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The Wife of the Kenite is a short story written by Agatha Christie which was first published in 1922 in the magazine The Home in Sydney, Australia. The story then remained relatively unknown until it was included in the collection Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Agatha Christie and other Masters of the Golden Age in 2018 and The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural in 2019.

This story is believed to be the first short story by Agatha Christie to be published in A magazine.[1] The story is set in South Africa on the Veldt. It might have been written in South Africa when Archibald and Agatha visited the country in 1922 as part of the tour before the British Empire Exhibition.

The theme of the story is revenge and divine intervention. The story is similar to the story of Jael in the Book of Judges in the Bible. The name of the short story is also a reference to Jael, as Jael is married to Heber the Kenite.

Plot summary

After the First World War, an ex-German soldier who has taken to being a political agitator flees Johannesburg and the authorities who are pursuing him. He travels across the South African Veldt. At a lonely house he encounters a woman from his past.

Publication history

  • 1922: Home Magazine, Sydney, Australia, Sep 1922.
  • 2018: Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Agatha Christie and other Masters of the Golden Age, Collins Crime Club (London), 2018.
  • 2019: The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural, HarperCollins (London), 2019.

References

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