Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Talent for Murder

In the 1920s Agatha Christie disappeared for 10 days. Throughout the remainder of her life, she said very little about that troubling time. In A Talent for Murder Andrew Wilson reimagines a scenario that might fit with the famed mystery writer's life.

On a December morning Agatha Christie is on her way back from a visit to her publisher. As she waits at the train station, she feels a slight push on her back and finds herself falling onto the tracks. Seconds later an arm grabs her and pulls her to safety.

Her "savior" Dr. Kurs is no guardian angel; he is an insidious, manipulative blackmailer and he wants her to commit a murder. Already despondent because of the affair between her husband Archie Christie and Nancy Neele, Agatha is feeling demolished and depressed about the prospect of a divorce. Since her mother's death she has been struggling with her writing. Now this strange and diabolical plan.

As in the real story Agatha drives away in her car and it, her fur coat, driver's license and a small
suitcase are found several miles from home near the Silent Pool in Newlands Corner in Surrey. In this story, Agatha meets Dr. Kurs and he tells her she is going to murder his wife Flora for him. Horrified, Agatha refuses, but then Kurs threatens to harm her daughter Rosalind and publish the story of Archie's infidelity.

Kurs has told Agatha she will staying at spa in a northern town and he drives her to the train station. He insists that she use the surname Neele, the name of Archie's mistress. Agatha balks but there is not much she can do.

Bewildered and befuddled, Agatha blindly follows Kurs and moves into the Swan Hydropathic Hotel and awaits further instructions. While the police continue to search for "the body" of Agatha Christie, Kurs explains how he wants his plan to proceed. Agatha, being the mystery writer she is, decides she might have her own script to follow.

This is an entertaining and most diabolical theory of what happened in the days of the real disappearance. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you need to read this book.

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