The Mystery of the Mistress of Mystery

Hello and welcome to another of our occasional episodes of the WE’D LIKE A WORD podcast!

On this episode Paul and Stevyn are chatting with Nina de Gramont, author of The Christie Affair.

The book is a fictionalised version of what might have happened when the famous murder mystery writer disappeared for 11 days in 1926. Nina talks about the original real life disappearance, the various theories and her own version – which works in a very cunning murder mystery (spoiler alert – poison is involved in classic Christie style) and Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes.

We also hear about how Nina succeeded in writing The Christie Affair by changing her approach to writing, and after a failed attempt to write a book based on Emily Dickinson. We discuss why women are better at writing crime fiction than men (let us know if you disagree), the Cottingley Fairies, Agatha Christie’s secret surfing past, how to get a movie made of your book, and Stevyn’s starring role in the quintuple award-winning film Scootch!

We also refer to some other authors/scholars and their books, including The Line Up by Matthew Thompson, Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment by Dr James Smith, The Adoption Machine by Paul Jude Redman, Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James and the documentary Sex In A Cold Climate directed by Steve Humphries.

You could also check out Nina’s other books – The Last September, Gossip of the Starlings and Of Cats And Men. Plus Nina particularly recommends you read Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau.

We’d Like A Word can be found on iTunes, Spotify and most podcast streaming services. Or you can Click Here to listen to the podcast on our hosting site, Anchor FM.


We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on various radio & podcast platforms. Our website is for information on Paul & Steve & our guests. We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is [email protected]

Yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes.

We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings (the new comic classic, just out) by Stevyn Colgan.