In December 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared from her home, Styles, in Berkshire. She was found eleven days later in a hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire apparently suffering from amnesia. Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days by Jared Cade delves into the mystery of her disappearance. The book is not just about those eleven days but is a biography that reveals how those eleven days and the events that led up to her disappearance influenced the rest of her life.
Agatha’s Autobiography is silent on the matter. She recalls how they chose Styles, remarking that it was an unlucky house and that she had felt it as soon as she moved in. She then moved swiftly on merely saying:
The next year of my life is one I hate recalling. As so often in life, when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong. (page 356)
Sadly she was right, as Jared Cade reveals from information given to him by Judith and Graham Gardner. Judith’s mother was Nan Watts, Agatha’s sister-in-law and life-long friend. They showed him photographs and private letters shedding light on the situation. It makes a fascinating book. I did feel as though I was intruding into Agatha Christie’s private life that she had not wanted made known but Cade writes sympathetically. Now I really must read her life story in her own words, as so far I’ve only dipped into it reading snippets here and there.