TIL Already famous, Agatha Christie went on archaeological expeditions to Iraq and Syria. That experiences is reflected in novels such as Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and Appointment with Death

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She disappeared in 1926, after quarreling with her first husband [some months earlier her husband asked her for a divorce to marry another woman]. Her car and clothes were found above a chalk quarry. This prompted a massive manhunt and an international story. Ten days later she was found booked into a hotel under the surname of her husband’s lover Interpretations today still vary. [eg fugue state, an attempt to embarrass her husband, a nervous breakdown..] At the time, public opinion viewed it either as a publicity stunt or as an attempt to frame her husband. That experience didn’t make any Agatha Christie story, least of all her autobiography


She traveled her whole life, when she was growing up it was cheaper to travel and let their home than to stay there. She and Archie Christie were not a good match (I hesitate to say he was trash, but it is tempting–she wasn’t exactly a peach all the time), Max seems to have been perfect for her, she really loved their travels/his work in the middle east (I have her autobiography). ​ Also, despite resisting them for my entire life, I started listening to audiobooks last week and OMG I had no idea how great they are. I listened to The Thirteen Problems and Nemesis narrated by Joan Hickson, free on Youtube. Listening to At Bertram’s Hotel right now, also wonderful. I feel that I missed out on so much now, resisting audiobooks for so long. (I have read a lot of Christie, and I basically do nothing but read. I could have been reading in my car all this time!)


So it was Agatha all along


Come, Tell Me How You Live is a book she wrote about the Iraqi tells (burial mounds), which she and her second husband, Max Mallowan, and a team of archaeologists had studied. It’s not as much fun to read as her mysteries are. But interesting.


She met her second husband during one of those expeditions.