Weekend Reads: “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie”

The Mystery of Mrs. ChristieThe Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The premise of this novel is rooted in historical fact: in 1926, the newly-famous Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Her car was found near a pond with some belongings in it, and neither her husband nor her daughter has any idea where she might be. Eleven days after going missing, Christie reappears, claiming amnesia, and never gives an explanation.

Author Marie Benedict creates a “whydunnit” tale around these mysterious eleven days, creating a plausible tale of marital discord, a husband jealous of his wife’s newfound success after publishing The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd while struggling to manage what we would now call PTSD alongside his own middling business efforts, and struggles with social mores of the period and place.

Of course, we as readers know that Christie is going to turn up; she writes a good many more books, after all. But the other thing we see in the book is Benedict’s clever construction of a psychological thriller and period police procedural. I didn’t want to put it down.

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