My book review of 'Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman' by Lucy Worsley

by Lucy Worsley

I've always been fascinated by Agatha Christie. I first discovered her books in my early teens and loved them. Then there were the tv and film dramatisations, but there was also the story of her own life - I've read a few biographies and didn't feel another was needed. But of course I loved this! It's a personal response from the tv historian, Lucy Worsley and is a great read.

The best-selling novelist of all time, Agatha Christie is known for creating the detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She was also a mother, suffered a failed marriage, famously disappeared in 1926, travelled widely, participated in archaeological digs and found lasting happiness in her second marriage.

Lucy Worsley spent lockdown researching Agatha Christie's life - exploring her archive, speaking to people who knew her and reading all 80 of her novels. In this account, Worsley wanted to shed fresh light on aspects of the Agatha Christie myths and celebrate her achievements for a new audience as well as her loyal and steadfast fans.

Known for being 'a feminist historian' Lucy Worsley believes Agatha Christie's achievements were all the more remarkable because she was living in a man’s world. She was a working woman who had concerns regarding childcare and divorce, about ambition, privacy and earning money. "It’s about a lot of things in the world today as well as her story.”

There were no revelations for me because I've read and digested enough biographies to feel familiar with Agatha Christie's life. But it was such a joy to revisit her story, and to be encouraged, too, to reread her work, particularly the novels she wrote under the name Mary Westmacott. 

I didn't want the book to come to an end because I so enjoyed meeting Agatha Christie again, and it was a delight to be in the company of Lucy Worsley with her own enthusiasm and affection for the author. Fabulous. 

Date of this review: August 2022
Book publication date: 8th September 2022