Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot” Books in Publication and Reading Order

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Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, is one of the most beloved literary characters of all time.

The Belgian sleuth stole the hearts of millions of readers around the world, making Agatha Christie one of the most recognized and celebrated authors in history.

Detective Poirot appears in numerous novels, novellas, and short stories. And following his phenomenal success in print, he went on to star in multiple movies and a long-running, hugely popular TV show, too.

So, if you’ve never read the Poirot books before, you’re in for a real treat. This famous fictional character has been on countless adventures, and there’s a lifetime of captivating works to explore.

In this post, I’ll give you a full list of Agatha Christie’s original Poirot stories in both publication and reading order. But first, let’s learn a little more about this iconic character, his backstory, and his fruitful career.

Who is Hercule Poirot?

Hercule Poirot is a fictional Belgian detective famous for his quick wit, undercover sleuth skills, and, of course, his iconic mustache.

He’s a short man, but he carries himself with such pride and dignity that most people don’t notice his smaller stature.

He takes great pride in both his work and his appearance. In almost every scene, he’s immaculately presented, even when he’s outrunning dangerous criminals in remote and inhospitable corners of the world.

Before he became a big-time detective, Poirot spent his early years working for the Brussels police department. But when the German army occupied Belgium in the lead-up to World War I, he was forced to flee his home country and head for the relative safety of neighbouring English shores.

After the war, Poirot used his detective skills to set up his own private investigation agency in London, where he began solving civilian cases that the police couldn’t crack.

He soon entered the world of high society and made a name for himself as one of the most skilled sleuths in the country. And as his profile increased, he also began investigating mysteries in far-flung destinations around the world, including his most famous case of all; Murder on the Orient Express.

Eventually, like all great detectives, Hercule Poirot retired. Still, even in his twilight years, he continued to dabble in unsolved mysteries, all the way up until his final investigation in the 1975 series conclusion, Curtain.

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot Books in Order

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The Hercule Poirot Stories in Publication OrderThe Hercule Poirot Stories in Publication OrderPrint length: 168 pages
Publication date: July 1, 2018
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The Hercule Poirot Stories in Chronological OrderThe Hercule Poirot Stories in Chronological OrderPrint length: 26 pages
Publication date: January 1, 2019
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Expanded And Adapted Hercule Poirot StoriesExpanded And Adapted Hercule Poirot StoriesPublication date: January 1, 2022Check Price

The Hercule Poirot series contains multiple novels, novellas, and short stories which can be read in any order you choose; however, there are a few spoilers to watch out for here and there.

So, with this in mind, I’ll start by listing the book’s original publication order below. Then I’ll provide a detailed chronological reading order, so you can approach the series in a way that suits you.

The Hercule Poirot Stories in Publication Order

The Mysterious Affair at Styles 1920
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Below is a full list of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories in the order they were originally published.

The list includes all the major novels and the many short story collections in which this famous character appears.

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
  2. The Murder on the Links (1923)
  3. Poirot Investigates (1924) (short story collection)
  4. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  5. The Big Four (1927)
  6. The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
  7. Black Coffee (1930) (play) 
  8. Peril at End House (1932)
  9. Lord Edgware Dies (1933) (originally published in the US as Thirteen at Dinner)
  10. Murder on the Orient Express (1934) (originally published in the US as Murder in the Calais Coach)
  11. Three Act Tragedy (1935) (originally published in the US as Murder in Three Acts)
  12. Death in the Clouds (1935) (originally published in the US as Death in the Air)
  13. The ABC Murders (1936) (originally published in the US as The Alphabet Murders)
  14. Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
  15. Cards on the Table (1936)
  16. Murder in the Mews (1937) (short story) (originally published in the US as Dead Man’s Mirror)
  17. Dumb Witness (1937) (originally published in the US as Poirot Loses a Client)
  18. Death on the Nile (1937) 
  19. Appointment with Death (1938)
  20. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938) (originally published in the US as Murder for Christmas and later as A Holiday for Murder)
  21. The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939) (short story collection)
  22. Sad Cypress (1940)
  23. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) (originally published in the US as The Patriotic Murders and later as An Overdose of Death)
  24. Evil Under the Sun (1941)
  25. Five Little Pigs (1942) (originally published in the US as Murder in Retrospect)
  26. The Hollow (1946) (originally published in the US as Murder after Hours)
  27. The Labours of Hercules (1947) (short story collection)
  28. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948) (short story collection)
  29. Taken at the Flood (1948) (originally published in the US as There Is a Tide)
  30. Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950) (short story collection)
  31. The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951( (short story collection)
  32. Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952) 
  33. After the Funeral (1953) (originally published in the US as Funerals are Fatal)
  34. Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) (originally published in the US as Hickory Dickory Death)
  35. Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
  36. Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
  37. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960) (short story collection)
  38. Double Sin and Other Stories (1961) (short story collection)
  39. The Clocks (1963)
  40. Third Girl (1966)
  41. Hallowe’en Party (1969)
  42. Elephants Can Remember (1972)
  43. Poirot’s Early Cases (1974) (short story collection)
  44. Curtain (1975) (also published as Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case)

The Hercule Poirot Stories in Chronological Order

The Chocolate Box
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If you’d rather explore Poirot’s life and adventures in chronological order, then it’s best to stick to the reading list below. 

