The Christie Affair
By: Nina de Gramont
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 02/01/2022
Audiobook: ARC Macmillan Audio
Narrated by: Narrated by Lucy Scott
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC audio)
Nina de Gramont's The Christie Affair is a beguiling novel of star-crossed lovers, heartbreak, revenge, and murder—and a brilliant re-imagination of one of the most talked-about unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century.
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?
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"Historical kinda-fiction, a thriller wrapped in romance, mystery, and some fascinating conjecture." --Goodreads
"Ingeniously plotted...gorgeously written" --Shelf Awareness
"A meta delight for fans of crime writing, The Christie Affair is a fictional murder mystery woven around the real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie. This enduring conundrum from 1926 is not so much fictionalized as creatively reimagined. Whether you know much about what happened then or not, you'll find this delicious whodunit totally irresistible." --Crime Reads
"A reimagining of Agatha Christie's famous 11-day disappearance, adding a murder mystery worthy of the dame herself... The story unfolds in a series of carefully placed vignettes you may find yourself reading and rereading, partly to get the details straight, partly to fully savor the well-turned phrases and the dry humor, partly so the book won't have to end, damn it. Devilishly clever, elegantly composed and structured―simply splendid." —Kirkus (Starred Review)
"An accomplished author, de Gramont takes a page from the great mystery writer herself and makes swift work of tying up loose ends as the story reaches its boiling point, leaving readers marvelously entertained and breathlessly connecting the dots." --Shelf Awareness
"The Christie Affair is a genuine marvel. An astonishingly clever novel that manages to be both a deeply satisfying mystery and a profoundly moving story about lost love and the many ways in which grief can shape one's character. Full of unexpected twists and written in beautiful prose, The Christie Affair brilliantly answers a question that has haunted readers for years: What happened to Agatha Christie in the days she was missing? Nina de Gramont takes this thread of a story and weaves it into a rich and vibrant tapestry." -
- Kristin Hannah, author of The Four Winds
"The Christie Affair is a pitch-perfect hat trick of a novel, delivering a fascinating glimpse into history, with the sensational and unexplained disappearance of Agatha Christie, a layered and completely satisfying murder mystery, and a moving, emotional rendering of love, loss, revenge and redemption―all with effortlessly stunning prose. I loved every page, and will be recommending this to everyone I know!"
-- Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and When the Stars Go Dark
"A superior thriller...gripping." —Publisher's Weekly
"This novel about the 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie, told from the point of view of Christie’s husband’s mistress, is such a delight: intriguing, fast-paced, and elegantly written. Nina de Gramont takes you on an adventure through the English countryside with as many twists and turns as, well, an Agatha Christie novel. The unlikely alliances, complex motivations, and jaw-dropping surprises will keep you riveted until the very last page.”
-- Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and The Exiles
“Dare I admit I haven’t read any Agatha Christie or know about her disappearance? I feared this might somehow diminish The Christie Affair for me. But Nina de Gramont’s skillful storytelling is exceeded only by her tenderness for her characters, and I was swept up, turning the pages and savoring them, too. This is a cracking good read!"
-- Therese Fowler, author of A Good Neighborhood
"Immersive, reflexive and propulsive, The Christie Affair is an extremely impressive literary novel which reveals its hidden themes and secrets through a narrative dance brilliantly done. This tale of two very different women who want the very same things in life forges surprising bonds both with its characters and the reader, deliciously subverting our notions of what makes a heroine, mother, writer and wife."
-- Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society
"The Christie Affair is my favorite kind of story: a fresh take on a real-life event, layered with mystery and filled with breath-taking plot twists. Toss in the windswept English countryside and a tragic past, and I’m done for. Nina de Gramont’s novel shines on so many levels, it’s hard to keep count: as an ode to Agatha Christie’s legacy, as a dashing love story, and as a tribute to complicated, determined women. Magnificent."
--Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"I read in a single sitting The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont, who weaves a captivating tale around the real life disappearance of mystery writer Agatha Christie from the point of view of her husband’s lover. The story combines dark pasts, dangerous liaisons and unforeseen twists into a masterful work reminiscent of one of Christie’s enigmatic works. The Christie Affair is both enthralling and beguiling, and will keep readers guessing until the very last page."
-- Pam Jenoff, author of The Lost Girl of Paris
"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." —Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Photo credit: Tasha Thomas
Nina de Gramont (also known as Marina Gessner) lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband, the writer David Gessner. She teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is almost always in the company of her two dogs, Missy and Isabelle. She’s the author of the acclaimed Meet Me at the River, Every Little Thing in the World, Gossip of the Starlings, The Last September, as well as The Distance from Me to You, which has recently been optioned for a movie.