Back in the days of written correspondence, letter writing was a craft. And now a collection of missives clearly written to amuse showcases the British Empire of 1922 as well as the lighthearted — and light-minded — approach of an author soon to be known for darker writing.
Agatha Christie, the mother of the modern mystery novel, had her share of real-life intrigue. Born in 1890, the daughter of a well-to-do American father and an upper-class English mother, the young Agatha had every reason to expect a predictable and comfortable life. However, the death of her father in 1901 threw her family into uncertain circumstances, and the failing health of her mother drew the surviving family to Cairo, where Christie had her coming out — and developed her taste for travel.