De Gramont bases this fanciful reimagining of actual events in the life of Agatha Christie on the author’s mysterious, 11-day disappearance in December 1926, shortly after Christie’s husband, Archie, revealed he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. Told from the point of view of Nan O’Dea, the fictionalized name of the “other woman” with whom Archie was linked, the story reveals Nan’s early—and difficult—life, which goes some way toward explaining her affair with Archie. Born in London, she spent summers in Ireland and there fell in love with Finbarr Mahoney. Conscripted to fight in WWI, Finbarr came back a changed man. Nan, meanwhile, had her own life-changing tragedies to deal with. She disappears around the same time as Agatha Christie, and the two end up becoming friends of a sort. Agatha eventually returns home, but her life—and Nan’s—have changed dramatically. The author weaves a clever, highly original, mesmerizing tale filled with strange and unexpected turns and concludes it in an unexpected but wholly satisfying manner. With its superb writing, strong characterizations, and wonderfully imaginative plot, this is a must-read for fans of romance, history, or mystery.
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The story of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance has been the subject of numerous books and movies, and this latest take, offering a new point of view, will once again draw those ever-curious about just what happened.— Emily Melton