Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wherefore Art Thou Agatha?

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For the past ninety years, a real-life mystery has intrigued fans of the Guinness Record-holding best-selling author of all time. For eleven days in 1926, the Queen of Mystery herself, Agatha Christie, disappeared without a trace.

Most mystery lovers have heard this tale at one time or another, but if you haven't, the story goes like this: Thirty-six-year-old Agatha argued with her husband the evening of December 3rd, 1926, over his infidelity. After their argument, he left the house to spend the weekend with his mistress. Agatha put her seven-year-old daughter to bed around 9:30 PM, came down the stairs, walked out the door, got in her car, and promptly disappeared. She left her secretary a letter saying she went to Yorkshire, but her car was found abandoned in an old quarry in Surry.

Over the days that followed, a reward was offered, and a massive manhunt launched. One thousand police officers, 15,000 volunteers along with Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle and a spirit medium he hired all searched for Dame Agatha to no avail. 

Finally, eleven days after her disappearance, Agatha was recognized in the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The kicker? She registered under her husband's mistress's name. 

So why did she do it? Although two doctors diagnosed her as being in a fugue state of amnesia due to Agatha having no recollection of how she got to the hotel, several other theories persist. 

One theory suggests that this was the ultimate mystery plot and a possible cover-up for a plan to frame her husband for her murder! How Gone Girl! While I think this is far-fetched, who can argue that it's an incredible mystery plot? 

Another scenario is that Agatha's disappearance was a well-orchestrated publicity stunt with the bonus of making her philandering husband sweat. Nothing like a weekend tryst interrupted by a missing wife! This solution, either taken together (publicity and payback) or seperately, comes with one important question--would she do this to her young daughter? Not knowing her personally, I can't answer that one, but as a mom myself, I would like to think she wouldn't. 

The conspiracies for what happened during those eleven days are endless (Aliens!), but in my mind, I'm going with the doctors' diagnosis brought about by the stress of her husband's infidelity, her mother's death earlier that same year, and literary burnout. 

Although...there is a website that claims Agatha also dropped a letter to the Deputy Chief Constable of the Surry Police stating that she felt concerned for her safety. So, maybe she was setting her husband up? 

The world will never know. What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below and let us know - and for fun list your favorite Agatha novel! Mine is And Then There Were None. 

P.S. This is my first post here at Inkspot, and I hope you enjoyed it. Deadly Dog Days, the first book in my Dog Days mystery series comes out November 8th. If you're a pet cozy mystery fan, add it on Goodreads or pre-order on all major retail sites!  

Until next time, happy reading!

Jamie Blair

1 comment:

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