“A heart of darkness beats within this sparkling series. Fizzy with charm yet edged with menace, Andrew Wilson’s Christie novels do Dame Agatha proud. Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Jacqueline Winspear.” —A.J. Finn, internationally bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
Queen of Crime Agatha Christie returns to star in another stylish mystery, as she travels to the excavation of the ancient city of Ur where she must solve a crime with motives that may be as old as civilization itself.
Fresh from solving the gruesome murder of a British agent in the Canary Islands, mystery writer Agatha Christie receives a letter from a family who believe their late daughter met with foul play. Before Gertrude Bell overdosed on sleeping medication, she was a prominent archaeologist, recovering ancient treasures in the Middle East. Found near her body was a letter claiming that Bell was being followed and to complicate things further, Bell was competing with another archeologist, Mrs. Woolley, for the rights to artifacts of immense value.
Christie travels to far-off Persia, where she meets the enigmatic Mrs. Woolley as she is working on a big and potentially valuable discovery. Temperamental but brilliant, Mrs. Woolley quickly charms Christie but when she does not hide her disdain for the recently deceased Miss Bell, Christie doesn’t know whether to trust her—or if Bell’s killer is just clever enough to hide in plain sight.
With Wilson’s signature “strong characters, shrewd plotting and a skillful blending of fact and fiction” (Shelf Awareness, starred review on A Talent for Murder), this is a thrilling adventure set amidst the cursed ruins of an ancient land.
In 1928, John Davison, a British intelligence operative, persuades Agatha Christie to look into a suspicious death, in Wilson's ingenious third whodunit featuring the mystery writer (after 2018's A Different Kind of Evil). In 1926, Gertrude Bell, a "famous adventurer and Arabist," died of barbiturate poisoning in Baghdad, an apparent suicide. Davison tells Christie that one of Bell's former servants recently came across letters that she wrote to her father, but never sent. In them, Bell expresses fear for her life and states that if she died from something other than a terminal illness, her murderer should be sought at Ur, a major archaeological site she visited. Christie arrives at Ur to find a poisonous atmosphere centering on Katherine Woolley, whose husband is in charge of the dig. Woolley, whose sanity is in doubt, was at odds with Bell during their time together. The bludgeoning death of someone connected to the excavations puts Christie on the sleuthing trail. Wilson cleverly riffs on one of Christie's own novels en route to a crafty and satisfying solution. Wilson strikes gold again.