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK edition rare.
    So Many Steps to DeathDestination UnknownUS: 0-553-35052-8
    UK: 1-581-65129-5
    19541986 (US), 2000 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK edition rare.
    Hickory Dickory DeathHickory Dickory DockUS: 0-553-35012-9
    UK: 1-58165-152-X
    19551984 (US), 2000 (UK)Alternate titles for UK / US editions. UK edition very rare.
    Dead Man's FollyDead Man's Folly0-553-35078-1
    Variant: 1-581-65005-1
    19561988, 1998 (variant)Later variant published by Literary Express.
    What Mrs. McGillicudy Saw!0-553-35018-819571984Also published elsewhere as '4:50 from Paddington'.
    Ordeal by Innocence0-553-35067-619581987
    The Unexpected Guest1-58165-110-419581999Play. Adapted by Charles Osborne. Uncommon.
    Cat Among the Pigeons0-553-35014-519591984
    Double Sin and Other Stories 0-553-35057-919611987
    The Pale HorseThe Pale Horse (variant publisher)0-553-35046-3
    Variant: 1-581-65106-6
    19611986, 1999 (variant)Later variant published by Literary Express.
    The Mirror Crack'd0-553-35015-319621984
    The Clocks 0-553-35071-419631988
    A Caribbean Mystery0-553-30532-819641985
    At Bertram's Hotel 0-553-35063-319651987
    Star Over Bethlehem & Other Stories0-553-35104-419651996Short stories. Uncommon. Author listed as Agatha Christie Mallowan.
    Third Girl 0-553-35060-919661987
    Endless Night0-553-35039-019671985
    By the Pricking of my Thumbs0-553-35021-819681984
    Hallowe'en Party0-553-35020-X19691984
    Passenger to Frankfurt 0-553-35075-719701988
    The Golden Ball and Other Stories 0-553-35065-X19721987Short stories.
    Elephants Can Remember0-553-35017-X19721984
    Postern of Fate0-553-35056-019731987
    Curtain: Poirot's Last Case Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (variant publisher)0-553-35026-9
    Variant: 1-581-65014-0
    19751984 (Variant 1998)Variant Literary Express publication.
    Sleeping Murder0-553-35036-619761985Also published elsewhere as 'Miss Marple's Final Cases'.
    An Autobiography 0-553-35081-119771990Non-fiction
    The Harlequin Tea Set and other stories 0-553-35010-219771998Very rare. (Also, inconveniently released with the same ISBN as 'Evil Under the Sun').
    Agatha Christie Engagement Diaries1989-1997 (1990 special commemorative edition)Produced in series binding during the early 1990s.


    Susie · 17 July 2019 at 10:48 am

    Thank you so much, Daisy, for compiling this list. As mentioned by others, I’ve been collecting these for years, but with only rare success. In changing to a new book store, I was able to put my name on their contact list when more came in. I just bought 2 BOXES of them this month! Now that I finally have the complete list, I know how much space I need on my bookshelves! What fun! As I start to read them all, i make time for other books in between, especially since I only have 49 of them to-date. I have a ways to go yet… Thanks again!

      Daisy · 17 July 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Susie – thanks so much for taking the time to write – I love to hear about collecting journeys! I find that the collections I’ve built over time are the most fun – it’s always a thrill to get a new one in the series (and two boxes sounds like a pretty amazing score!). 😀

    Melissa · 25 June 2019 at 7:53 am

    Thank you so much for this list and full details of these sets! I have searched for years for a definitive list to no avail until today. I began collecting this set after a copy of Come Tell Me How You Live was given to me by my grandmother (I had bought it for her many years before) as she knew of our mutual love of Agatha Christie stories. I began maintaining a spreadsheet but it quickly became messy with all the variants. Your list and site will be an invaluable resource to me as I continue to grow my collection.

      Daisy · 25 June 2019 at 8:14 am

      So glad the list is helpful, and lovely of you to take the time to leave a comment about it – best of luck growing your collection 😀

    Alex Barry · 23 January 2019 at 6:21 am

    Nancy, thank you for this exhaustive summary of the Bantam collection. It will serve as an invaluable resource. I’m fortunate to have all but a handful of the books, and am currently reading The Harlequin Tea Set as the final volume of my several year project of reading each book in its order of publication. I must say, for all I love her stories, after that project I am pretty well Christie’d-out! Now I can resume reading nonfiction of my primary passions, histories of medieval Europe, the Crusades, and the Byzantine Empire.

    By the way, I was referred to your blog by Beautiful_Books, a fellow member of a Christie fansite

      Daisy · 23 January 2019 at 7:13 am

      Sounds like a fascinating project, but I can imagine it would be a little exhausting to read them all in a relatively short time! Medieval history was one of my college majors so I’ve always been fascinated by this era as well, although I’m probably more partial to Arthurian fiction these days! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment 😀

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