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Agatha Christie: An English Mystery

Overview

A passionate and accomplished writer, Laura Thompson now turns her highly acclaimed biographical skills to Agatha Christie—arguably the greatest crime writer in the world. Thompson describes the Edwardian world in which Christie grew up; explores the relationships she had, including those with her two husbands and daughter; and investigates the mysteries still surrounding Christie's life—including her disappearance in 1926. For the first time, Christie’s six Mary Westmacott romance novels—written ...

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Overview

A passionate and accomplished writer, Laura Thompson now turns her highly acclaimed biographical skills to Agatha Christie—arguably the greatest crime writer in the world. Thompson describes the Edwardian world in which Christie grew up; explores the relationships she had, including those with her two husbands and daughter; and investigates the mysteries still surrounding Christie's life—including her disappearance in 1926. For the first time, Christie’s six Mary Westmacott romance novels—written under a pseudonym and highly revelatory about her hidden inner life—are fully studied in a biography. Agatha Christie is a mystery and writing about her is a detection job in itself. But, with access to all of Christie's letters, papers, and writing notebooks, as well as interviews with her grandson, daughter, son-in-law, and their living relations, Thompson is able to unravel not only the detailed workings of Christies detective fiction, but the truth behind her private life as well. 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
There have been dozens of Christie biographies over the years. This lengthy U.S. version of Thompson's 2007 UK work distinguishes itself from the field. Thompson—a writer and freelance journalist who won the Somerset Maugham Award for her first book, The Dogs—obtained access to all of Christie's unpublished letters and diaries, as well as her family's letters. She weaves that material into this work and creates a full and detailed depiction of Christie's world. The tone is conversational, while the structure is somewhat loose and not strictly chronological. Subjects are introduced in sequence (mother, father, sister, husband), but the way they are discussed gives the work an appearance of jumping back and forth in time. VERDICT The mass of details in the work makes it best suited for avid Christie fans. Other readers may find it dense and hard to finish.—Paolina Taglienti, Everest Coll., Henderson, NV
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780755314881
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 534
  • Sales rank: 382,242
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet 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 Nancy Mitford biography Life in a Cold Climate.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Agatha Christie by Laura Thompson

    I was hesitant to purchase this book because I worried that it would be too dry, but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed it very much. Mrs. Christie had depth of character. She lived an interesting life and was a prolific writer. The book chronicles all her travels and what her life meant and how her experiences were transferred to her books. It was a very touching book and one I didn't want to put down.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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