The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Book Review: 2 Treasure  Boxes
First book with Tommy and Tuppence
First published January 1922 by The Bodley Head, hardcover 320 p,
Publisher: (January 1, 2007), Paperback: 148 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1420929194, ISBN-13: 978-1420929195

This book introduces two intriguing and delightful characters known as Tommy and Tuppance.  The book takes place just after the end of the first war and was written in 1922.  Tommy and Tuppance are two young adults who have no money and decide to put an ad in the paper looking for unusual work “no unreasonable offer refused.”  The young couple become “the young adventures” willing to go anywhere and do anything.  Following this, they get involved in a complicated and dangerous scheme.

The Secret Adversary is the first of four novels written with Tommy and Tuppance as the protagonists. They also appear in “N or M?” a 1940’s espionage novel, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs” and “Postern of Fate,” which was the last book Agatha Christie ever wrote.  Each book takes place later in life for these characters and by the final book they are in their seventies. This book is considered a crime fiction. The books are told in a third person narrative that focuses primarily on Tommy and Tuppance but also includes some of the other characters. Agatha Christie wrote 80 detective novels and around four billion copies of her books have been sold.  She was born in 1890 and lived until 1976.  She has written murder mysteries, thrillers, crime fiction, detective and romance novels.

This is a story about two young adults who get involved in a mystery involving the elusive Mr. Brown.  There are several murders and several people are kidnapped.  There is also a threat to the great state of England.  It is up to the young adventures to solve the problem.  Along the way they meet several characters, both good and bad. The language used is very different from today because the story takes place and was written just after the first world war, but I found this charming and pleasureable.  It gave a more authentic feel to the storyt, I felt like I was really there.   I enjoyed reading both Tommy and Tuppance’s adventures, their characters where original and their actions were intriguing.  Both Tommy and Tuppance ran into trouble several times and I was never really sure where the story was going, so this made it a good read. The book follows a good solid story line and it keeps us wondering right up to the end of the book.

This is a standalone book, although Agatha Chrisie wrote additional stories with Tommy and Tuppance, they each take place later and later in the adventurer’s lives.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading detective or crime novels as it is a good story.

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