Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review: The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott

The Christie Curse
Author: Victoria Abbott

Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I first read The Mysterious Affair at Styles when I was 9 years old. I love all things Agatha. Not only did she write mysteries set in exotic places, but her life was also very interesting to me. She even had her own mysterious incident. In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared, making headlines around the world. She was discovered at a hotel 11 days later, registered under the name of her husband's mistress. In the 90 years since, many theories about her disappearance have circulated -- she was trying to frame her husband for her murder, she was in a fugue state and didn't know what was going on, she just wanted to get away from her philandering husband for a few days and figure out what to do with her life, etc. In the end, only Agatha knew exactly what happened and she never spoke about it. She divorced the unfaithful rat in 1928 and re-married two years later, having a delightful life with her new husband, Max Mallowan, a British Archaeologist.

The Christie Curse is a cozy mystery about the hunt for an unpublished play by Christie supposedly written during the 11 days she was missing in 1926. Jordan Bingham, after a bad break-up, is looking for a job and a place to live. She is hired by Vera Van Alst, a wealthy rare book collector, to research and locate the mysterious unpublished Christie manuscript. Free room and board at the Van Alst mansion should make this the perfect job, but Jordan soon discovers there's a lot more to it than that. Her new, high-brow job is complicated by local hatred for the Van Alst family, a smiling cop who turns up wherever Jordan goes, the suspicious death of several people connected to the manuscript, and a shadowy, underworld figure known only as Merlin. The missing manuscript soon becomes a deeper and much more dangerous mystery than the 11-day disappearance of the author.

I loved this book! The main character is a strong, independent woman. She has three uncles who have connections in criminal circles, and who taught her life skills like lock picking and how to shake off cops who are following you. The story was a perfect mix of humor and serious tone. The mystery had plenty of suspects, twists and turns and excitement to keep me interested from beginning to end. Plus, I love old books. The thought of hunting down a previously unknown Christie manuscript had me completely intrigued.

The Christie Curse is the first book in the Book Collector Mystery series. There are 4 books in the series, with a fifth scheduled for publication in October 2016. Victoria Abbott is a pseudonym used by Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane Maffini. Mary Jane Maffini is the author of several mystery series, including the Camilla MacPhee Mystery books.  Learn more about the authors and the Book Collector Series at their website,

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