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After Agatha Christie tied the knot with archaeologist Max Mallowan at an Edinburgh cathedral in 1930, they set out on an adventuresome journey. “Max had planned the honeymoon entirely himself; it was going to be a surprise,” Christie penned in An Autobiography.

Romantic Venice was the first stop for the newly wed crime writer. Christie had passed through the Italian city previously while traveling on the Orient Express from London to the Middle East, where she met her future husband on an archaeological dig.

“I resolved…that if ever I am so fortunate I shall spend my honeymoon here!” Max Mallowan once vowed about Venice. And indeed he did.

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In anticipation of Writers Between the Covers, on sale October 29, we’re spotlighting literary locales associated with some of the figures featured in the book.

gwh-2GREENWAY HOUSE
When archaeological excursions in the Middle East weren’t on the itinerary for Agatha Christie and her husband, Max Mallowan, the couple could often be found at Greenway House, their holiday retreat in the English countryside. Among the items on display in the 18th century residence-turned-museum—which inspired the setting for the Poirot tale Dead Man’s Folly—are the author’s 1937 Remington portable typewriter and a Steinway piano. The musically talented Christie, who trained as a classical pianist, was too shy to play the piano for anyone except Mallowan.

Before Christie found her happily ever after with the archaeologist, she endured the painfully public demise of her first marriage. After her spouse walked out on her, she became embroiled in a real-life mystery. Christie disappeared for eleven days, sparking the largest-ever manhunt in England before resurfacing with claims of amnesia.

INVESTIGATE CHRISTIE’S RETREAT
Greenway House sits on 30 acres of woodland and gardens overlooking the River Dart. Mystery buffs who want to do more than meander through the museum can holiday in Christie and Mallowan’s digs; a five-bedroom apartment, spread over the first and second floors of the house, is available for short-term rentals.

[Photo ©Flickr/globalNix]

Following a multi-million dollar restoration, the historic Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul is due to reopen this month. Originally opened in 1892 by the owners of the Orient Express to provide suitably grand accommodation for their passengers at the train’s Istanbul terminus, the Pera Palace quickly became established as the place to see and be seen for members of high society.

Among the hotel’s most famous guests was Agatha Christie, who stayed there many times between 1926 and 1932 and is believed to have written portions of her beloved mystery, Murder on the Orient Express, in Room 411, which can be reserved by guests and contains a library of her books in several languages. A mysterious key she reportedly hid under a floorboard in her room, said to be  the key to lost diaries that contain information about her mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926, is displayed in the Orient Bar.  Other famous guests who have lodged at the Pera Palace include Alfred Hitchcok, Greta Garbo, Zsa Zsa Gabor and the Mata Hari.

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Nighttime browsing before meeting up with my book group. Or, holiday shopping for me. 🎁 #strandbookskiosk #bryantpark #wintervillage #nyc #booksofig #bookstagram #bookstores
“My mother in Princeton got a cable from me, saying simply: ‘Opening bookshop in Paris. Please send money,’ and she sent me all her savings.” 📚 Using the capital from her super-supportive mother, Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare & Company, a bookshop and lending library, in Paris on November 19, 1919. Located on the Left Bank’s rue Dupuytren and then in larger quarters on the rue de l’Odéon, the shop quickly became a popular gathering place for expatriate writers like Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, who declared himself Beach’s “best customer.” Here Beach fostered literary talent, floated the occasional loan, and in 1922 published James Joyce’s controversial novel ULYSSES at her own expense. (Hemingway helped smuggle the book into the United States, where it was banned.) In SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY, one of my favorite memoirs, Beach shares her fascinating and unique story along with a trove of anecdotes about her famous patrons. 📚 Beach closed up shop in 1941, after a confrontation with a Nazi officer, whom she wouldn’t allow to buy a copy of FINNEGAN’S WAKE he spied in the window. She later granted the right to use the name Shakespeare & Company to fellow American George Whitman, whose shop at 37 rue de la Bûcherie still thrives today and is— just as Beach’s once was—a beacon for book lovers. 📚 #sylviabeach #shakespeareandcompany #100thanniversary #memoir #paris #literarylandmarks #noveldestinations #booksofig #igreads #bookstagram #favoritebooks #chocopain #hobokenlove
What a tease. Walking up Broadway in NYC, I passed by Westsider Books but couldn’t stop for more than a couple of minutes because I had to get to an appointment. I’ll definitely be back to take my time perusing the stacks here. In the meantime, my imagination is working overtime at the thought of what I might find. I’m dreaming of adding some vintage Jane Austens to my shelf. #magicplaces #bookstores #possibilities #westsiderbooks #bookstoresofinstagram #literarytravel #noveldestinations #nyc #nycbookstores

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