Nina de Gramont

Author of The Christie Affair

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Reader’s Digest Book Review: The Christie Affair

A fresh take on Agatha Christie’s perplexing disappearance is the focus of this gripping novel 

On Friday, December 3, 1926, the English crime writer Agatha Christie vanished from her home in Berkshire under the kind of bizarre circumstances you might expect to read in one of her novels.

The facts did not present much hope for a happy outcome: her car was found abandoned, driverless and submerged in bushes several miles from her home, the headlights left on and a suitcase and coat left in the back seat.

Like any good mystery plot, Christie’s own disappearance had its own fair share of shady characters—namely, her husband, Archibald “Archie” Christie and his secretary (and mistress) Nancy Neale, who was just 25 at the time of the disappearance.

The reason for Agatha’s vanishing act has been hotly contested over the years. Suggestions ranged from a nervous breakdown brought on by the death of her mother and embarrassment of her husband’s affair, to a cynical publicity stunt to promote her upcoming book.

Despite being found safe and well residing in the ​​Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate after an 11-day search, the author never disclosed what had happened to her, and was diagnosed with amnesia and a possible concussion in the aftermath. Thus, the author’s greatest mystery plot is one we are unlikely to ever truly solve.