Friday, November 05, 2021

Fiction Review: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

It's sometimes discouraging when I have to temporarily pause a seasonal reading challenge I'm enjoying to read something else for one of my book groups, but in October, my neighborhood book group's pick fit right in with the R.I.P. Challenge: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict. This is a fictional account of a real-life event, when Agatha Christie went missing for eleven days in 1926. 

No one knows what really happened to her or where she went during those eleven days (the author herself didn't even mention the disappearance in her autobiography), even though her disappearance made newspaper headlines across Europe and inspired a countrywide search in England. The novel alternates chapters between the days after her disappearance and her earlier life, leading up to it. The chapters on her earlier life begin when she is just a young woman, living with her family and meeting Archie, her husband-to-be, for the first time. That narrative thread continues through their courtship during the Great War, their impulsive marriage while he is on leave, the birth of their daughter, Rosalind, and the beginning of her writing career. The chapters taking place after her disappearance go day by day, showing Archie's reactions, the police investigation, and the flurry of activity in the frantic search for her across the region and then the country. Gradually, the two narratives come together, when the mystery of Agatha's Christie's mysterious disappearance is finally solved.

As you can see, I'm not providing many details about the story itself because it unspools much like a Christie mystery itself, with suspense and surprises, and much of the delight of this novel is in that slow discovery of its secrets. There is a lot packed into this short novel. It is something of a biography, providing a glimpse into the famous author's life and the beginning of her writing career, which would eventually lead to her selling more books worldwide than any other writer! It's fascinating to see how she became the famous mystery writer we all know and love. The author did extensive research, so both the information about Christie's life and the historical details are based in well-known fact. But the mystery! Benedict has come up with a creative, clever story to fill in those missing eleven days of which I think the Queen of Mystery herself would approve. It was a fun, highly entertaining novel.

270 pages, Sourcebooks

Audible Studios

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.


Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!


Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, from the early days of the disappearance and investigation, and/or download it from Audible.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!


Or you can order The Mystery of Mrs. Christie from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. I lived in London when I was 12 and they filmed the movie Agatha (about her disappearance) on our street so I got to meet Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave. It was pretty cool.

    1. There's a movie about her disappearance? Cool! I didn't know that. I wonder how they explained it? Dustin Hoffman is great - I'll have to look for that one.