- The Unknown Conan Doyle: Letters to the Press by John Michael Gibson and Richard Lancelyn Green
Secker, 377 pp, £15.00, March 1986, ISBN 0 436 13303 2
When in December 1926 the creator of Hercule Poirot disappeared the creator of Sherlock Holmes somehow possessed himself of one of her gloves, and at once took it to a Mr Horace Leaf with a result which he describes in a letter to the Morning Post, written on 16 December (ten days, that is, after Agatha Christie had vanished), and now reprinted in the present volume of selections from Conan Doyle’s letters to the press. Mr Leaf, this letter declares, is ‘an excellent psychometrist’ who ‘at once got the name of Agatha’ and then said: ‘There is trouble connected with this article. The person who owns it is half dazed and half purposeful. She is not dead as many think. She is alive. You will hear of her, I think, next Wednesday.’ Mrs Christie was found on the Tuesday night, but – sure enough – it was Wednesday when the news reached Doyle, who at once communicated so striking a psychic manifestation to Colonel Christie – from whose appalling behaviour as a husband it is now generally held that Mrs Christie (in whatever condition of mind) had taken flight.
The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.