A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie

A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie

Originally published in 1938 under the title Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, this novel is a locked-room mystery from Agatha Christie. The book was re-titled to Murder for Christmas when it was released in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1939. It was given a third title, A Holiday for Murder, when Avon Books released this book, the novel’s first paperback edition, in 1947.

This is the 20th story to feature famed detective Hercule Poirot. Although the book isn’t as well-known as tales like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, the book received rave reviews upon release. In The New York Times Book Review, critic Isaac Anderson said, “Poirot has solved some puzzling mysteries in his time, but never has his mighty brain functioned more brilliantly than in Murder for Christmas.”A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie

This book was adapted for both television and radio. The BBC Radio 4 radio play, which featured Peter Sallis, originally aired in 1986. It was the second Poirot story to be adapted for radio. It also provided the plot for a 1994 Christmas special of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot TV series, and it was adapted into a French miniseries titled Petits Meurtres en famille in 2006.

A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie - Back Cover

This book is #124 in the New Avon Library, which included mysteries, crime stories, and classic literature. Other titles in the library include In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy L. Sayers and The Hills Beyond by Thomas Wolfe. In the 1970s, Avon shifted to publishing romance novels, which they continue to do to this day.

While this edition of the book is enhanced by its creepy and decidedly non-Christmasy cover art, the cover artist is uncredited. However, thanks to a commenter, we learned that this art comes from Shadow Magazine #280 “Voodoo Death,” and the artist is Modest Stein.

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Louis Castro
2 years ago

The Cover art is a swipe from The Shadow Magazine #280, June 1944 “Voodoo Death”. The cover artist is Modest Stein. I included sie for reference.

Josh Wirtanen
2 years ago
Reply to  Louis Castro

You are correct! I’ve updated the article to include this information. Thank you for the comment!

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