I’m currently taking part in the Agatha Christie Readathon by James J. Cudney from the blog This Is My Truth Now.
This is first review of four books by Queen Agatha. 🙂
The Secret Adversary (1922) by Agatha Christie was Christie’s second novel after The Mysterious Affair at Styles. It is the first of her books to feature Tommy, a soldier and Tuppence, a war volunteer. The year is 1919 and when we meet the pair first in this novel, they are in their 20s and World War One has just ended. In need of work, money and adventure they start up their own business called The Young Adventurers Ltd in a new world where jobs are hard to come by. In true Christie style though this new business venture isn’t run-of-the-mill. They decide that they can’t be picky and are willing to do any job that comes their way with Tuppence even joking about them participating in crime. Mr Whittington overhears them speaking and enlists them in their first assignment. However when Tuppence lies and says that her name is Jane Finn, a name which Tommy has heard in the street, he gives her money and disappears. This of course rises excitement and curiosity in our two young adventurers’ minds and they embark on an adventure where their lives are at stake.
Tommy and Tuppence place an advertisement in the newspaper asking for information about Jane Finn which sets things up nicely for this political mystery. Within no time, they receive two replies. One is from Mr Carter who is with British Intelligence and tells them that Jane Finn was given a vital document by a man abroad the RMS Luisitania before it sank. This ties in with the prologue which states that a man gave a young American woman a document abroad the RMS Luisitania in 1915 because she had more chance of survival. Secondly the two daredevils meet another man called Julius Hersheimmer who is an American millionaire and Jane’s first cousin. But then the real mystery of the book begins with Tommy and Tuppence on the trail of the elusive Mr Brown. No one knows his real identity but he hovers like a dark cloud of mystery and enigma throughout the novel.
This is a very fast-paced book and Christie packs a lot into it. As usual, she also adds the human element that sometimes crime writers forget to add. The reader gets to know Tommy and Tuppence very well and their interactions show how polar opposite they are to each other in many ways. Tuppence is more adventurous and loves spontaneity while Tommy is laid-back and reserved. Their differences seem to be what draw them together and their romance is beautiful to read unfold as the crime unfolds around them.
Although Inspector Japp doesn’t play a role in this novel, he is mentioned in it which I found quite cool when I read it so I thought I’d just briefly mention it here.
Agatha Christie never disappoints and she hasn’t here either. It is an intriguing and interesting read and has many fun, lighter moments. A really excellent read.
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