The mysterious disappearance:
On December 3, 1926, when the dark night was lit only by the moon, the queen of mysteries, Agatha Christie, kissed her daughter and walked out her door, and disappeared without a trace. 1000 Policemen and 15000 Civilian volunteers sought to find the best-selling author. After several days with no lead, they found her abandoned car hanging over the edge of a chalk pit. Agatha’s jacket was lying on the passenger seat. The Police began to suspect the worst.
Her disappearance made the headlines in the New York Times. Big guns like Arthur Conan Doyle (famous author of Sherlock Holmes) and Peter Wimsey detective series fame Dorothy L. Sayers were brought in. These brains, akin to Christie’s, tried to find their mystery-writing Comrade but couldn’t outsmart her.
Who was Agatha Christie??
Agatha Christie is fondly addressed as the queen of mysteries by her fans. Her books have been outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. 4 billion copies of her novels have been sold in 44 languages worldwide to date.
Agatha Christie was born in September 1890. She taught herself how to read by the age of 5, and her love for books grew faster than she did. She became a successful author and soon found herself in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Bestselling Author. The Royalties on her works amount to $4 million per year.
She is a brilliant author who specializes in analyzing human psychology. Her whodunnit mysteries are entertaining lessons that delve into human minds. Also, She is the proud creator of the most memorable literary characters- Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Several versions of Agatha Christie novels have been made and are still being made into plays, movies, video games, and TV adaptations.
Agatha was also a woman of substance. During world war I, despite belonging to an elite society, she volunteered as a nurse. Agatha Christie helped care for seriously wounded soldiers and even helped with amputations. She was unfazed and composed in the face of the most strenuous circumstances.
Why did she disappear?
Her first marriage to Archibald Christie wasn’t a happy one. They married in 1914 and had a daughter Rosalind 4 years later. Her husband was said to be having an affair with his secretary, Theresa Neele. In September 1926, her husband asked for a divorce, but she tried to make it work for her daughter’s sake. But the marriage led her further into depression and resulted in her impromptu disappearance.
Found after 11 days!
On the 12th day of her disappearance, the Police received a phone tip. A banjo player at a party in a spa hotel recognized Agatha and called the Police. Agatha Christie stayed there registered under her husband’s mistress’ name, Theresa Neele. After the Police confirmed it was her, Archibald Christie reached the spa to confront his wife.
Later, he tried to portray her as someone who had lost her mental faculties under stress. But to the hundreds of fans that welcomed her at the King’s Cross station, she looked stable.
What really happened?
Her disappearance remains unsolved to this date. What went down in those 11 days must have been deeply personal to her, for she never revealed the secret to another soul. Moreover, she didn’t discuss it even in her autobiography. But the world had several theories:
- Maybe it was a publicity stunt to promote her upcoming book.
- She wanted revenge against her husband and mistress by making them suspects in her disappearance and possibly her murder.
- She must have gone into deep mental shock after consecutive tragedies such as her mother’s death and her impediment divorce.
All is well that ends well:
Agatha Christie wrote several more wonderful mysteries and even found love again. After much deliberation, she agreed to marry Sir Max Mallowan, 15 years younger than her. He was an archaeologist by profession, with whom she enjoyed traveling to all the archaeological sites in the middle east and Africa. She even wrote novels based on her travels while accompanying her husband.
Her mastery over human psychology is so astounding that her novels have a cult following nearly a century later. She is a household name in the homes of all avid readers and is an inspiration to mystery writers who came after her. True to her name, the queen of mysteries bid adieu to this world with an unsolvable mystery.