‘The Christie Affair’ – Nina de Gramont

Due for release early 2022, I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this before publication. The Christie Affair focuses us on the imagined story of what happened when the novelist Christie disappeared for a period of eleven days.

Though I was aware of this period in Christie’s story, I didn’t know any details and I found Gramont’s version of events highly entertaining. I had expected the character of Agatha to play more of a key role in the story but I actually found myself caught up in the story of our narrator.

Our narrator, Nan, is a young woman who has been having an affair with Archie Christie. For reasons that become clear later, she is determined to make a future with him. Obviously, the fact he is married makes this difficult. When Agatha is told about the affair she is angry…and the next thing we know, her car is found abandoned by a nearby lake and there is no trace of her. She’s abandoned her daughter, taken little with her and the worst is assumed about her husband.Though at this stage in her life Christie is not the celebrated author she becomes, she’s certainly known well-enough that her disappearance sparks a nationwide manhunt. Archie is under suspicion, and people are determined to find her/learn what happened.

In spite of her being the other woman, Nan is a likeable character who actually seems more central to events than we might expect. As we unearth Nan’s story it’s unclear how much is true, but she certainly knows how to spin a yarn.

Imagined it may be, but this tale of Christie’s missing days was a cracking read.