Book Review: The Christie Affair

In 1926, famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie went missing. Apparently overwhelmed by the twin stresses of her mother’s death and her husband’s demand for a divorce, she ran her car off the road and vanished. She was found eleven days later at a resort hotel, registered under the name of her husband's mistress, and when asked what had happened, she claimed amnesia. This real-life mystery has been the source of endless speculation and more than a few fictional explorations of what might have really happened, and The Christie Affair is the most recent novel to take on the intriguing subject.

The Christie Affair takes a new approach by alternating the story of Agatha and Archie Christie’s difficult relationship with that of Nancy O’Dea, a fictional version of Archie’s mistress. By fleshing out a character who normally remains in the shadows, author Nina de Gramont has the opportunity to tell an even more fascinating tale of the kinds of people who were often left of out Christie’s novels - not the high society types in their country houses, but the people struggling with poverty, social and religious conflict, and the lingering impact of World War I. De Gramont gives fairly balanced attention to both Agatha’s narration and Nancy’s, but it’s Nancy’s story that is most engaging and the one that will linger after the mystery is solved. - Michelle (Sunset)

For more about Agatha Christie and her real-life mystery, check out the novel The Mystery of Mrs. Christie or the biography Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life.

The Christie Affair