Narrator: Nicola Barber
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on December 29, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Length: 7 hrs 22 mins
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In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.
The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story.
What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?
A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is historical fiction, imagining what may have happened when Agatha Christie “disappeared” in early December 1926. The facts are there, the car, the letters, the search, but around this Benedict wraps a fictional story of the Christies’ first meeting through their married life.
The majority of the book alternates between a manuscript Agatha wrote chronicling their lives together and the events around the disappearance, starting with the discovery of her empty car. The problem is no one is likable. Archie is a jerk. Agatha is too desperate to please him and right until the end too gutless to stand up for herself. I couldn’t even really care about the daughter, Rosalind, who when she showed up in the tale, was too calm and pulled together.
The grand reveal at the end wasn’t really grand or much of a reveal. It did redeem the rest of the book a bit, making you look a little differently at the “manuscript,” but not enough. I will say that the writing style was engrossing and even though the same ground was covered a lot, the author kept the tension as well as she could when we knew that Agatha would be found alive and well at a spa.
I would love to know where she went for all those days!
This novel does present a plausible explanation, even down to why she was staying at the hotel/spa under the mistress’s name.
I recommend everyone read Christie’s own autobiography – she talks about it a little and how she describes her days leading up to the disappearance lets you understand her actions. At least I think so.
I have her autobiography sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I think I read it once years and years ago, but don’t remember much of it.