AGATHA CHRISTIE: A very Illusive Woman.

Reviewed By  Nan van Dissel       October 29, 2022


Author  Lucy Worsley OBE

Distributor:      Hachette Australia
Publisher:         Hachette Australia imprint Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date:   September 2022  


Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, led a very full fascinating life; wife, mother, amateur archaeologist and prolific author. Despite there being at least a dozen books devoted to Agatha Christie in the past twenty years, by drawing on the subject’s letters and personal records which have rarely before been uncovered and analysed, journalist and historian Lucy Worsley’s book ‘Agatha Christie A Very Elusive Woman’ is a fresh and new perspective on this remarkable writer.

This well written and research biography adds a different dimension by identifying the real-life people, places, and phrases which Christie has incorporated into her fiction. The author’s descriptions of Christie’s day-to-day life allows the reader to grasp an excellent understanding of the context in which her novels are written.

Although her subject’s gift for dialogue and for manipulating social stereotypes was formidable, Worsley doesn’t shy away from discussing Christie’s limitations, prejudices, and the deteriorating of the quality of her work as she approached her senior years.   

By thoroughly examining Christie’s records, the author is able to explore the events of her subject’s sensational disappearance in 1926 and to identify the inaccuracies and the untruths surrounding the eleven days in which Christie was missing.

Lucy Worsley’s latest in-depth examination of the life of this famous female is both interesting and intriguing; in fact an utterly enjoyable read. By putting Agatha Christie’s life and work in an historical context, the author gives the reader a deeper appreciation for her subject’s books.

The author’s source listing at the back of the book will be of great assistance for those readers wishing to further explore Agatha Christie’s astonishing life.