Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life

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9781681776538: Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life
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It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and created the formidable Hercule Poirot. A brilliant and award winning biographer, Laura Thompson now turns her sharp eye to Agatha Christie. Arguably the greatest crime writer in the world, Christie's books still sell over four million copies each year--more than thirty years after her death--and it shows no signs of slowing.

But who was the woman behind these mystifying, yet eternally pleasing, puzzlers? Thompson reveals the Edwardian world in which Christie grew up, explores her relationships, including those with her two husbands and daughter, and investigates the many mysteries still surrounding Christie's life, most notably, her eleven-day disappearance in 1926.

Agatha Christie is as mysterious as the stories she penned, and writing about her is a detection job in itself. With unprecedented access to all of Christie's letters, papers, and notebooks, as well as fresh and insightful interviews with her grandson, daughter, son-in-law and their living relations, Thompson is able to unravel not only the detailed workings of Christie's detective fiction, but the truth behind this mysterious woman.

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Review:

Laura Thompson has certainly written the last word on Agatha Christie. Her book is a superb piece of history.

Affectionate, admiring, perceptive, and absolutely convincing.

This splendid account of Christie's life and work is unlikely to be bettered.

This book is a gem: fresh, intelligent, and assured.

A fine writer. One can't help admire the way Thompson breathes new life into an intriguing tale.

Sympathetic and insightful. Thompson makes cogent arguments for the craft and depth of Christie's writing that will surely lead new readers to her books--exactly where she would have wanted the focus.

Thompson offers an affectionate take on the beloved British mystery writer. Christie lovers will revel in this comprehensive, authoritative book.

Agatha Christie is a subject of fascination. Thompson narrates the episode [of Christie's disappearance] from Christie's perspective, so that the interlude takes on a dreamlike quality. 'No life is a code to be deciphered, ' Thompson writes. 'Omniscience is for Hercule Poirot. Real life knows less; it has the beauty of mystery.' Christie captured that mystery brilliantly in her books, and Thompson explores the mysteries of author's life.

Thompson mines this trove for clues not only to the writer's inner life but also to her fiction's recurring themes and enduring appeal. The woman who emerges in this elegant biography--shrewd, elusive, practical, romantic--cannot be defined by the era she immortalized. The queen of the cozy may be, in Thompson's words, 'stuck for all eternity at a tea-party in a country vicarage, sticking a fork into her seedcake as the bank manager's wife chokes on a strychnine sandwich, ' but the lasting image here is poignant and fittingly chimerical.

An intimate and astute exploration of the woman and her work. What fundamentally informs this biography is the perception [Thompson] brings to her famous but cryptic subject. Her prose, blessed by British eloquence and unencumbered by excessive British reticence, enhances her shrewd conclusions about Agatha's life. Thompson, with a sure talent for biographical detection, invests this engrossing and intensely personal study with passion and admiration.

About the Author:

A writer and freelance journalist, Laura Thompson won the Somerset Maugham award for her first book, The Dogs, and is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography of Nancy Mitford, Life in a Cold Climate. The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters, was a New York Times bestseller and Thompson's Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life, is also published by Pegasus.

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