The Secret Adversary (Agatha Christie)

secret adversary

Why did you choose this book?

For September, each member of our library’s Reader’s Advisory committee was required to read an Agatha Christie novel.  With 66 possible choices, I figure this discussion will have plenty of variety!  But I wanted to be outside-the-box, so I went with the 1st Tommy and Tuppence novel.  Christie only wrote 5 in this series, but this was her 2nd published novel!

What’s it about?

Tommy and Tuppence are old friends and are unemployed after the end of World War II.  They decide to enter an advertisement in the newspaper, billing themselves as Young Adventurers, looking for adventure in exchange for pay.  A man overhears their conversation and asks Tuppence to report to his office.  Some sketchy events occur, and the duo is eventually hired by another man to act as spies.  Who are they spying on?  Ok, so as the Lusitania was sinking, one spy gave the copy of a peace treaty to a young girl named Jane Finn, who survived.  Some nefarious group has her, and is plotting to acquire the treaty in order to wreak political havoc so many years after the war’s end.  Tommy and Tuppence must find Jane and the treaty before it’s too late!


Classics, mystery (cozy)

Other recommended reads?

While this is a cozy mystery novel, it’s not a cozy as we think of them today (with a theme like food or pets and a pun in the title).  Maybe at the time this was written it was just as punny as those cozies, but maybe not.  I would guess that readers who enjoy this would enjoy other classic mystery authors like Ruth Rendell and Dorothy Sayers, though I haven’t read either of those authors (they’re on my list – I’ll get there!).

Final Thoughts?

I enjoyed this much more than the Christie novel I read in middle school (sadly, I don’t remember which one that was).  I”m also not sure how this compares to her Poirot or Marple novels.  That being said, I thought it was a light-hearted romp, but that Tommy and Tuppence were almost falsely naive and carefree.  I’m withholding my verdict and will try another one of these days.

Up next?

Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson


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