Well well it’s been a busy couple of weeks in Melbourne town, so here is a quick ‘n’ dirty review (or lazy review, call it what you will) of my most recent read….
In this fascinating but sometime tedious book (sorry is that a bit nasty?), Dr Andrew Norman tells us about the life and loves of Agatha Christie, as well as hypothesizing about the mental condition that promoted her disappearance in 1926. No only did she disappear, but left behind her prized car and fur coat…..foul play? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Regardless, public and police attention was well and truly captured across the UK and beyond.
In this book, Norman details Christie’s early life, including her idyllic and comfortable childhood at the family home of Ashfield, her first marriage to a guy that turned out to be a bit of a cad, and her work with poisons during the war. Early on in the book, Norman hits at instability, or trauma, through Christie’s re-occurring dream involving a threatening figure known as ‘the gunman’. Chilling!
Christie’s life makes compelling reading for any true-crime or mystery fan – this non-fiction work is well researched and well-construed, using Christie’s novel, Unfinished Portrait, as a source of clues about Christie’s real feelings toward significant figures in her life.
However, the inclusion of a few short, choppy chapters dealing with off-topic (but Christie- related themes), including her love of flowers and their importance in her stories, detracted from the major focus: the mystery of her disappearance and the darker issues that lurked behind it.
A good read for Christie fans that sheds light on the lesser-known aspects of this famous author’s life. Well-researched and accessible.
Tempus Publishing Limited, ISBN 0 7524 3990 1