There’s only one “cold case” story in the entire Agatha Christie canon, and it’s the one Christie herself lived, not wrote. The mystery of Christie’s 11-day disappearance in 1926 is rivaled only by the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa’s far-more-permanent disappearance in 1975 as the most famous “cold case” in modern times.
Here’s a quick rundown of the details: On the winter evening of Dec. 3, 1926, Christie got into her car — a little green Morris Cowley that she’d bought with earnings from her early novels — and drove off from her house in the suburbs near London. She left behind her sleeping 7-year-old daughter, Rosalind, in the care of the maid. She also left her beloved little terrier, Peter, who habitually lay down beside her as she wrote. Christie was wearing a fur coat and hat and carried only an attache case. She may or may not have made a stop at the nearby village of Godalming to peer into the ground-floor windows of the house where her husband, Archie Christie, was a guest for the weekend. That morning, Archie had told Agatha that he wanted a divorce to marry his mistress, Nancy Neele, who was also a weekend guest at that house.