Welcome to my stop on the tour celebrating the release of Death in a Desert Land by Andrew Wilson! A big thank you to Atria Books for the invitation!
Aww, this series is so much fun! The main character is Agatha Christie! I have not read the previous two books, but I will spill the beans and tell you after this I definitely plan to! I also can easily let you know this one stands alone if you want to jump right in like I did.
A family has written to Agatha Christie asking for her help in solving the death of their daughter. Gertrude Bell was a famous archaeologist working in the Middle East. She was competing with another archaeologist, Mrs. Woolley, for some key artifacts worth a fortune.
Christie goes to Persia to meet with Mrs. Woolley. She is brilliant but pulls no punches letting Christie know exactly what she thought of Gertrude.
Wow. So a little side note as to why I connected so well to this story. One of my majors in undergrad was anthropology, and I heavily considered attending graduate school for archaeology. I love everything about archaeology from digging in the dirt, to discoveries, to analysis. It’s all fascinating, and this book being set amongst ancient ruins? Loved it.
More to love… The characters are so engaging. Agatha Christie is a force, and we all knew she would be. The plot never loses steam, and there’s great tension throughout. It also has an adventure feel, which made it even more exciting.
Overall, Death in a Desert Land is a solid, clever, original historical mystery, and I am ever so grateful it was put on my radar.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
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.
Select Praise for Book Two: A Different Kind of Evil
“[A] stellar sequel to 2017’s A Talent for Murder [and] a crafty whodunit worthy of the queen of mystery herself… Wilson does a superior job of balancing surprising plot developments with a sensitive portrayal of his lead’s inner life.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Wilson accomplishes an impressive feat in his second Agatha Christie novel: doing justice to the woman herself while crafting the kind of rich cast, elaborate plotting and intricate mystery that made Dame Christie herself so beloved… There is no question that Christie’s fans — and Wilson’s — will find plenty to love in this series.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Mystery fans who love Golden Age crime (Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Josephine Tey) will enjoy watching Dame Agatha herself track the truth in a puzzle of someone else’s making… Readers can rejoice in the twisty plot and the curiously complex characters.”
Select Praise for Book One: A Talent for Murder
“A Talent for Murder reads like an amalgamation of a clever Agatha Christie puzzler with the darker characters and psychological insights found in Patricia Highsmith’s thrillers… With strong characters, shrewd plotting and a skillful blending of fact and fiction, A Talent for Murder is a compelling period mystery that will keep whodunit fans captivated… A tantalizing and captivating cat-and-mouse puzzler with a creepy undercurrent of Patricia Highsmith’s darkness.”
“[A] compelling and thought-provoking mystery… well-written and researched, and compulsively readable.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Wilson effectively imagines a different scenario in this twisty thriller… Wilson fully realizes the potential of this ominous setup.”
“Wilson’s ‘what if’ story is equal parts psychological thriller, detective fiction, and mystery. Readers will become emotionally involved with the protagonist, whom Wilson portrays as both sympathetic and quick-witted, even at her lowest points… Those who enjoy fiction and detective fiction, including Dame Agatha’s own writings, will delight in this singular take on a strange event in Christie’s life.”
About the Author:
Andrew Wilson is an award-winning journalist and author. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Sunday Times, and the Smithsonian Magazine. He is the author of four biographies, a book about the survivors of the Titanic, and the novels, The Lying Tongue, A Talent for Murder, A Different Kind of Evil, and Death in a Desert Land.
Have you read Death in a Desert Land, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR