Cover Image: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the author, Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book uses the still to this day mysterious 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie - not a spoiler, she did turn up again, but the circumstances remain murky and unclear - as its starting point. I loved the plot device of alternating chapters/voices between husband and wife, and the counting up/down to her re-appearance/disappearance.  The author did a great job of capturing the personality of the two main characters, although Mr. Christie doesn't come off as terribly likeable. However, I did feel that the narrative dragged at times and could have been tightened up a bit. Overall a good read, and I will look out for other books by this author.
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Acclaimed author Mrs Agatha Christie goes missing for 12 days & when she returns has no memory of where she has been or anything. Her husband has to help her reclaim her memories before they are gone forever. 

I went into this book never having read any of Ms Agatha Christie's books but still found myself enthralled by this fiction work surrounding her. If you love historical fiction this book is definitely for you.  I highly recommend this book. 
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for my honest review.
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Of all the mysteries that Agatha Christie created, the only one that has never been solved is pulled directly from her own life. If you're familiar with the author, you know that she went missing in December 1926. After being discovered in a hotel, 11 days after her disappearance, she claimed amnesia and never spoke of the event again. This gap in such a well known figure's life has been fodder for many a fiction novel over the years, including this one.

Benedict's take on how the mystery reveals itself is not one I've come across before. With dual storylines, the reader is treated to the viewpoints of past-Agatha as she walks through her courtship, marriage, and life with Archibald Christie, bringing the reader forward to the date of her vanishing, and also that of Archibald as he tries and fails to keep her disappearance and other family secrets from the police and the press.

The end result was something I felt very worthy of Mrs. Christie. Sharp and excellently drawn, the wrong-doers definitely receive their comeuppance in a way that had me smile and think "Serves you right." For any fan of Agatha, or anyone who loves a good mystery, do pick this up when it comes out in a few days.
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I was so pleasantly surprised by what a fun ride this book was!  Since we don't know what really happened to Christie when she disappeared, I hope other authors will take the opportunity to imagine what could have happened in the time Agatha was away from her family.  I was open to what the book would be like, but I think I pictured a slow moving historical fiction book.  Surprisingly and thankfully, it read more like a thriller, especially since I speed-read a lot of the sections where Archie is worrying about the police, because Agatha is where our sympathy lies.  I love how Benedict used different points in time to slowly show us what is happening and why.  I am recommending this to more people than I originally imagine- I figured it would be mainly readers who are already fans of Christie.  Instead, I think anyone who likes domestic drama could get behind this book.  For fans of "The Crown", the Christie's relationship bears a striking resemblance to Charles and Diana's!
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This is honestly one of the books that I have been looking forward to as soon as I heard it was to be published.  Having read some of Marie Benedict's previous works, I knew she would treat the subject matter well. 

Agatha Christie is one of the most famous female writers in her generation and her dominance continues to the present day.  Not everyone knows that she was married twice and her last name Christie is actually her first husband's surname.  

In December 1926, her husband was away visiting friends.  Her young daughter was being taken care of when Agatha Christie disappeared.  She was missing for eleven days.  She was the subject of the largest manhunt in English history up to the moment.  She never once gave any explanation of what happened or why it happened. 

Marie Benedict uses alternating timelines to lay out her explanation of her disappearance.  She goes back to the first time that Archie Christie and Agatha Miller met. Each chapter moves the story forward bit by bit, alternating with the more distant past and the present 1926.  Agatha and Archie are incredibly well drawn.   I felt for Agatha trying to save her marriage and was repulsed by Archie's behavior.  

I gave this book 4.5 stars.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and women's place in history.  

Thank you to Marie Benedict, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the free Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review.
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When Agatha Miller was in her twenties, she expected that she might settle down with her close friend, a good-hearted young man named Reggie. However, one evening at a gala ball in 1912, a handsome gentleman sweeps Agatha off her feet. When she tells her family about Lieutenant Archibald Christie, her mother and sister advise her to rebuff the brash soldier, but the besotted Agatha stands by him. She marries Archie, and focuses on prioritizing his needs and desires over her own.

