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Publisher's Summary

2019 Edgar Award Finalist for Best Critical/Biographical work

The author of the New York Times bestselling The Six now turns her formidable biographical skills to the greatest crime writer in the world, Agatha Christie.

It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and created the formidable Hercule Poirot. A brilliant and award-winning biographer, Laura Thompson now turns her sharp eye to Agatha Christie. Arguably the greatest crime writer in the world, Christie’s books still sell over four million copies each year - more than thirty years after her death - and it shows no signs of slowing.

But who was the woman behind these mystifying, yet eternally pleasing, puzzlers? Thompson reveals the Edwardian world in which Christie grew up, explores her relationships, including those with her two husbands and daughter, and investigates the many mysteries still surrounding Christie’s life, most notably, her eleven-day disappearance in 1926.

Agatha Christie is as mysterious as the stories she penned, and writing about her is a detection job in itself. With unprecedented access to all of Christie’s letters, papers, and notebooks, as well as fresh and insightful interviews with her grandson, daughter, son-in-law and their living relations, Thompson is able to unravel not only the detailed workings of Christie’s detective fiction, but the truth behind this mysterious woman.

©2018 Laura Thompson (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Pearl Hewitt's sweet, crisp English voice adds extra pleasure to her fine narration of this recent biography of the famous English mystery writer Agatha Christie.... Her clear, musical timbre sounds just right for Christie's era and class, and her attentive pacing keep one attuned to Thompson's interesting analyses. A win for Christie's biggest fans." (AudioFile)

Featured Article: The Essential Guide to Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction writer of all time, with more than 2 billion books sold. She's also the most translated author in history, and her stage play The Mousetrap holds the world record for longest initial run. (It has been running at the St Martin's Theatre in London for 68 straight years!) Whether you're a longtime reader or new fan, this list offers some of the best Agatha Christie books to listen to—and a handy guide to the author herself.

What listeners say about Agatha Christie

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Your Little Grey Cells will love this

I tore through this excellent biography about the Queen of Mystery in days.

I enjoy Christie as an author but I wasn't sure how much her life would engage me, even with that mysterious disappearance and her expeditions to far-flung points of the globe with a much younger second husband, who was an archaeologist.

Biographer Laura Thompson had me hooked from the very beginning, even during that childhood phase when many bios seem to lapse into dull genealogies of great grandparents and grandparents and snooze.

The author also doesn't make you wait till Agatha becomes a published author to start talking about her books. Thompson weaves in quotes and references from the start, because Christie's life was, of course, material for her books. Also, Christie was tight-lipped about her personal life. Evidence from books helps to give voice to the silent spaces in the mystery writer's life.

There are no long analyses of books. But certain titles, like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, get extra attention. The biggest chunk of the book is devoted to Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926 and her divorce from husband no. 1.


Other Audible titles you might want to check out:

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards - A history of the writer's group, the Detection Club, to which Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were members. Very good except for the footnotes read at the close of each chapter.

The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock by Lucy Worsley - The author examines famous true crime cases from 19th and 20th-century England and their influence on mystery writers like Christie.

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Honest Look at Human Genius

Very readable and informative, an exposition into how ones mind is represented by ones writing. Also a good primer for Agatha Christie Fans. If you love mysteries you have to read this book. Also the reader has a wonderful voice. Spot on to read AC.

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Really Enjoyed

Really enjoyed this fine book about a favorite author. Well written and I learned a lot about her life. Highly recommended!

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What a Story

I learned so much about Agatha Christie from this book! Excellent performance, in depth research, and very engaging. A real winner!

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Interesting but sometimes hard to follow

It was interesting to learn more about Agatha Christie. But with the narration, and the information provided, it was sometimes hard to follow.

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  • 11-03-20

Detailed, interesting, and very well presented

To read about what made Agatha Christie the way she was, fascinating, couldn't stop listening!