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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

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Member Reviews

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 creative murder methods.
She had little experience with men and when she met Archibald Christie, fell in love immediately. The story of their marriage unfolded in the book interspersed with her disappearance of 11 days.
Agatha Christie developed her writing skills from working in a pharmacy as a volunteer during WWI, and started writing after a challenge by her older sister Madge - to construct a mystery no reader could solve.. Her style became one where the entire premise of the book rested on an unexpected twist and an unreliable narrator. And it served her well. Every Agatha Christie mystery that I've read brigs in a new surprise - a twist - and well developed characters that keep me guessing - who did i!?
I think that Marie Benedict did well to bring an unexpected twist to the story of her disappearance and I loved the ending - perfect for a story about Agatha Christie.
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

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I'm an Agatha Christie fan and I love both mysteries and historical fiction. I was very excited to hear about this novel and eager to read it. The mystery of the 11 days of Mrs. Christie's real life disappearance has always intrigued me. Mrs. Christie, herself, never really explained her disappearance. This novel is told in a dual timeline and dual voice . Agatha tells of the past when she meets her husband, Archie Christie and leading up to her disappearance. Archie tells of the time of Agatha's disappearance and right after. The dual timeline and voice does give us insight and (fictional) perception of both Agatha and Archie which is helpful for the storyline. But my problem is that I was not a fan of either character as they were developed. Archie came across as narcissist - he was very selfish and angry - mean to his wife. Agatha was portrayed as docile and suppressed - having the idea that her whole focus was to make her husband happy even to the detriment of her relationship with her daughter- I know that this comes from the time period of the early 1900's but I never envisioned Agatha as possessing that personal temperament. I couldn't find empathy with either character. I also found the narrative very heavy and slow - hard to hold my interest. I am still intrigued with this author. I want to read some of her other work and will continue to follow her writing.

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Based on the true events of Mrs. Christie's mysterious past. Where did Mrs. Christie disappear to in 1926 and how and why did those events transpire?

The premise of this novel had so much promise, but the delivery of the supposed "mystery" at its core fell very flat for me. There's been so much speculation over the years as to what truly happened when Agatha Christie disappeared for a week in December of 1926. (Especially because Christie herself never truly addressed it in any of her works or autobiographies.) Benedict takes that mystery and builds backwards, giving us glimpses of Christie's earlier years and unhappy marriage to her husband, Archie. However, in doing so, she not only makes me dislike Archie, but Agatha Christie as well. Agatha is portrayed as weak, meek, subservient, and so wholly and unquestionably devoted to Archie from the start. A man that truly had no desirable qualities whatsoever. (He didn't even come from money!) Because I couldn't understand the attraction between Agatha and Archie to begin with, I struggled to connect to, or relate with, either of them. I mostly just felt sorry for their young daughter Rosalind who found herself caught up in the midst of their marital woes.

By the book's conclusion, I didn't really find myself anymore drawn to Agatha or sympathetic to what she'd been through. I understand that in the 20s, women couldn't just leave their husbands very easily. But because Benedict's retelling of Agatha's early years gave me no reason to believe she would have ended up with Archie in the first place, I just found this to be a bit of a dull, dry read with an unconvincing plot.

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This book, like Agatha Christie mysteries, is a real page turner, with the added enticement that is based (somewhat) on reality. Agatha Christie did have a very real disappearance, which has never been solved, so this book gives an explanation (or a possible explanation). By splitting the two stories between two narrators, the reader stays engaged to see which one is telling the truth--as both present themselves as the one telling the real story. In the end, it is the master tale teller, that unravels the threads of both stories to a satisfactory conclusion.

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In this fascinating new release, author Marie Benedict creates an Agatha Christie-worthy mystery out of a real-life mystery from Christie’s own life.

Agatha Christie really did disappear for eleven days in 1926, and when she was located, her missing days were attributed to amnesia. That was it — a rather vague and unsatisfying resolution to a headline-making missing person story.

But what really happened? Is there more to the story than meets the eye? In The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, we get a tantalizing view of a possible (and highly entertaining) answer. It's incredibly enjoyable, and I loved the mystery aspects as well as getting to know more about the great author's early life.

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First line: I could not have written a more perfect man.

Summary: Agatha Christie, one of the most famous mystery writers of the twentieth century has gone missing. A widespread manhunt ensues looking for the missing author. Meanwhile, her husband is hiding secrets of his own. As time progresses and Agatha is not found more suspicion is placed on Archie. Then suddenly after eleven days Agatha reappears with no recollection of what happened or where she had been. What happened during these days? It is a mystery that is still yet to be uncovered.