Marie Benedict's "The Mystery of Mrs. Christie" focuses on Agatha's ill-fated union with a person she thought she knew, but who turns out to be shallow, short-tempered, and selfish. The Christies have one child, Rosalind, but their love for the little girl cannot save their crumbling relationship. Everything comes to a head when Archie reveals the reason for his frequent absences, and Agatha's writing career—which Archie resents—begins to take off. In December 1926, Agatha Christie vanishes for eleven days, and Marie Benedict offers her version of why Mrs. Christie disappeared.

The author's portrayal of Agatha is compelling. Before she became famous, Agatha was a naïve but intelligent and determined individual who yearned for romance and stability. She believed that Archie would be as devoted to her after their wedding as he was during their courtship. The chapters told from Archie's perspective are less engaging than those narrated by Agatha. When Mrs. Christie disappears, the detectives and newspaper reporters suspect her husband of foul play. Since Archie is such a one-dimensional and unfeeling scoundrel, it is difficult to feel anything but contempt for him. Fortunately, the conclusion is lively and engaging, since Agatha finds a way to turn the tables on a spouse who, for years, belittled and undermined her. She discovers a core of inner strength that she never realized she possessed. "The Mystery of Mrs. Christie" is diverting, but it lacks the depth of Benedict's more accomplished works of fiction.
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Before I begin my review of this book, I must admit a dirty little secret first…I’ve never read an Agatha Christie murder mystery before…I know!! It is all together shocking! But, I can tell you after reading the Mystery of Mrs. Christie I’ve become a huge fan, already ordered several of her novels, and I cannot wait to dive into them after reading about her in this historical fiction take on her mysterious disappearance.

“As I reread if for a final time, it occurred to me that we are all unreliable narrators of our own lives, crafting stories about ourselves that omit unsavory truths and highlight our invented identities.”

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie was a wonderful psychological thriller that had me hooked from the beginning as I flew through the pages. Not only was this story gripping, it was very eye opening. I went into the story believing that Mrs. Christie had to of been a woman ahead of her time, strong, smart and independent. Well, I was right about a few things and very wrong about others. Agatha Christie was a woman who was held captive by the time period and very suppressed by her husband, society and own mother at times.

Benedict takes the reader back and forth through a dual timeline that explores the past relationship between the Christies, from how it began, evolved, and fell apart; to the present story timeline in late 1926 and Agatha Christies disappearance. 

Not only was there a dual timeline, there were also dual points of view. As the chapters rotate between past and present so do our points of view. In the past and leading up to the present, the reader gets to view things through the eyes of Agatha Christie. In the present the reader gets to see things through Archibald Christie’s warped point of view. This readers is where we must remember that there are “unreliable narrators” crafting their own stories. The dual timelines and points of view are well written and well crafted. I was easily able to get a strong foothold and not become muddled between them.

This story tackles a very popular unsolved mystery in a dynamic fashion. There are many theories out there as to what “happened” to Agatha Christie and why she went missing for 10 days, but no one knows the real truth…well, Mrs. Christie does. For me, I would like to think Marie Benedict hit the nail on the head, and brought Agatha’s true character and what really happened forth! 

Overall, this is a story that pulled me in and had me talking out loud to the characters, and then wishing I was in the story so I could give many of them a piece of my mind. You know a story is great when you are right there in the grips of it all. I even kept saying to myself as I read, “Oh Mrs. Christie, you go girl,” as the mystery continued to unfold.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict is an engaging historical fiction novel about Agatha Christie’s mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.

I’m a huge historical fiction fan. Some of my favorite ones are based on real people. I usually spend plenty of time Googling them after I finish the book!

