"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (book review)

The Christie Curse
A Book Collector Mystery
Author:  Victoria Abbott
Published:  2013
Publisher:  Penguin Group (USA)
Pages:  296 (includes recipes)
Genre:  Mystery/cozy mystery
Edition:  mass market paperback
ISBN 9780425255285

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared—making headlines across the world—only to show up eleven days later at a spa under an assumed name. During those eleven days, did she have time to write a play?

Jordan Kelly needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.


Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.


Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good…but is it worth her life?

My Thoughts:

It would seem the infamous play, it's very being in doubt, is a curse upon whomever seeks it.  Jordan's predecessor, while in New York seeking information about the possibility of a never before published Christie play, was pushed to his death in the subway.  This only makes Jordan more cautious as she investigates the whereabouts of a play that no one can ascertain even exists.  It's a rumour based upon the disappearance of mystery author Agatha Christie for a short period in 1926 when her first marriage ended.  Perhaps she spent her time at a spa?  Or, perhaps she spent her time in seclusion, writing a play.  No one knew for sure but conjecture would have it she was writing. This is the basis for the mystery The Christie Curse.

Jordan is hired to find it and her investigations soon become dangerous to anyone associated with her search.  Two attempts are made on a possible source's life and a woman is beaten. Everywhere Jordan turns, Officer Smiley is not far behind.  Everyone is suspicious to Jordan and it is uncertain who her enemies really are.  The search has become a matter of life and death.

Victoria Abbot is actually a mother and daughter writing duo.  The Christie Curse is the first in the new Book Collector series.  It is an excellent example of a cozy mystery with enough suspects to keep you guessing.  Like Jordan, I had brushed off the real assailant until it was too late.  Suspicion had been cast on a few others who had good cause or were just shady enough to be possible.  The characterization was plausible, scenarios wrought with suspense, and the plot twisted just enough to put me off.

For me this was a timely read as Sophie Hannah just released The Monogram Murders, a Hercule Poirot mystery and the Christie name is all the buzz right now.  The Christie Curse title caught my eye in the bookstore and the writing begs me to come back for more.  The Sayers Swindle is the second book in the series and I will be searching it out.  I'd love to collect them all.

Meet the author(s) of The Christie Curse

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between the always very funny and creative artist, photographer and short story author, Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane Maffini, award-winning author of three mystery series and two dozen short stories. Mary Jane's two miniature dachshunds are understandably outraged that a pug and some Siamese cats have wiggled their way into the series, and now a pug has weasled her way into Victoria's home.  The indignity of it all.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds absolutely wonderful. Definitely going on my TBR list!

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