Agatha Christie first editions make for an excellent area of rare book collecting. The Queen of Crime’s long career as an author of high quality crime fiction ensures there are various levels of value, which means collectors of her first editions can start with the later, generally more affordable first editions of her crime fiction titles, and build their way toward the more expensive first editions from the 1920s & 1930s.
Many of Dame Agatha’s first editions feature excellent dust-jacket artwork. The American first editions of Agatha Christie are often clad in truly lovely dust-jackets, very different in style to their UK counterparts, and can also provide a more affordable option for collectors than the UK first editions.
Some collectors like to focus on one of her famous serial characters, including Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot of course. Whatever your poison, you should be able to start building a collection relatively quickly.
Agatha Christie also wrote under a pseudonym, ‘Mary Westmacott’, and these titles are also not easy to find in first edition, especially in the dust-jackets.
Some care has to be taken in identifying the correct first issue dust-jackets, particularly with her earlier detective fiction, so do contact us if you are looking to buy or sell Agatha Christie first editions. It is however not always about the dust-jacket! Many collectors like the early paperback editions of Christie’s works, and some collect first editions without the dust-jackets, to have them rebound in a uniform style of their liking, for example in modern half leather bindings.
London, Collins Crime Club, 1956.
First edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 12s6d.
Classic Hercule Poirot murder mystery, which sees the Belgian detective partnering the crime novelist Ariadne Oliver (who bears a certain resemblance to Agatha Christie).
London, Collins Crime Club, 1937.
First edition, first printing. 8vo. Original orange cloth.
A solid first edition of this classic Hercule Poirot title, a difficult book to find in good order.
London, Collins Crime Club, n.d..
Collins 2/- issue. 12mo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket.
A neat early edition of this Agatha Christie classic.
and other stories.
London, Collins Crime Club, 1936
First Collins edition. 8vo. Original black cloth lettered in red.
A very good copy of this collection of twelve stories by the Queen of Crime, many with a supernatural twist. This Collins Crime Club edition was published after the 1933 Odhams edition, but is surprisingly more uncommon; presumed to be the export issue in this binding.
London, John Lane The Bodley Head Limited, 1925.
First edition. 8vo. Modern dark green half morocco with marbled boards, spine label red morocco, lettered in gilt.
A handsomely rebound first edition of this Agatha Christie classic. The novel introduces the characters of Superintendent Battle and Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent.
London, Collins Crime Club, 1951.
First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 8s.6d.
A pleasing copy of this Agatha Christie first edition, a hard dust-jacket to find in such condition due to its proneness to fading and marking. The story itself builds upon Christie's own excursions alongside her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan, and is more of a spy novel than a whodunnit.
London, New York, Toronto, Longmans, Green and Co., 1937.
First edition, first impression. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket.
A great first edition of this famous crime fiction parody of the round robin novel, promoted on the front panel of the dust-jacket as "A True-to-Fiction Detective Story...with acknowledgments to...H.C. Bailey, Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts, John Rhode and Dorothy L. Sayers". The most famous characters by these authors, including Hercule Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, Dr Priestley and Reggie fortune, are playfully lampooned, in a country house murder-mystery. The title itself is of course a play on Sayers' Gaudy Night (1935), and the letterpress-on-yellow style of the jacket is a nod to that book's publisher, Gollancz.
London, Collins Crime Club, 1939.
First edition. 8vo. Original orange cloth lettered in black. Dust-jacket, without price (Colonial issue?)
A Haycraft Queen Cornerstone, and a scarce first edition in the original jacket. This is the eighth novel to feature Roderick Alleyn, and the third novel in which Alleyn's love interest, the painter Agatha Troy features, hastening the imminent departure of Nigel Bathgate (Alleyn's "Watson").
London, Methuen 1922
A Hubin listed mystery in the very elusive jacket which has some visual similarity to the jacket design of ‘Mysterious Affair at Styles’, Agatha Christie’s first novel, published two years earlier. John Moroso was a New York based writer who contributed to various publications in the 1910s and 1920s and also wrote a story about life in an east side New York City ghetto titled The Stumbling Herd, which was made into a silent film in 1926