I’ve organized these works by key dates and milestones in Poirot’s career so you can follow along without missing a thing. 

There are multiple works from the short story collections listed in the publication order above, and to keep things simple, I’ve only included the original titles.

Poirot’s Pre-Detective Days

Before Poirot became an internationally renowned private detective, he served as a police officer in Brussels.

  1. The Chocolate Box (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases, 1974)

Poirot’s Private Detective Years

During World War I, Pirot fled his native Belgium and took refuge in England, where he began his career as a private detective

1916 to 1918

The following stories are set shortly after Poirot arrives in England. 

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  2. The Kidnapped Prime Minister (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  3. The Affair at the Victory Ball (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  4. The Lemesurier Inheritance (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

1920 to 1929

At the dawn of the roaring twenties, Poirot set up his own private detective agency in London, where he continued to operate for decades to come.

  1. The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  2. The King of Clubs (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  3. The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  4. The Plymouth Express (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  5. The Adventure of the Western Star (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  6. The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  7. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  8. The Adventure of the Cheap Flat (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  9. The Mystery of the Hunters Lodge (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  10. The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  11. The Veiled Lady (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  12. The Adventure of Johnny Waverly (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  13. The Market Basing Mystery (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  14. The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  15. The Case of the Missing Will (short story from Poirot Investigates)
  16. The Submarine Plans (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  17. The Adventure of the Clapham Cook (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  18. The Lost Mine (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  19. The Cornish Mystery (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  20. The Double Clue (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  21. Murder on the Links
  22. Christmas Adventure
  23. The Big Four
  24. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  25. The Under Dog (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding)
  26. The Mystery of the Blue Train 
  27. Double Sin (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  28. Wasp’s Nest (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)
  29. The Third Floor Flat (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases)

1930 to 1939

  1. Black Coffee
  2. Peril at End House
  3. The Mystery Of The Baghdad Chest
  4. The Mystery Of The Spanish Chest (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and The Regatta Mystery) 
  5. The Second Gong
  6. Dead Man’s Mirror (short story from Murder in the Mews) 
  7. Lord Edgware Dies
  8. Murder on the Orient Express 
  9. Murder in Mesopotamia
  10. Three Act Tragedy
  11. Death in the Clouds
  12. How Does Your Garden Grow? (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases and The Regatta Mystery)
  13. The ABC Murders
  14. The Problem at Sea (short story from Poirot’s Early Cases and The Regatta Mystery)
  15. Triangle at Rhodes (short story from Murder in the Mews)
  16. Cards on the Table
  17. Murder in the Mews (short story from Murder in the Mews) 
  18. The Incredible Theft (short story from Murder in the Mews) 
  19. Death on the Nile
  20. Dumb Witness (also published as Poirot Loses a Client)
  21. Appointment with Death
  22. Yellow Iris (short story from The Regatta Mystery)
  23. The Dream (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and The Regatta Mystery)
  24. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas 
  25. Sad Cypress
  26. The Nemean Lion (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  27. The Lernaean Hydra (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  28. The Arcadian Deer (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  29. The Erymanthian Boar (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  30. The Augean Stables (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  31. The Stymphalean Birds (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  32. The Cretan Bull (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  33. The Horses of Diomedes (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  34. The Girdle of Hyppolite (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  35. The Flock of Geryon (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  36. The Apples of Hesperides (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  37. The Capture of Cerberus (short story from The Labours of Hercules)
  38. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe 
  39. Four and Twenty Blackbirds (short story from The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding)
  40. Evil Under The Sun
  41. Five Little Pigs

Also Read: 21 Best Books to Read if You’re Obsessed With Serial Killers

Poirot’s Post-World War II Career

After the Second World War, Poirot’s career slowed down significantly. There’s a lot of confusion about when he officially retired, but in many of the stories below, he takes a supervisory role, letting younger detectives take the reins. 

  1. The Hollow 
  2. Taken at the Flood 
  3. Mrs. McGinty’s Dead 
  4. After the Funeral 
  5. Hickory Dickory Dock 
  6. Dead Man’s Folly
  7. Cat Among the Pigeons
  8. The Clocks
  9. Third Girl
  10. Hallowe’en Party
  11. Elephants Can Remember
  12. Curtain (Poirot’s final case and the series conclusion)

Expanded And Adapted Hercule Poirot Stories

The Plymouth Express
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As Poirot’s incredible popularity soared, many of Agatha Christie’s earlier tales were re-written, adapted, or expanded into longer stories. So, to avoid any confusion when you’re searching for your next Poirot fix, I’ve listed these below.

Conclusion

Hercule Poirot is one of the most famous detectives in literary history. Even today, more than fifty years after Agatha Christie’s death, this captivating character is still delighting readers with his international escapades.

Are you a Hercule Poirot fan? If so, what is your favorite story? Let me know in the comments below!

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