When I read the premise for The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, I knew instantly it was a must-read. I had no idea that beloved writer Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days back in 1926. And it was never confirmed what exactly happened—the mystery writer kept her greatest mystery close to her chest. So this is where historical fiction comes in. Marie Benedict takes a fictional look at what happened during those 11 days. And it’s an entertaining ride!

I really enjoyed The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. It’s part mystery, a portrait of a failed marriage and a look at a famous historical figure. There’s so much to discuss for book clubs with this one.
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This story took a different approach than I expected, telling the story of Christie’s marriage and disappearance in parallel timelines. While young Agatha appeared throughout the earlier storyline, I missed her through the disappearance story, as her deeply unpleasant husband was the focus of the investigation.

However, Benedict wrapped up the story in a satisfyingly Christie-esque way, proving that she is just as adept at plotting as the mystery novelist herself. While we may never know what happened to Agatha for those 10 days, this story gives a plausible and intriguing explanation.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this deep dive into the mind and life  of Agatha Christie.  Her disappearance for 11 days in 1926 swirled in speculation and controversy, Marie Benedict again brings a fascinating woman, author, and mysterious story to life in this fast paced, engaging read. Perfect for fans of historical fiction featuring real women and their stories, as well as Christie fans.
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I really was very excited to read this one.  However, I felt like the alternating viewpoints really let it down.  For me, I found them flipping back and forth often and suddenly really took me out of the story.  The story of their early marriage really did not appeal to me at all and I was hoping for a lot more detail on the actual mystery from the title, the reason I chose this book to read to start with.
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An interesting story of a missing wife in a troubled marriage. Marie Benedict does it again, fascinating story of Agatha Christie.
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In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for almost a week under circumstances that have never been fully explained. Benedict lays out an intriguing theory in this dual-voice novel. Christie herself tells of her courtship and marriage to Archie, while a narrator relates the time that she is gone, focusing on the police investigation and Archie and the impact her disappearance has on him.  Smart and tight, this book is a treat for fans of Benedict and Christie alike.
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Marie Benedict puts a spin on the real-life, eleven-day mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie in December 1926. Told in alternating timelines between the present as Archie Christie's concern for his missing wife become suspect, and the past where we see Agatha honing her craft as one of the best mystery writers ever. 

I'm not sure how common knowledge Agatha Christie's disappearance is. I know of it because I went through a Christie phase where I watched the movies/tv shows and read many (though not all) of her books. And in that time was intrigued by the idea that this paragon of the detective story had her own mystery. Albeit, a slightly unsatisfying one because there has never been a solid, concrete answer as to what really happened. What precipitated the disappearance. 

Well, I feel like Marie Benedict gives a very plausible scenario in The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. What's more, I loved how the past sections of the book correlate so well with Agatha Christie's development as a writer and tie into the present-day mystery. What I was surprised about, but probably shouldn't be, was the idea of perception. I marveled as this woman in the 1920's seemingly having so much agency. Being completely in control of her writing. Being able to write and put her name to something in such a male dominated field. But pulling back the curtain we see that Agatha Christie struggled with finding her voice. Not really as a writer, but as a woman. 

The plot is steadily-paced. Speeding up as the timelines converge and the end in sight. Seeing her growth throughout really hit home and echoes what Marie Benedict has done in her previous works up uplifting the voices of women, close to famous men, who were oftentimes kept in the background. In this case, Agatha Christie is the famous name, but moreso as an idealization of Agatha Christie the author. Marie Benedict really brings to focus Agatha Christie the woman, mother, daughter, sister, wife and I felt a sense of enrichment. I can only hope that the real-world mystery played out as satisfyingly as this fictionalized account.
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Marie Benedict delivers a fictional take on the mysterious week that Agatha Christie disappeared. I have heard this story for many years now, but Benedict blends history and fiction to tell this tale.

This story told in dual timelines, the days after Christie’s disappearance told by her husband, and the second, the years and days prior to her disappearance narrated by Agatha.

This is an intriguing tale that the author weaves. The dual timelines really work for this book. This is not about just about her time missing and the investigation, but at the heart it is about a marriage, the good and the bad.