My Thoughts: Several years ago I remember hearing about the disappearance of the Agatha Christie. It sounds like one of her stories but was actually true. I was really excited when I saw that Marie Benedict was going to bring this piece of history to life. Benedict does a great job of giving voice to historical women who time has forgotten. Even though Christie is famous, this part of her life was not as well known.

I liked the alternating time periods and perspectives. We see the beginning of the romance between Agatha and Archie. We see the progression of their lives together. But then we see how Archie deals with Agatha’s disappearance. I kept having to stop myself from Googling the case in order to avoid how the author’s reappearance happens. I liked that it was a short novel that was quick to read and gives a little more insight into such a prolific writer. I now have to read more of Christie’s novels starting with The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

FYI: Perfect for fans of Melanie Benjamin and Agatha Christie, of course.

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This was an intriguing story based on the real-life, 11-day disappearance of mystery writer Agatha Christie. The two timelines - before and during the disappearance - were woven well. You could really feel how hurt Agatha was at her husband's infidelity. And at the same time you get the feeling of her utter, unprecedented genius. Thanks, Netgalley, for this arc!

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I've been pretty into historical mysteries recently, so I was super excited to see this one, featuring the mistress of mystery herself as a character. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan of this. It was interesting structurally, with the slow reveal of information over two different timelines, but I just didn't feel connected with any of the characters. The "manuscript" that is interwoven throughout tells the story of Agatha and her first husband Archibald, from their first meeting to the dissolution of their marriage. The other storyline is the "now" of the plot, and I think that the way they converge at the end is supposed to be kind of a shocking, Gone Girl-style unreliable narrator twist, but it didn't quite land for me. I think this is probably because of the distance I felt from the characters, even Agatha Christie herself. Still, this is well-written and I would recommend it to die-hard Christie fans.

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I really enjoyed this historical fiction that brought a part of Agatha Christie's story to life. I highly recommend this book to fans of Christie and her books. Benedict does an excellent job of weaving a story that mirrors Christie's mysteries that we so dearly love. Some of the writing made time hops a bit confusing at times, but other than that it was a very entertaining read.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an opportunity to read The Mystery Of Agatha Christie

What I loved about this book :

💟 it’s based on the life of one of my favourite authors ! And the author does an amazing job of weaving together the known facts about Mrs. Christie’s life and disappearance and deliver a great story.

What I liked about this book :

✔️ the two narratives - Agatha recalling her own story up to her disappearance, and her husband’s POV during the 10 days when Agatha goes missing

What I didn’t like about this book:

✖️ The ending felt a bit rushed

I will definitely be checking out more books by this author !

4.5 ⭐️

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I love the writing of Marie Benedict! Her stories are so well researched and I really feel like I'm wrapped up in history. Writing strong women characters is a talent for Benedict!

I've often wondered about Agatha's disappearance and this novel really shed an interesting light on it. With a host of supporting characters, I enjoyed this one!

Thank you for allowing me to read and review this one.

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In 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared for eleven days. At that time, she was a budding mystery writer and her disappearance generated international attention. Her whereabouts were eventually discovered, but only after speculations of foul play were promoted by the press, with her husband as the main suspect. Agatha never commented on why she left her home without any warning, nor did she ever address her disappearance. Maria Benedict’s new book, The Mystery of Mrs Christie, focuses on those eleven days as well as the years leading up to them.

The story is told in dual timelines, with the prior years narrated by Agatha and the disappearance and subsequent days related by her husband, Archie. It is an interesting plot that addresses a mystery that is still unresolved to this day. It is also offers a glimpse of the role women were expected to fill in society as well as married life. A woman was expected to always prioritize her responsibilities, with her husband’s comfort the most important consideration. Agatha struggled with this throughout her marriage to Archie, as she watched her relationship with her daughter and her family suffer.

I enjoyed this latest book by Marie Benedict. It was a quick and satisfying read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.

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It took me a bit to get into this book. I liked that when the narrator changed, so did the timeline. I felt that that gave the book an air of mystery that helped to develop the plot. I do wish that the story would have continued beyond her reappearance a bit more than it did. It felt like it stopped suddenly and left me wanting more of the story. I loved learning about Agatha Christie, and the author made me excited to look into some of her earlier novels!

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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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