Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Secret Adversary

I've decided that Agatha Christie is the perfect author to read via DailyLit, but unfortunately I've exhausted the Agatha Christie novels they have available. The latest I've just finished is Secret Adversary. Not Marple or Poirot, Secret Adversary has some of Agatha Christie's less famous heroes. This is the first of the Tommy and Tuppence books, less murder mystery and more adventure novel, set in the early 1920s. A missing girl, a ring of conspirators, multiple kidnappings, a hidden document leftover from the war which must not fall into enemy hands, who better to save the day than two very young adventurers, against the brilliant and invisible Mr. Brown? Tommy Beresford and Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley are childhood friends who meet again years later, and since both are jobless and in need of money, they decide to start a Young Adventurers company, with the aim of having other people's adventures and getting paid for it. They are very much part of the 1920s. Tommy has a sort of boy scout air to him, young, sporting and not very imaginative. Tuppence is a resourceful and intelligent modern sort of girl.

This is somewhat less serious than other Agatha Christie novels, even if they do speak of saving England. It's a good old adventure story. Still, the plot is just as convoluted and clever as any Agatha Christie. I was suspicious of the character who turned out to be Mr. Brown quite early on, but I was never sure, and I had no idea why or how or who else was involved. I got within the last 25 sections of the book and had to race to the ending. It keeps your attention and is a very good, untaxing sort of read for an afternoon.

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