Reviews of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

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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  • First Published:
    Dec 2020, 288 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 2021, 336 pages

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Book Summary

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie's untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

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 husband and 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 exploration into the shadows of history, 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 a murky story.

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?

The letter flutters on the desk, almost keeping time with the footsteps thundering across the floor. Back and forth, back and forth, the feet pace, and the thick writing paper quivers to the same rhythm. The black, spiky words that possess the ivory page seem to come alive and pulsate with each heavy tread.

How do you want this story to end? It seems to me that there are two paths from which you can choose, the first involving a softer landing than the second, though neither are without bumps and bruises, of course. These small injuries are simply a necessary consequence of this entire exercise, as I'm sure you must understand by now. Or have I overestimated you and you haven't guessed? No matter. My goal—which you will undoubtedly find utterly unacceptable—will be met regardless of your awareness. Freeing myself of the shackles of your judgment and your malfeasance will be a delightful result of your duplicity, a result you never intended. Because you ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  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 ...
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Reviews

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Blending events from Agatha's life with a writing style familiar to fans of Christie's novels, Marie Benedict pays homage to Christie's detective fiction (Shawna). The mystery of Agatha Christie's 11-day disappearance in December, 1926 has persisted to this day. Marie Benedict presents a wonderfully engaging and thrilling answer to that mystery with twists and turns worthy of any Christie whodunit (Barbara E)...continued

Full Review (653 words).

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Media Reviews

Washington Post
[An] intriguing...fact-based, fiction-laced novel...The Mystery of Mrs. Christie reads like a modern domestic thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train...a stunning story.

Booklist
Girl power advocates will find satisfaction in the solution she crafts to her man problem.

Kirkus Reviews
Benedict concocts a worthy mystery...A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Library Journal
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.

Publishers Weekly
While the manuscript chapters won't ring true with Christie fans, the story makes for good fun.

Author Blurb Chanel Cleeton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Train to Key West and Next Year in Havana
Brilliantly constructed and richly detailed…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.

Author Blurb Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress
A deft, fascinating page-turner replete with richly drawn characters and plot twists that would stump Hercule Poirot.

Author Blurb Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Country and The English Wife
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.)

Author Blurb Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends
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!

Author Blurb Stuart Turton, bestselling author of The Devil and the Dark Water and The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
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.

Reader Reviews

Beth S

Mystery and Historical Combined
I love almost everything Marie Benedict writes. This title is one of my favorites! Benedict has taken the mystery of Christie's 11 day disappearance and created an authentic and unpredictable plot. I loved it all.
Shirley Fentz

Marie Benedict ala Agatha Christie style
What a creative novel based on a historical event! I thought that Marie Benedict offered some insight into the making of Agatha Christie as a mystery writer and her creative murder methods. Agatha had little experience with men and when she met ...   Read More
Shawna (TX)

Must Read for Agatha Christie fans
I first read an Agatha Christie novel in junior high. I was hooked. I've read most of them over the years, and was intrigued by Marie Benedict's book on the actual eleven day disappearance of Mrs. Christie. Blending events from Agatha's life with...   Read More
Julia E. (Atlanta, GA)

Skillful Historical Fiction
As avid Agatha-Christiephile's are aware, Christie's mystery novels still sell nearly as many copies as The Bible or works of Shakespeare. The library about this mystery novelist continues to expand as well. This cleverly structured, well-researched,...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Agatha Christie's First Marriage

Article about Agatha's reunion with Archie after her disappearance In The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Marie Benedict explores mystery writer Agatha Christie's marriage to Archibald Christie through the lens of Agatha's mysterious temporary disappearance in 1926. Many different theories have been proposed as to the exact details regarding how and why the famous author went missing, but no one account of what happened has ever been confirmed. In her novel, Benedict includes her own fictionalized idea of what may have occurred.

What we do know of Agatha and Archie's life together is that they met at a dance in 1912, when they were both in their early 20s. A romance developed quickly between them, but the First World War separated them temporarily in 1914 — Archie went to fight in France and Agatha ...

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