As Autumn draws in, the staff here at the bookshop start looking forward to curling up with a good book, and reading an Agatha Christie whodunnit from cover to cover can be a great way to stay warm while the temperatures drop outside.
Part of the joy of her novels for us, as a bookshop based in Devon, is spotting the Devonian locations that feature regularly in her books, and taking pilgrimages to visit those places can be a great way to blow out the cobwebs. And with some Southwest locations being used for the filming of The Pale Horse – the BBC‘s latest Christie adaptation – we thought we would share our top three recommended Christie novels with recognisably Devonian settings:
Evil under the Sun
None of us has been lucky enough to stay in the beautiful Art Deco hotel that sits on Burgh Island, just off Bigbury-on-Sea in South Devon, but reading this novel gives a great flavour of the glamour of that period, as well being a page-turner that builds to an ingenious denouement.
The Sittaford Mystery
A great Christmas read, perfect with a glass of mulled wine by the fire on a cold December evening. It is set around the area of Okehampton/Chagford and features snow, Dartmoor prison and a classic Christie twist.
Dead Man’s Folly
A 1950s fete at Greenway, Agatha Christie’s beautiful holiday home (owned by the National Trust), is an integral setting for this novel which was recreated as part of this year’s International Agatha Christie Festival – though thankfully without the murder!
We would also recommend Bret Hawthorne’s excellent Agatha Christie’s Devon, in stock in the bookshop and a great gift for Agatha Christie fans.
Born in Torquay, Agatha Christie is one of Devon’s most prized literary figures, and each September tourists flock from all over the world to the International Agatha Christie festival. This year, Crediton Community Bookshop had the pleasure of running up a pop-up bookshop throughout the festival and we loved talking to fans from all over the world about their favourite titles, as well as being lucky enough to visit the fantastically curated Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait exhibition (currently on display at Torre Abbey until Sunday 24th November).
We’d love to hear your favourite Devon-based Christie novels – send us a message or drop in to the bookshop!