My only wish for this book is that it went a little bit further than that week in the history. If you know Christie’s biography there is so more to this story, and the ending felt a little abrupt.

This is a fun and very quick read, and overall enjoyable. Fans of Marie Benedict will love this book. And fans of Agatha Christie who want to read more about her real life mystery are in a for a treat.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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In December 1926, Agatha Christie went missing, English authorities undertook an unprecedented manhunt to find the author before she eventually reappeared eleven days later claiming amnesia. To this day, no one knows what really happened but Marie Benedict imagines what might have occurred in this fun, twisty historical novel, giving a look at what could be the answer of Christie's greatest mystery of all.

I've been a fan of Benedict's writing for a while and this book may be my favorite of hers yet. I enjoyed reading about Agatha's past, and the alternating timelines - one tracking her relationship with her husband, Archie, from the time they met and the other tracking the investigation of her disappearance, which the police believe is his fault - keeps the pacing brisk. Agatha is a strong woman who had many complicated relationships and it was interesting learning about what inspired her writing and how prolific she was. - I'm excited to read some of the stories and books mentioned in this one. 

Even if you've never read one of Christie's books, this is a terrific, suspenseful and colorful novel that I highly recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advanced copy to review.
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While it's a distant second to her career as a writer, the second thing Agatha Christie may be most famous for are the eleven days she went missing and returned with no explanation. In alternating chapters, readers get to see her family and relationship with her first husband unfold, and what may have motivated her disappearance in the form of a "manuscript", and her husband's perspective during the disappearance. This was a fast read, and a sympathetic take on Agatha Christie's life and career, and how one influenced the other. Incredibly enjoyable reading from an author who is masterful at unveiling the private lives of history's women.
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I  am a big fan of Christie and all her books so I was pleased to receive this for review. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. 

This was such a fun read and very well written to the time period of Agatha Christie . I enjoyed reading about Agatha from the author's viewpoint,, as a unhappy wife and Mother, a author and a celebrity for her time. The marriage to Archie is portrayed here with honesty as the author revels the story behind her disappearance.  i loved that fact Agatha retained her mystery of her disappearance and how the entire world was trying to solve the mystery. A very fun read for all fans of Christie.
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I found this a deeply satisfying fictional account of what happened when Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days in December. 1926. With her husband asking for a divorce so he could marry his girlfriend, the timing of Agatha’s disappearance showcases her husband’s conceit, arrogance, and lack of concern about his wife’s unknown whereabouts. He is certainly unwilling to help the police in their search. In alternating chapters, Agatha tells the story of her meeting her husband, Archie, and the toll it took on her. Archie, on the other hand’s story, is told by a man who does not want the truth to come out, and at the end, when Agatha gets to tell him why she disappeared, the reader will cheer for her. It is not only novels in which Agatha Christy can develop a mystery plot, she can do it in her own life.
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“The Mystery of Mrs. Christie” by Marie Benedict offers a fictionalized telling of a real-life enigma — the 10-day disappearance of author Agatha Christie.

Told in alternating times and perspectives — Agatha’s perspective starting from when she met her future husband, Archie Christie, up until her disappearance; and Archie’s perspective immediately following her disappearing in December 1926 — “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie” does a great job of telling the story of Agatha’s life as a young adult and young author, as well as speculating on what actions may have been taken by Archie and the police force in their search for the author now famously known as Mystery’s Grand Dame.

It also delivers great speculation — and offers an interesting conclusion — on what truly caused Agatha’s disappearance.

By fictionalizing the story, Benedict does an incredible job of taking a real incident with real people and real places and creating a book that reads like a fantastic mystery novel, and not a boring, dry documentary.

Fans of Agatha Christie as a person and novelist, as well as her books, will enjoy “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie,” as will lovers of the mystery genre in general. This book is due out Dec. 29.

Five stars out of five. 

Sourcebooks Landmark provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.
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