Agatha Christie Special Editions Hardbacks
HarperCollins first ‘officially’ started issuing books in this series binding in October 2017 with a special edition of Murder on the Orient Express that tied in with interest surrounding the movie release of that year. Its popularity was followed by three more “train mysteries” the following year, and an expansion into further popular titles thereafter.
The books are essentially textured paper hardback covers over paperback internals – they have glued bindings and non-acid free paper, so I wouldn’t consider them a long-lasting investment. However, I really enjoy their timeless cover designs and special finishes which include delightful decorative endpapers, and touches of foiling on the covers and spines. The backs are also illustrated and several include a quote from the book woven into the design. The volumes are on the small size at 14 x 22 cm, but I like this as it makes them really convenient to read and travel with. Do be careful pulling them in and out of your shelves though, because the paper corners are prone to bumping.
Four seasonal short story collections have also been released in matching bindings. And there are a couple of ‘pre-series’ volumes that were released in 2016 as Waterstones exclusives in the UK. These were early prototypes with monochrome bindings and foiling, but they are smaller in size, have plain endpapers, and use a slightly cheaper paper on the covers.
There has been no commitment to producing all the Agatha Christie mysteries in this format, but so far the most popular titles are being covered, along with a couple of bespoke short story collections. New titles are usually released in October/November, in time for Christmas trade. RRP on release is £14.99 per book.
How many books in the series?
So far there are 18 volumes (13 released and 5 upcoming) in the Agatha Christie ‘Special Editions’ series released by HarperCollins, plus two similar ‘pre-release’ editions.
List of books in the HarperCollins Agatha Christie Special Edition series
The Witness for the Prosecution
HarperCollins, 9780008535834, Nov 2023
1920s London. A murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous and enormously rich Emily French. All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily’s dedicated housekeeper Janet Mackenzie stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence.
HarperCollins, 9780008535834, Sep 2023
Mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver attends a Hallowe’en party where a girl claims she witnessed a murder, which, at the time, she was too young to realize was a murder. Soon, the girl herself is found murdered, and Oliver calls in Poirot.
Five Little Pigs
HarperCollins, 9780008605605, Jun 2023
Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, yet there were five other suspects: Philip Blake (the stockbroker) who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist) who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee) who had roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess) who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister) who cried ‘wee wee wee’ all the way home. It is sixteen years later, but Hercule Poirot just can’t get that nursery rhyme out of his mind.
Dead Man’s Folly
HarperCollins, 9780008585662, Jun 2023
Sir George and Lady Stubbs, the hosts of a Devon village fete, hit upon the novel idea of staging a mock murder mystery. In good faith, Ariadne Oliver, the well known crime writer, agrees to organise their murder hunt. But then, the charity murder game turns into the real thing and Ariadne calls her friend Hercule Poirot for his expert assistance.
HarperCollins, 9780008470890, Mar 2023
A collection of Spring-themed short stories. Includes:
- The Market Basing Mystery
- The Case of the Missing Lady
- The Herb of Death
- How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Swan Song
- Miss Marple Tells a Story
- Have You Got Everything You Want?
- The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan
- Ingots of Gold
- The Soul of the Croupier
- The Girl in the Train
- Greenshaw’s Folly
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
HarperCollins, 9780008567118, Nov 2022
Christie’s first murder mystery. Captain Arthur Hastings is invited to the rolling country estate of Styles to recuperate from injuries sustained at the Front. It is the last place he expects to encounter murder. Fortunately he knows a former detective, a Belgian refugee, who has grown bored of retirement.
This edition includes a previously deleted chapter (final courtroom scene) and is introduced by Agatha Christie expert Dr John Curran.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
HarperCollins, 9780008535827, Nov 2022
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death.
The Tuesday Club Murders
HarperCollins, 9780008509354, Feb 2022
Two years before The Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie first introduced the world to Jane Marple and the stories of murder and intrigue told by each member of the Tuesday Night Club. Time and time again, crimes so wicked they have confounded even Scotland Yard’s finest are solved by St Mary Mead’s sharpest mind and everyone’s favourite armchair detective.
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
HarperCollins, 9780008509347, Nov 2021
A seasonal Poirot and Marple short story collection that includes: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding; The Mystery of the Spanish Chest; The Under Dog; Four and Twenty Blackbirds; The Dream; and Greenshaw’s Folly.
HarperCollins, 9780008470937, Jul 2021
“Secrets and suspense from the Queen of Crime.” A collection of summery mysteries that includes: The Blood-Stained Pavement; The Double Clue; A Death on the Nile; Harlequin’s Lane; The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman; Jane in Search of a Job; The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim; The Idol House of Astarte; The Rajah’s Emerald; The Oracle at Delphi; The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger; and The Incredible Theft.
HarperCollins, 9780008328962, Oct 2020
“Fireside Mysteries from the Queen of Crimes.” A compendium of wintery short stories that includes: The Chocolate Box; A Christmas Tragedy; The Coming of Mr Quin; The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest; The Clergyman’s Daughter; The Plymouth Express; Problem at Pollensa Bay; Sanctuary; The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge; The World’s End; The Manhood of Edward Robinson; and Christmas Adventure.
Death on the Nile
HarperCollins, 9780008386825, Oct 2020
Poirot. The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life.
And Then There Were None
HarperCollins, 9780008328924, Oct 2019
1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime. When one of the party dies suddenly they realise they may be harbouring a murderer among their number.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
HarperCollins, 9780008328955, Oct 2019
Poirot. It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion.
4:50 from Paddington
HarperCollins, 9780008310240, Nov 2018
Miss Marple. For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman’s throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.
The Mystery of the Blue Train
HarperCollins, 9780008310233, Nov 2018
Poirot. When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake serene Ruth Kettering from her slumbers. But she will never wake again – for a heavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her features almost beyond recognition. What is more, her precious rubies are missing.
The ABC Murders
HarperCollins, 9780008310226, Nov 2018
Poirot. With the whole country in a state of panic, the killer is growing more confident with each successive execution – Mrs Ascher in Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston… But laying a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just be his first mistake.
Murder on the Orient Express
HarperCollins, 9780008226664, Oct 2017.
Poirot. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
These pre-series volumes are a slightly smaller format and do not include decorative endpapers.
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
HarperCollins, 9780008219840, Oct 2016. Released as a Waterstones exclusive.
Poirot/Marple. A seasonal short story collection, including The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding; The Mystery of the Spanish Chest; The Under Dog; Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds; The Dream; Greenshaw’s Folly.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
HarperCollins, 9780008188993, Oct 2016. Released as a Waterstones exclusive.
Poirot. At the house of Simeon Lee the family gathers on Christmas Eve, estranged and embittered they hover around the cold-hearted, ailing patriarch awaiting the reason they have all been summoned. Then the family reunion is shattered by Simeon’s murder. Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist.