A Talent for Murder

Atria. Jul. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781501145063. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501145087. F
Just before Christmas 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Upon reappearing, she refused to disclose where she was or what happened, citing amnesia. Wilson's (The Lying Tongue) new novel reinterprets these mysterious events. Agatha's husband, Colonel Christie, has been having an affair and wants a divorce, her mother has recently passed away, and the crime novelist has lost her inspiration to write. Depressed and vulnerable, Agatha is approached by Dr. Kurs and blackmailed into an insidious scheme. Soon the young author's disappearance is making headlines and her picture is in the papers. But does her ability to pen detective fiction provide her with enough experience to get away with murder? Wilson's "what if" story is equal parts psychological thriller, detective fiction, and mystery. Readers will become emotionally involved with the protagonist, whom Wilson portrays as both sympathetic and quick witted, even at her lowest points.
VERDICT Those who enjoy fiction and detective fiction (including Dame Agatha's own writings) will delight in this singular take on a strange event in Christie's life.

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