In this novel, Marie Benedict hypothesizes about what happened during Agatha Christie’s most famous unsolved mystery, her own 11-day disappearance.
The book alternates between Agatha’s life when she first met and married Archie Christie and each day of her disappearance. In many ways, Archie Christie was the main character of this historical fiction work, and the portrait Benedict paints of Colonel Christie isn’t a flattering one. He comes across as demanding, domineering, and narcissistic, with all of Agatha’s actions centered on him.
It was interesting to read this book so soon after reading The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont. While the books cover the same time period, the two fictional accounts are very different. I’d give de Gramont an edge in the writing – her prose was more captivating than Benedict’s flatter style.
However, de Gramont definitely took a lot more creative license in her story. Benedict’s account was much more believable and seemed much closer to what could have actually happened.
Both portray Agatha as a strong, talented woman but in different ways. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie deals more with her relationship with her mother and sister, her affection for her daughter, and the pressure she felt to be the perfect wife. For most of the book, The Christie Affair portrays her as a colder, more career-oriented person who seems ambivalent toward her daughter.
My full review of The Christie Affair is linked below: https://bookpicksandpics.com/2022/04/03/the-christie-affair-by-nina-de-gramont/