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Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

The Secret Adversary

The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie Agatha Christie meets Enid Blyton's Famous Five for a ripping adventure yarn. Or something like that anyway. Nothing like Poirot or Marple, Tommy and Tuppence are young, almost childlike in their approach. It's exactly like you'd imagine the Famous Five would treat the case - lots of excitable running about, not a lot of appropriate respect for the fact that they are in serious danger for most of the novel...

Tommy and Tuppence, the two detectives are demobbed after the war and find themselves with no plans or work. So, for larks and adventure, they post an advertisement as adventurers for hire. No scruples, they'll do anything for money (so long as it's exciting). They are overheard while discussing this plan and become entangled in the plot. Over time of course, they come to terms with both the fact that they have got scruples and won't do anything for money, and that they might even be more than just friends...

The plot is somewhat 'dated' - those Labour lefties are always so easily taken in by the baddies. The shadow of the Bolsheviks, foreigners trying to upset the delicate balance of political power in England, potentially causing those lower classes to forget their places and cause a bit of trouble. All in all, kinda fun, but maybe not exactly in the way that Christie had imagined.

I'd spotted the baddie fairly early on though, which surprised me. It's an early Christie, but the previous novel had foxed me. Having said that, guessing the baddie didn't spoil the novel (it just allowed me a slightly smug feeling while reading the rest of the novel). Overall very enjoyable and, based on her reputation, I'm sure the later novels will just get better and better.