Review: The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

Author: Nina de Gramont
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Released: February 1, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Sexual assault, death of an infant, loss of a child

3 kitties

The Christie Affair was one of my choices for February’s BOTM. I’ll admit that I took a bit of a risk here since I’m actively trying to read more historical fiction novels these days (BOTM has been making that easier on me). While this novel is based on a real person (Agatha Christie), it is a work of fiction. Meaning that Nina de Gramont does not promise that this novel is true.

Agatha Christie is one of the most famous mystery writers of all time. Yet one of the biggest mysteries of her life is about her. For a week in 1925, she went missing. When returning home, all she would say on the matter is, “I don’t remember.”

Is it perhaps time to delve into this mystery, once and for all? Nan O’Dea believes she knows the full of the story – for she herself was part of it. One could even argue that she is the cause behind everything that happened during that one week.

“Authors created problems, they didn’t solve them.”

I went into The Christie Affair with cautious optimism. It’s been a while since I read a fictional novel based around a real person. That always creates quite the experience, even if I walk away without falling in love with the book.

Set in the 1920s, this novel explores a fictional adventure where Agatha Christie disappears. She does so due to personal events in her life, which the author makes a point of studying in great detail.

The story itself is full of many perspective switches (between Agatha, Nan, and a few other characters) and time jumps. It can be a little confusing at times, though thankfully, the chapter headings always inform readers of the who and when of it all. I relied on those headers more than I would like to admit.

The frequent skips allowed for a building of suspense through time, letting two different points unfold simultaneously to create one more significant reveal. It was pretty dramatic. However, I can see why many readers wouldn’t have enjoyed this format.

There are a lot of surprisingly heavy subjects in The Christie Affair, including the history/treatment that Nan experienced. I would say that this is not a book ideal for all readers. Nan’s story is intentionally disturbing, and it is challenging to avoid. Likewise, some may find the basis of Agatha’s story upsetting, though for a different reason. Then again, not everyone wants to read a fictional story about a historical figure, so this book likely never set out to please everyone.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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