I really, really, really liked this book. It is totally engaging, Andrew Wilson has taken a real life event, Agatha Christie’s disappearance, and woven a fictionalized account of what happened during those 10 days, which was never explained by Agatha. You would think Agatha had written it herself…she does most of the narration in the book. After finding out her husband, Archie, is having an affair she is, of course, devastated, while at a London train station she is approached by a Dr. Kuns who has a plan to have Agatha commit murder. How, you say, well he blackmails her by threatening her young daughter. We follow several plots in the book all, of course, tie together. From the fumbling police, to a would be reporter, to the murder victim to be, the doctor, Archie, etc. We learn about poisons, of course, we do, don’t we in many of Christie’s own books. I found some of the characters to be engaging and others demonic and Agatha to be brilliant, resourceful and sad but most of all determined to carry out the demands of the demented doctor. Lots of plot twists, lots of red herrings, all in all, a most satisfying read. I understand there will be more on Agetha by Mr. Wilson, next up, A Different Kind of Evil to be published in March 2018. He also wrote Blood Beneath the Skin, a biography about Lee Alexander McQueen, which I haven’t read but plan to do so.
Here is a bit more on the story from the Publisher:
“Discover the real-life mystery centered on the queen of crime herself: Agatha Christie. In this tantalizing new novel, Christie’s mysterious ten-day disappearance serves as the starting point for a gripping novel, in which Christie herself is pulled into a case of blackmail and murder.
“I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.”
Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, is boarding a train, preoccupied with the devastating knowledge that her husband is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events—for her rescuer is no guardian angel, rather he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind.
“You, Mrs. Christie, are going to commit a murder. But, before then, you are going to disappear.”
Writing about murder is a far cry from committing a crime, and Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her expertise and knowledge about the act of murder to kill on his behalf.
In A Talent for Murder, Andrew Wilson ingeniously explores Agatha Christie’s odd ten-day disappearance in 1926 and weaves an utterly compelling and convincing story around this still unsolved mystery involving the world’s bestselling novelist.”