I have belatedly, very belatedly, started reading Agatha Christie. For someone who loves Sherlock Holmes to bits, this is a tad late, I admit. I completely fail. But I have wasted no time once I started, and ten Poirot novels, four Marple, three unserialised novels, two collections of short stories and three Tommy and Tuppence books later, (and I have not even made a dent into her massive collection), I am convinced that whereas she is the queen of whodunnit plots, she is horrid in what paltry attempts she had at communist/political thrillers. Tommy/Tuppence, I think falls in here. I found "Passenger to Frankfurt" interesting only in light of Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man - which had helped spark off youth revolutions that Christie would have experienced in her life time (and presumably disapproved) - otherwise, it was as Christie herself admits, completely fantastical, and I dare say, illogical and farcical. Poirot, in my eyes, is to Christie what Holmes is to Doyle - the ultimate creation, against which everything else falls short. Even Marple.
That said, "Ten Little Indians" ("And then there was none") was completely mindblowing even if it wasn't Poirot. Any one has any other Christie title I have to read immediately? The woman is so prolific I am rather spoilt for choice.
I am not certain if they write detective novels the same way since. If there is, someone please let me know. I like Christie's plots because the reader can actually attempt to guess for themselves - a genuine whodunnit - a lot of detective novels written for this modern day and age tend to be more thriller-like - where you are forced to live from page to page instead of trying to get ahead of the writer. I suppose part of it lies in the inventiveness of the likes of Doyle and Christie. After reading these classics, it is increasingly harder to come up with a plot that can outsmart the reader. For a while I thought Dan Brown's Angels and Demons could attempt to meet that ingenuity, but his books became more disappointing.