A Different Kind of Evil

Written by Andrew Wilson
Review by Valerie Adolph

On January 23, 1927, Agatha Christie set sail on the SS Gelria on her way to a holiday in the warm climate of Tenerife. She stayed on the island for most of February with her young daughter, Rosalind, and her secretary, Carlo. This much is fact. Author Andrew Wilson makes these skeletal facts the basis of this novel, revealing Agatha Christie as detective, investigating the death of a Secret Service agent.

The apparent suicide of a young woman on the SS Gelria is also connected, part of an intricacy of plots centred on the luxury hotel where Agatha is staying. The mummified corpse of the Secret Service agent found in a cave apparently covered in blood triggers her investigations. Amongst a vivid array of other guests and local characters, she discovers evils both unique and interconnected. No-one’s life is safe, least of all her own.

This is a carefully researched novel: the author has previously published biographies of three writers and has adhered carefully to the known facts about Agatha Christie’s stay in the Canary Islands. Writing in the first person, he has tried to emulate Christie’s style as well as her emotions at this vulnerable period in her life.