Jan. 17, 2021
As readers know, Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her detective novels. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie uncovers the untold story of her mysterious eleven-day disappearance. When she reappears, she claims amnesia, never revealing what happened.
England, 1912: At Ugbrooke House ball, Agatha Miller accepts a dance invitation from someone she has not been properly introduced to. “Because really, how dangerous could one dance be?”
England, 1926: Archibald Christie receives a phone call that his wife is missing. And right before his first questioning, he finds a letter from his wife. A letter he burns right after reading it.
The story alternates between those two timelines. As it goes back in time, it reveals their courtship and her passion for writing. An altercation with her sister leads her to proving her sister wrong and setting a goal of writing a detective story. What she thought of as just a hobby until she snatches a husband, now is her mission.
The present-day story brings the proceedings of the police investigating the case. The husband is repeatedly questioned. What is he hiding?
Insightful investigative proceedings are wrought with skill and expertise making it a very believable and deftly plotted story. The mystery aspect of the unknown words written in the letter keeps a reader in suspense.
The past story is related by Agatha, whose voice is well-depicted reflecting a well-bred lady, which also brings some very enjoyable humor. Agatha is a likeable character. She is so proper and careful with her words. When her demanding husband requires to be at the center of attention, she does that for him, because that’s what is expected of her, of a well-bred woman of her time and station. With time as his interest in her wanes, she continues to find ways to make him happy as his happiness is paramount. Never mind her happiness. Despite all that, she is a very strong woman whose creative interests shine.
From the first pages we get attached to an intriguing character of Agatha and enigmatic storyline. With each chapter alternating seamlessly between the timelines, the story gets even more and more engrossing. This is the best mystery novel I’ve ever read, which offers well-developed two aspects, mystery and character making it a page-turner with depth.
I’m a huge fan of Marie Benedict. I’ve read all her books, which I highly recommend. She is a master storyteller providing compelling tales intricately woven, with characters readers will deeply care for and prose to greatly enjoy.