Reading Agatha Christie has always been a nostalgic act for me. Although we weren’t very close, it reminds of the quiet afternoons I would spend with my grandparents as my Grandmother would indulge in her latest Christie acquisition. This became where my love for the classic crime fiction author developed – and now, at twenty-two, I have challenged myself to read all of Christie’s books in chronological order.
THE SECRET ADVERSARY was a book that I had never picked up before, always tending to favour the ever familiar Belgian detective himself, Hercule Poirot. And for those who may be hesitant to – like myself – pick up one of the lesser know Tommy and Tuppence books, I think you’ll be thoroughly surprised by your findings…
// SYNOPSIS //
Tommy and Tuppence, two young people start of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Andventurers 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.
Christie’s second publication is somewhat of an unusual case to be solved. Rather than having to find out “who dunnit?”, Tommy and Tuppence are looking for elusive characters that have supposedly been avoiding each other in the hopes to keep their own hands on some very important documentation. Within a web of fake names and sudden turns of events, Tommy and Tuppence find themselves disguised and all over the globe.
I found the inclusion of a duo to be such a fun additive to Christie’s usual (although they may not have been her “usual” at this point, being only her second published novel) independent crime solvers. The dynamic between Tommy and Tuppence was especially crucial in the fact that it allows the reader to really see the inner workings of a work-relationship as well as a somewhat “heated” man/woman relationship – something very unusual for a Christie novel.
Being that THE SECRET ADVERSARY differs in many ways from Christie’s better known work, it still held on to all of the common “Christie tropes” that any mystery reader looks for in these well known novels, such as the layered narratives and shock ending (and it really was a shock!).
I am beyond thrilled to have read this book while we make our way into Autumn, as Agatha never fails to produce some of the most “cozy” reads of all time.