I have been a huge fan of Agatha Christie as long as I can remember. Seriously, my mom saved a Christmas list from when I was eight and I asked for all the Agatha Christie books I didn’t already have. LOL. Of course, I didn’t quite realize I was asking for 80 plus books for Christmas.
Jay is hosting this love fest for the Grand Dame of Mystery. Our first book is The Secret Adversary. The first in the Tommy and Tuppence series.
Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):
Agatha Christie’s first Tommy and Tuppence is a thrill-packed novel of international intrigue and murder with all the Christie hallmarks of suspense and ingenuity. Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Adventurers Ltd. Their advertisement says they are ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined!
How disappointing that summary is. Goodreads had almost the same one though. I suppose given it’s Aggie, she doesn’t need much pomp and circumstance to sell books. Tommy and Tuppence are good fun as a mystery duo. I suspect they were quite fun as parents as well. In the later books they have grown children and I can only imagine Tuppence’s pluck balanced with Tommy’s stolid practicality made for an interesting time.
Agatha frequently works in her political opinions in her books. But I’m always much more interested in the way people relate to each other. She gives her characters such complicated inner workings but paints it with such a light hand.
One of my absolute favorite exchanges comes when Julius goes off to procure a Rolls Royce because Tuppence has said she wants one. She has told him it will be impossible, people wait ages. But he comes back in 35 minutes with the car.
“How did you get it?” gasped Tuppence.
“She was just being sent home to some bigwig.”
“I went round to his house,” said Julius. “I said that I reckoned a car like that was worth every penny of twenty thousand dollars. Then I told him that it was worth just about fifty thousand dollars to me if he’d get out.”
“Well?” said Tuppence, intoxicated.
“Well,” returned Julius, “he got out, that’s all.”
I laugh every time I read it. I think that’s the true joy of Christie novels: no matter how many times I read them, I laugh, I cry, I find new little bits that I never noticed before. It’s rich and layered even if she breaks all the “rules of good writing.”
Tuppence and Tommy come out on top, of course. The baddies get their comeuppance.
Next week we’re reading Peril at End House. It’s not too late to join us.