I need to say straight off that I have adored Agatha Christie books since probably junior high. I like all of her series characters for different reasons, but Tommy and Tuppence are pure fun.
This is the first book to feature the pair. It takes place just after WW1 and both Tommy and Tuppence are facing rough times. Unemployed, running out of money, they decide to advertise themselves as “Young Adventures,” looking for cash and an enjoyable exploit. Their first client works for the British Government and hires them to find a young woman who carries a document that could drastically effect England’s future. Of course, the job is fraught with danger, murder, kidnappings and international intrigue.
Like most of Christie’s books, the plot is good with a convincing red herring. The pair find themselves in quite a few sticky situations, but there’s really no doubt that they’ll manage to come out on top. This was a reread for me, but it’s been so long that I had forgotten most of the plot points and found myself coming up with my own theories, which were of course wrong.
The setting, 1920s England, certainly flavors the entire story, from the unemployment problem to the fear of the Bolsheviks. It was first published in 1922, and it feels like it was but in a good way, if that makes sense.
The true charm of the book though lies in Tommy and Tuppence.
“Outwardly, he’s an ordinary clean-limbed, rather block-headed young Englishman. Slow in his mental processes. On the other hand, it’s quite impossible to lead him astray through his imagination. He hasn’t got any – so he’s difficult to deceive. He worries things out slowly, and once he’s got hold of anything he doesn’t let go. The little lady’s quite different. More intuition and less common sense. They make a pretty pair working together. Pace and stamina.” (78%)
They’re a perfect couple, both as a working partners and in a romantic relationship. They truly enjoy each other and realize through the book how much they rely on each other’s strengths. The dialogue throughout is witty, quick, believable. They make me smile. You can find the end of the story in my teaser yesterday, but it doesn’t give away any of the mystery.
For me, reading any of Christie’s novels is like visiting an old friend, a pleasure.
Tommy and Tuppence #1
First published in 1922
4 out of 5 stars
Challenge: Vintage Mystery
My Kindle edition was free and the above is my honest opinion.