The Mystery of Mrs. Christie | Marie Benedict | NPT
“I think the intellectual puzzle of Agatha Christie’s stories is fascinating onto itself. You know, she doesn’t play any games or tricks. It’s not like supernatural beings come in and fix everything in the end. The answers are all there, but you have to be able to figure them out.” Author Marie Benedict talks with NPT host J.T. Ellison about her novel THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE.
(typewriter carriage return)
- [Marie] Hi, I'm Marie Benedict
and this is The Mystery of Mrs. Christie.
On the evening of December 3rd, 1926
a young mother
and wife of a World War 1 pilot hero
disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
That woman was Agatha Christie
and The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
offers a fictional resolution
for that disappearance.
- [J.T.] So how much of the story is true,
And where do you slide information in
that's your interpretation of it?
- I drew very heavily on her autobiography,
which if you're an Agatha Christie fan,
I highly recommend, it's fantastic.
But of course, Agatha is her own unreliable narrator
because in her own autobiography
she not once mentioned her disappearance.
So you kind of have to take
her recounting of her history
with a grain of salt, verify things.
And that's kind of how it works
with most of my books, you know,
the research guides you
but then it always leaves
black holes for you to fill in.
- [J.T.] What do you think it is
about Agatha Christie that we find so appealing?
- [Marie] I think first,
just the intellectual puzzle
of her stories is fascinating unto itself.
You know, she doesn't play any games or tricks.
It's not like supernatural beings
come in and fix everything in the end.
The answers are all there
but you have to be able to figure them out.
- Tell me a little bit
about how you choose
your extraordinary women to write about.
- Well, the funny thing about finding them
is that I literally find them everywhere.
You know, I feel like once I, you know,
I was a lawyer in an old life
and really always loved history
and never really thought of myself as a writer.
But once I committed to that path
I feel like I developed almost like a sense for them.
- [J.T.] For more of my conversation with Marie Benedict
please visit awordonwords.org.
I'm J.T. Ellison, keep reading.
- [Marie] When I think back on my kind of past
and how I ended up here
it actually goes all the way back to middle school.
And I think girls, especially,
but all people,
it's almost like who you were
and what you were passionate about
when you were in those middle school years
before society kind of came in
and told you who and what you should be,
I think that's a really important time.
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