6 April 2013


an archaeological memoir

by Agatha Christie Mallowan

This book is a gem if you are interested in reading memoirs, history and/or reading about Agatha Christie's life in general.  Set in Syria during the early 1930s, it's an account of her life while she accompanied her husband, Max Mallowan, on his archaeological excavations.

A simpler time when archaeology wasn't weighed down with science and techniques.  All you had to do, it seems, is catch a steam train at Victoria Station in London, transfer to the Orient Express in Calais and continue your journey to Istanbul.  Once there, you were provided with digging permits by the French.

But a comfortable holiday it was not.  There were many discomforts in the primitive conditions of the day.  Nevertheless, Agatha Christie finds intense enjoyment in the wild Mesopotamian countryside and with its people.  Coping with fleas, spiders, mice, bats, car break downs, the list goes on, but it's told in the most amusing manner.

And not only did she take an active part in the practical aspects of the excavations such as photographing the finds (without the aid of a darkroom, no less) and cataloguing, Agatha Christie continued to write such books as Murder in Mesopotamia and Appointment with Death.

I believe this book gives a charming picture of Agatha Christie herself.  What a wonderful gal she must have been.


  1. Replies
    1. Lovely to hear from you Otis, and thank you.
      I really enjoyed reading this book.

  2. A great review of a great author, Jill! Agatha Christie was a talented descriptive writer and I'm sure her memoir lends a lot into what she was really like. I do like to read memoirs and will definitely check this one out.

    I did start reading Once Upon A Lie and am enjoying your newly published mystery ebook! Keep changing my mind about "whodunnit" and that does keep a mystery reader's interest up.

  3. Thanks, Anna. I think that Agatha Christie was a most interesting person. I also enjoyed reading her autobiography.
    I hope that Once Upon A Lie keeps you guessing until the end!

  4. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    1. Thanks for following, Sass. It's great to connect through the WLC.

  5. I have all of Agatha Christie's books in hardcover and read this gem a long time ago. I think I might pull it out again and relive it.

    I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rachelle and thanks also for joining my blog. Yes, this is a book you can read again and again. I also enjoyed Agatha Christie's Autobiography. I have you read that?