On Friday, 3rd December, 1926, Agatha Christie kissed her sleeping seven-year-old daughter goodnight and went downstairs. She left the house and climbed into her Morris Cowley and drove off into the night—not to be seen again for almost two weeks.
Her disappearance was the stuff of which her own books were made—the most famous writer in the world had one thousand policemen searching for her—along with scores of fans; and for the very first time, planes were used to search for the missing cozy mystery writer.
With the Home Secretary, William Joynson-Hicks, urging the police to find the missing celebrity, two of her contemporaries, Dorothy L. Sayers and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, were asked to join the search and use their unique knowledge to help find Christie. Neither proved to be of much use.
The police did eventually find her car—abandoned on a slope near Guildford—but there were no clues to the whereabouts of Agatha Christie, and there was nothing to suggest that she had been in an accident.
As the days rolled on, there were still no leads. The press were wild with theories and ideas, and there was even talk that the author had drowned herself in a spring near to where her car had been abandoned.
Her body was not found, and suicide was ruled out. The police investigated her private life and found no reason to suspect any kind of personal hardship. Her latest book was selling, and she was a huge household name.
There were critics who said that her disappearance was all a publicity stunt to promote her latest book. There were those who said she had been murdered by her husband, Archie, who was well known to have a mistress. As the rumours kept spreading, the story hit the front pages of the New York Times.
Eleven days after her disappearance, she was found safe in a hotel in Harrogate. Christie had no idea how she had ended up there, and the police had no clues to help them put together the story. They concluded that she had left home, travelled to London and had crashed her car on the way. They say she had taken a train to Harrogate and checked into the Swan Hotel with no luggage of any kind. She used the name Theresa Neele, which happened to be the name of her husband's mistress.
Christie never spoke about the eleven days she spent missing. Many have tried to piece it together, but no living person knows the truth. It’s the perfect mystery from the biggest selling author of all time.
Vanessa A. Ryan is the author of:Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale mystery trilogy:
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