The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
January 2021 Indie Next List
— Stefanie Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA
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THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER!
"A stunning story... The ending is ingenious, and it's possible that Benedict has brought to life the most plausible explanation for why Christie disappeared for 11 days in 1926."—The Washington Post
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room returns with a thrilling reconstruction of one of the most notorious events in literary history: Agatha Christie's mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.
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 World War I veteran husband and her 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 historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, 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 murky historical mysteries.
What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?
Agatha Christie novels have withstood the test of time, due in no small part to Christie's masterful storytelling and clever mind that may never be matched, but Agatha Christie's untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.
Fans of The Secrets We Kept, The Lions of Fifth Avenue, and The Alice Network will enjoy this riveting saga of literary history, suspense, and love gone wrong.
Other Bestselling Historical Fiction from Marie Benedict:
The Only Woman in the Room
The Other Einstein
Praise For The Mystery of Mrs. Christie: A Novel…
"[A] clever reconstruction of Agatha Christie's mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926." — E! News
"With elements of a classic mystery novel, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is gripping, making it possible to believe that, with her real-life disappearance, Agatha Christie surpassed herself and pulled off the perfect, unsolvable mystery." — Foreword Reviews
"A winning whodunit from the thrilling life story of the mistress of whodunits, Agatha Christie herself, THE MYSTERY OF MRS CHRISTIE is a deft, fascinating page-turner replete with richly drawn characters and plot twists that would stump Hercule Poirot." — Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network, The Huntress, and the upcoming The Rose Code
"With twists, surprises, and an ending that packs a punch in more ways than one, THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE is a whodunit infinitely worthy of its famous heroine. Benedict's exploration of Agatha Christie's life and mysterious disappearance will have book club discussions running overtime. Quite simply, I loved it!" — Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends
"Brilliantly constructed and richly detailed, THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE is both a twisty mystery and immersive portrait of the domestic and professional life of the legendary Agatha Christie. This is a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie." — Chanel Cleeton, New York Times & USA Today bestselling Author of The Last Train to Key West and Next Year in Havana
"What a read! Agatha Christie is so beautifully drawn, you could easily believe Benedict knew her intimately. Each page uncovers fresh layers of pain, rage, genius and suffering, culminating with a firecracker of an ending. I loved it." — Stuart Turton, bestselling author of The Devil and the Dark Water and The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
"THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE is part domestic thriller, part Golden Age mystery-- and all Marie Benedict! An absorbing and immersive plunge into the disturbed private life of one of the world's most beloved authors, who confounded police, journalists, and generations of biographers when she disappeared from her home, like something out of one of her own novels. But you just might find a solution to the puzzle here.... (No Belgian detectives required. Knitting spinsters sold separately.)" — Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author
"It's not a whodunit or even a whydunit, but a sort of how-the-hell-did-he-do-it? As Christie's first and best-known detective, Hercule Poirot, might say: Patience. All will be revealed." — The Los Angeles Times
"[A] gripping historical fiction tale of true mystery." — Good Morning America
"Benedict shines as a suspense writer." — Christian Science Monitor
"[Marie Benedict] keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain? A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour." — Kirkus Reviews
"The clever premise here is that Christie vanished deliberately so as to ensnare Archie in a trap as payback for his infidelities... the story makes for good fun." — Publishers Weekly
"Mystery lovers, especially fans of Christie's works, as well as those who enjoy period pieces, will find this an engrossing fictional answer to a real historical mystery." — Library Journal
"Girl power advocates will find satisfaction in the solution she crafts to her man problem." — Booklist
"If you're an ardent Agatha Christie fan, don't miss The Mystery of Mrs. Christie." — —HuffPost
Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781492682721, 288pp.
Publication Date: December 29, 2020
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Agatha Christie is one of the most celebrated mystery writers of all time. What did you know about her personal history before you read The Mystery of Mrs. Christie? Did the book challenge any of your preconceived notions about her life?
2. Agatha Christie was a successful writer within her lifetime, quite unusual for a woman of her time. How did her desire for independence shape the course of the story, both obviously and more subtly?
3. Do you think Agatha Christie is a good representative of the issues that women faced in her era? Did she have any privileges or responsibilities that set her apart from other women of her period?
4. Describe the night Archie and Agatha first met. How did their relationship change over time, and why? Do you think Agatha’s manuscript told the full story? What details do you think she changed or left out? Why do you think she might have altered the “truth”?
5. Archie spends much of the story trying to protect his reputation. Do you think that would be the case if the story took place today? Would it be easier or more difficult for him to deflect guilt in the modern news cycle?
6. What differences did you see between the Agatha within the manuscript and the Agatha who appears at the end of the book? What creative licenses did she take with her own personality and story? Were they justified?
7. Toward the end of the book, Agatha mourns the mother she could not be for Rosalind. What forces dominated their relationship? Do you think Agatha’s struggle to balance husband and child was common in her historical period? How do you expect her relationship with Rosalind to evolve after the events of the book? How does this compare with parental struggles mothers face now?
8. Which characters, if any, did you find to be most relatable? Did you connect with Agatha? Were there any characters you wished you knew more about?
9. Agatha left an enormous mark on the mystery community and on the world of books more generally. Do you think her marriage had an effect on her success? Or her disappearance? If so, what was it? How would you characterize her personal and professional legacies?