Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A TALENT FOR MURDER by Andrew Wilson (Fiction/mystery)

The talented biographer, Andrew Wilson, has written a clever fictionalized mystery based on a real life occurrence in the life of the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie.  I’m not fond of reading fictionalized stories of famous  people, but Wilson does a good job of imagining what happened to Agatha Christie in the days that she disappeared for a spell in 1926.  The real-life Christie had just discovered her husband, Archie, was having an affair with a younger woman.  As the rumor gained momentum, she left the house one day and disappeared causing a well-publicized national search.  That she had fled to the resort town of Harrogate was never really explained sufficiently to the public, and it is somehow fitting that the world’s most popular mystery writer would be the subject of a seemingly unsolved mystery.  It is a sure bet that Agatha Christie, the author of many books staring the now famous Hercule Poirot and the almost as famous Miss Marple, is known the world over.

In Wilson's account, written in a style not unlike Christie’s herself, we find a story full of twists and turns and red herrings, as well as a bumbling pesky reporter and a clueless chief inspector, hot on the trail of false leads.  Throw in a statistical and sinister character named Dr. Patrick Kurs and his invalid wife, and you will recognize stock Christie characters primed to move the action forward.  Besides these characters, there is a handsome young man who just may be working for the Secret Service and his girlfriend who gets caught up in the story when she poses as a reporter hot on Christie’s tail.

Wilson seems to have fun with Christie’s story, and has written an entertaining book which posits a fictional explanation of what could have happened to Agatha Christie when she went missing those many years ago.

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