Books: Grande Dame

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Agatha Christie

Dodd, Mead; 529 pages; $15

One sympathizes reluctantly with the publishers of this posthumous book. They have added a two-page preface, mostly of chatty, mildly condescending detail about their long relationship with the immensely profitable author. But, yes, buried in the middle of the third paragraph is the real reason for the note: she has chosen not to discuss the one episode in her 85 years that everyone will be looking for. There is nothing about her notorious lapse into amnesia in 1926, and Dodd, Mead might well have...

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