Excerpt from The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict X
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
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    Dec 2020, 288 pages

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What's it like up there? In the sky?"

For the first time, he unlocked his eyes from mine and glanced up at the frescoed ceiling, as if there, among the artfully depicted faux skyscape with its abundance of cherubs, he might relive the real thing. "Exhilarating and strange to be so near the clouds and to see the world below so small. But quite terrifying too."

I giggled a little. "I cannot even imagine, though I'd like to try it."

His blue eyes clouded over, and his tone grew more serious. "I haven't chosen flying for the thrill of it, Miss Miller. If there's a war—and I do think there will be one—planes will be vital. I intend to be integral to the war effort, a critical cog in the massive military machine. To help England, of course, but also so I can reap the benefits afterward in my career. When aeroplanes will be an important part of our economy."

His intensity moved me, as did the boldness of his approach. He was quite different from all the men I'd encountered before, whether at home in Devon or abroad in Egypt. I felt quite breathless, and not just from the quick pace of the one-step.

The last notes of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" sounded, and I stopped dancing. I began to untwine myself from him when he reached for my hand. "Stay on the dance floor with me. As you yourself said, you no longer have a dance card. You are free." I hesitated. More than anything, I wanted to dance with him again, to start to solve the mystery of this unusual man. But I could hear Mummy railing in my head, reprimanding me for the untoward message a girl sent if she danced with a gentleman twice in a row, particularly a girl who was already spoken for. I wanted something in exchange for my trouble.

"On one condition," I said.

"Anything, Miss Miller. Anything at all."

"You tell me your name."

Blushing again, he realized that, for all his valiant gestures with me, he had forgotten the most basic protocol. He bowed deeply and then said, "I am most pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Miller. My name is Lieutenant Archibald Christie.

Excerpted from The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict. Copyright © 2020 by Marie Benedict. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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