When I saw this book for the first time, on a Goodreads article I think, I knew this would be something I simply had to read. ❤ The real life disappearance of the famous author, Dame Agatha Christie, has been a delicious mystery ever since it happened. Marie Benedict gives us her version of the happenings in her novel where fiction mixes with history and creates an excellent mystery novel.
… it occurred to me that we are all unreliable narrators of our own lives, crafting stories about ourselves that omit unsavory truths and highlight our invented identities.
Sometimes I’m wrong when I see a book that just seems like it’s so meant for me, but this time I was so right: I really enjoyed reading The Mystery of Mrs. Christie!
Even though these are known historical details that the book gets through, it’s difficult to really talk in detail about the plot of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie because, well, there could be critical spoilers to the mystery. 😀
The whole thing is really fascinating. We have the most famous author (back then she had been starting to make a name for herself) just disappear and then reappear with memory loss AND using the name of her husband’s lover. And the whole thing is not mentioned even in Agatha Christie’s autobiography, not one word about it. Very, very mysterious! No wonder author Marie Benedict found this event interesting enough to make it into a fictional mystery.
The book focuses on the younger Agatha Christie. We see her meeting her soon-to-be husband Archie, see their challenging years as freshly married couple in the middle of war-time, and later all the challenges of building a normal life after the war. Agatha is already discovering herself as a writer, but she is even more focused on being a devoted wife to her unhappy husband. The troubled marriage is at the center of this mystery. Eventually Archie wants a divorce, there is a quarrel and Agatha disappears. Suspicious isn’t it?
The other part of the story focuses on Archie Christie living each of the 11 days when Agatha is missing, and the police work around the disappearance. He knows it looks bad, very bad for him. He is quite obviously the main suspect, but what did he actually do?
I enjoyed reading The Mystery of Mrs. Christie a lot. It could’ve been longer, but it was still very good. And it reminded me that I still haven’t read Agatha Christie’s autobiography, even though I love her books and respect and admire her for being such a successful female author and really a cornerstone of her genre. I will definitely try to read that autobiography, and also I think I will read more from Marie Benedict. I hope her other books are as good as The Mystery of Mrs. Christie was!
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie fills these prompts from the two Reading Challenges I’m doing this year:
A book published after the author’s death (Helmet Reading Challenge)
(Just to be clear: obviously I don’t mean author Marie Benedict. This book is about author Agatha Christie and has been published after Agatha Christie’s death.)
A book about forgetting (Popsugar Reading Challenge)
There was memory loss, officially at least. 🙂