The Mystery of Mrs. Christie: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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An instant New York Times and USA Today best seller!
"A deft, fascinating page-turner replete with richly drawn characters and plot twists that would stump Hercule Poirot." (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network, The Huntress, and The Rose Code)
The New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room returns with a thrilling reconstruction of one of the most notorious events in literary history: Agatha Christie's mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.
In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car - strange for a frigid night. Her World War I veteran husband and her daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.
The puzzle of those missing 11 days has persisted. With her trademark historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such murky historical mysteries.
What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?
Agatha Christie novels have withstood the test of time, due in no small part to Christie's masterful storytelling and clever mind that may never be matched, but Agatha Christie's untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 22 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 29, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#8,752 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#648 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,244 in Historical Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book's author is certainly not objective, portraying her heroine as suffering and blighted and Archie as selfish and brutal. But really, what mother of a supposed beloved child would carefully stage a disappearance in which murder seems the likeliest outcome? She had family and lifelong friends. What were they to believe?
Agatha Christie refused to mention the lost days in her own autobiography, as if to pretend that this incident didn't exist would make it so. Her personal life continued to be marred by marital unhappiness. Her second marriage to a much younger man lasted until.her death. She poured out financial resources to make her new archeologist husband successful and famous. He rewarded her enormous support by engaging in an affair that lasted decades, and which Agatha tolerated in order to avoid a second divorce. Really very sad.
The puzzle of Mrs. Christie’s missing eleven days has persisted to this day. Mrs. Christie herself even skips that period in her life in her autobiography. Ms. Benedict has taken on the task of imagining what happened to Agatha at this time in her life and failing marriage. The story is written intertwining two timelines; one immediately following Agatha’s disappearance and the investigation that follows told by Archie Christie and the other starting as the young Agatha falls in love with the dashing Colonel Archibald Christie before WWI and takes the couple up to the disappearance told by Agatha Christie.
I enjoyed this story immensely! I have never personally believed in the amnesia story or the story that the disappearance was for publicity for her new book. Mrs. Christie was a woman with a brilliant mind and Ms. Benedict’s historical fiction rendition makes so much more sense to me. In the 1920’s, women had so little power and I love to think of Agatha getting her due before her divorce. (PLEASE NOTE: if you have not read “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” this book does give away the ending.)
I highly recommend this compelling historical fiction featuring Agatha Christie!
I almost quit reading after the first paragraph, in which we have “footsteps thundering across the floor. . . . The black, spiky words that possess the ivory page seem to come alive and pulsate with each heavy tread.” Oh, good grief.
Although I don’t think that’s quite as bad as, “not one of the black uniformed officers gathered in the kitchen like a swarm of deadly bees gathered around their queen takes notice of him.”
And then we have people blushing. Again and again. A few examples from my twenty minutes of reading:
“A fierce blush overtaking my face”
“A soft pink hue begins to spread across Nancy’s cheeks, and though she looks lovely with her cheeks aflame. . . .“
“His cheeks turned a fiery red, visible even in the low ballroom light.”
“My cheeks flushed and warm”
“whose cheeks shone bright red.”
In addition, I was irritated by the numerous long, run-on sentences, the strange use of adjectives, and the misuse of words (“his wife’s distinctive ivory stationary”).
Did people ever talk like this: “I intend to be integral to the war effort, a critical cog in the massive military machine”?
I’ll also add that I am sick and tired of the overuse of dual timelines in novels. Can’t anyone just tell a story in a straight timeline anymore?
Top reviews from other countries
As a member of the Royal Flying Corps, Agatha's husband Archie Christie fought for his country in World War One and deserves respect for this. Benedict's statement, "I expected that the Archie who returned from the war would be the same Archie who had left for it" underpins an emotional lack of maturity and perception that permeates the entire book in which Archie is unfairly portrayed as a social misfit despite being a successful businessman and high-flyer who had a number of titled family members and friends.
Moreover, the book takes the clichéd view - which is typical of a lot of romantic fiction - that the man is always the villain of the piece and the woman is his long suffering and thankless victim. This is very much a one-side account of a marriage breakdown and a badly told one at that
Benedict is a young and up coming lawyer, so I was expecting a very exact treatment of Christie's disappearance, but her book is riddled with silly errors. She tells us on page 26 that Archie's father died in England, then contradicts herself on page 93 saying Archie's father died in India.
As someone who lives near Ealing in London, I have visited the graves of Agatha's mother, her father, her sister and Auntie-Grannie at Ealing cometary so why does Benedict tell us that the funeral of Agatha's mother took place in Torquay, Devon, where she was subsequently buried?
According to Benedict, in August 1919 Auntie-Grannie was still alive and joyfully anticipating the birth of Agatha's only daughter Rosalind, but Auntie-Grannie died on 29 May 1919 before Rosalind was born. Check out her grave at Ealing.
Benedict claims that Mrs Belcher accompanied her husband Major Belcher on the 1922 Empire Tour which is highly odd considering he was a bachelor at this time and only married for the first time in 1926.
I won't waste readers' time listing the many other factual errors.
Christie was 36 when she disappeared, but Benedict portrays her as a bratty 20 something a la the TV series Gossip Girl. Instead of reading about Christie the person, I found myself reading about Benedict acting the role of Christie and imposing her feelings and emotions on her which led to an unauthentic experience.
If you want to know about Agatha's marriage break-up to Archie, I would highly recommend 'Unfinished Portrait' which she published under the non de plume of Mary Westmacott. It's written with genuine charm, perception, poignancy and heartbreak that at times is so raw it almost becomes embarrassing to read owing to its first hand experience.
Benedict's lack-lustre book doesn't really have an ending. It's simply all about the worm turning and telling her husband off while assuming the moral high ground despite not standing on it. Having paid £20 for Benedict's book I sadly don't feel I got my money's worth. For those of us who care about Christie as a person, Benedict's book soon descends into drivel and poses the question: is it possible to expect too much of historical fiction? Should we expect it to be factual?
Um mistério que até hoje não foi resolvido, o único mistério da vida real, o desaparecimento, por 11 dias, da Autora.
Com capítulos alternantes de um lado começamos em 1912, quando Christie conhece o marido, e 1926, simultaneamente, na noite de seu desaparecimento. Ambos os tempos se desenvolvem até encontrarem um ponto em comum na parte 2, no momento que a encontram.
Vemos dois tipos de narração, uma, em primeira pessoa, narrada por Christie, e outra, em terceira, mostrando o que se passava na investigação, principalmente envolvendo a figura de Archie Christie.
Uma obra extremamente informativa mas que entretém também, vemos todo o rebuliço causado pelo desaparecimento da autora, que foi investigado por dois chefes de polícia, contou com buscas pela Inglaterra e envolveu até a ajuda do autor de Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, para encontrá-la.
Vemos também um pouco da sua situação matrimonial e momentos pivotais na vida da autora como seu casamento, suas primeiras publicações, quando ela se junta ao corpo de enfermeiras durante a guerra, o nascimento de sua filha e a morte de sua mãe.
Incrivelmente bem escrita, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, é uma obra que completa com ficção as lacunas presentes na vida real e traz um desfecho interessante, plausível e incrível para a história!