Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Book Review: The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: February 1, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Every story has its secrets. Every mystery has its motives.  “A long time ago, in another country, I nearly killed a woman. It’s a particular feeling, the urge to murder. It takes over your body so completely, it’s like a divine force, grabbing hold of your will, your limbs, your psyche. There’s a joy to it. In retrospect, it’s frightening, but I daresay in the moment it feels sweet. The way justice feels sweet.” The greatest mystery wasn’t Agatha Christie’s disappearance in those eleven infamous days, it’s what she discovered. London, 1925: In a world of townhomes and tennis matches, socialites and shooting parties, Miss Nan O’Dea became Archie Christie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted and well-known wife, Agatha Christie. The question is, why? Why destroy another woman’s marriage, why hatch a plot years in the making, and why murder? How was Nan O’Dea so intricately tied to those eleven mysterious days that Agatha Christie went missing? "


Agatha Christie's world is crumbling apart. Despite living in a beautiful home with her husband and daughter, and the fact that she is a successful writer, her life isn't perfect. Her husband, Archie, has a mistress and plans on divorcing Agatha to be with his mistress, Nan O'Dea.  Archie is so bold that he flaunts his mistress and even spends long weekends with her.  There seems to not be much remorse on his end, despite the fact that Agatha wants to work on their marriage.  Archie takes off for a long weekend and leaves Agatha behind. She has decides she will leave as well, but all that remains is her abandoned car on the side of the road with a full suitcase inside.  What happened to her? No one can find her.  This novel re-imagines the eleven day disappearance of Agatha Christie and the highly publicized search for her.  Meanwhile, readers learn more about Nan, Archie's mistress, and who she is exactly--what motivates her, her trauma from the past, and her early adult years in England and Ireland.  I was completely absorbed in Agatha's story and despite my best efforts, I was even sympathetic towards Nan's plight.  I adored The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont and its new take on Agatha's disappearance as well as the complex questions it raises, such as what drives people to do questionable things? What would you do for love?

At first, it was easy to brush Agatha to the side as she seemed rather boring and a bit frumpy in The Christie Affair. However, as the story unfolds there's so much more to Agatha than readers initially thought, mostly because the story is from Nan's point of view.  Despite the fact that these two women shouldn't have anything in common other than Archie, their stories do intertwine for sometime and de Gramont weaved it so very well.  I have always wondered what the heck happened to Agatha Christie during her eleven day disappearance. It just seems very mysterious...almost straight out of her books. Was it a publicity stunt? Someone must know of the truth, right? Well, de Gramont re-imagined it and answered all our questions. She filled in the gaps to her disappearance, added a few tantalizing twists, and what she came up with is so very memorable.

At first, I was thinking there's no way I could sympathize with Nan in The Christie Affair. I mean why is she so interested in Archie? Is she really ok with breaking up the Christie's marriage? Archie is a cad and an all around horrible guy, so what gives? However, as de Gramont takes readers back to Nan's childhood, her summers in Ireland, and the various events that forged her character, I was invested. I cared about Nan despite my best efforts and her story broke my heart. I loved her summers in Ireland, her relationship with the charismatic Finbarr, and so much more. I don't want to give too much away, but I ended up caring a lot about Nan and even empathized with her! Nan has had to deal with so much. A war, a pandemic, a family tragedy, an unfortunate twist of fate--how could I not feel for her situation?

The Christie Affair is one of my favorite books of the year.  I adored the way the story unfolded and how it addressed so much more than Agatha's disappearance. I loved de Gramont's writing style and the story truly made me think about what motivates people.  It made me question what would I do for love? Also, de Gramont brings major Christie vibes to The Christie Affair and dare I say she does Agatha justice!

So, is The Christie Affair on your TBR list or did you read it already? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. I've been seeing this one around so much lately! There have been a lot of Agatha Christie books coming out lately, but this one sounds like a winner! Great review!

    1. Yeah, I have never read anything about her disappearance before, so it was utterly fascinating. I hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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