This week I thought I would share with you my favourite detective novels which involve poisonings, which was no easy task. Primarily because as I was going through my Good Reads list trying to pick titles out, I realised that for quite a few of the books I couldn’t quite remember how people died. In the end I decided to do two lists of favourites. One list is my Top 5 Favourite Christie novels involving poison and the other is my Top 11 Favourite Non-Christie Stories involving poison. For this list I have tried to include books where the poisoning is a dominant or fundamental part of the plot, so for instance in my Christie list I didn’t include 4:50 from Paddington (1957) because the poisoning in that is more of a minor aspect of the plot.
As always let me know which detective novels involving poisons are your favourites in the comments section below.
Top 11 Non-Christie Detective Stories Involving Poison
- Malice Aforethought (1931) by Frances Iles
- The Satellite People (2015) by Hans Olav Lahlum
- Strong Poison (1930) by Dorothy L Sayers
- The Judas Window (1938) by Carter Dickson
- Verdict of Twelve (1940) by Raymond Postgate
- The Reluctant Detective (2010) by Martha Ockley
- Green for Danger (1944) by Christianna Brand
- Who Killed the Curate? (1944) by Joan Coggin
- The Scent of Almonds (2015) by Camilla Lackberg
- The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1928) by Anthony Berkeley Cox
- The Documents in the Case (1930) by Dorothy L. Sayers
Top 5 Christie Novels Involving Poison
- Sad Cypress (1940)
- Crooked House (1949)
- Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
- Five Little Pigs (1942)
- The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (1962)
My reasons for picking these texts either centred on how the poison was administered and the narrative twists this produced (The Scent of Almonds and Green for Danger) and/or on other aspects of the story such as humour (Who Killed the Curate?) characterisation and narrative voice/style (The Documents in the Case).