Mystery of Mrs. Christie
by Benedict, Marie

"December 1926: England unleashes the largest manhunt in its history. The object of the search is not an escaped convict or a war criminal, but the missing wife of a WWI hero, up-and-coming mystery author Agatha Christie. When her car is found wrecked, empty, and abandoned near a natural spring, the country is in a frenzy. Eleven days later, Agatha reappears, claiming amnesia. She provides no answers for her disappearance. That is...until she writes a very strange book about a missing woman, a murderous husband, and a plan to expose the truth. What role did her unfaithful husband play? And what was he not telling investigators? THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE explores one strong woman's successful endeavor to take her history into her own hands"-

In 1926, famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie is reeling from her beloved mother's death and the discovery that her husband, Archie, wants a divorce in order to marry his mistress. After a vicious fight with Archie, Agatha vanishes. Despite a police investigation and a massive search, no one knows what befell Agatha until her reappearance 11 days later. She claimed amnesia. Like others before her, including Andrew Wilson, Benedict offers a fictional take on what happened during Christie's disappearance. One story line proceeds from Archie's point-of-view as he faces a media circus, the total destruction of his privacy and reputation, and rampant suspicion that he murdered his wife. Meanwhile, Agatha recounts their relationship in a flashback, from beginning to bitter end. This is less a mystery than the chronicle of a well-meaning woman who chose her life partner poorly and finally tires of his contempt and responds in spectacular fashion. It takes a lot to turn Agatha's desperation into anger, but once that transition occurs, girl power advocates will find satisfaction in the solution she crafts to her man problem. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play? When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family‚??s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha‚??s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering‚?"and burning‚?"a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies‚?? staff, and even his daughter‚??s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie‚??s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha‚??s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain? A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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