Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Adversary” as Want to Read:
The Secret Adversary
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,697 Ratings  ·  1,577 Reviews
It is just after WWI and Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley are desperately short of money. With jobs thin on the ground, Tommy and Tuppence decide to form a partnership and hire themselves out as "young adventurers, willing to do anything, go anywhere." When their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, puts both of them in mortal danger, they have to use all ...more
Audio, Abridged
Published April 1st 2004 by Macmillan Audio (first published 1922)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Adversary, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Adversary

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Laura
Dec 27, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction, mystery
A short and entertaining read-- entertaining as much for its mystery as for the laughable sensationalism of its topic. Very timely for 1922-- all about bolsheviks and revolutions and Labour Party members and secret treaties, with a hero and heroine full of jolly upper-class Britishness and levity, if not imagination, in tough spots. Very characteristic of an era.

The mystery, though constructed out of sensationalistic and dated elements, has an excellent form. We are told quite frankly in the fir
...more
Vimal Thiagarajan
Jun 16, 2016 Vimal Thiagarajan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the usual Christie mystery. This is a John Buchan style ripping yarn with light-weight espionage and a heavy emphasis on adventure.Initially I found the plot so light on logic and the situations so uncharacteristically contrived and co-incidence driven that it made me look back at the cover to confirm if I was reading a Christie or a Wodehouse. But it picked up gradually and then ended in a massive flourish. The mystery component, though not entirely unpredictable, was handled quite adeptly ...more
Jaya
Re read with The Christie Carnage -noobs, middlings & hoity tots

WARNING: My thoughts are going to be scattered all over this review, Why? Because, I suck at reviewing.

Lets begin from the beginning.

So, some of the readers at the Indian Readers decided to read the complete works of Agatha Christie. I, being overly curious and enthusiastic, jumped right into with my fellow readers, despite of having read, re-read, watched, heard (audiobooks and those delicious BBC radio plays) multiple num
...more
James
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 wi
...more
Richard Derus
Rating: 3* of five for both book and movie

The Publisher Says: After WW1, childhood pals Tommy Beresford and "Tuppence" Prudence Cowley, lack money and prospects, become adventurers for the British Government. Rich American Julius P. Hersheimmer, powerful Mr Whittington, and an evil mastermind's conspiracy all seek Jane Finn, given papers vital to peace by an agent at the sinking of the Luisitania. Kidnaps, escapes.

My Review: The novel is a dated piece, lots of hoopla about Bolsheviks and the Gen
...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Being the first Agatha Christie novel that I've read in eons I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. All in all it wasn't that mysterious per say but enjoyable nonetheless.
Tommy Beresford and Prudence Cowley called Tuppence, childhood friends who happen upon each other after the war (thats WWI) are both looking for jobs and start brainstorming some ideas finally deciding to put an advertisement in the paper saying they're willing to do 'anything' but with terms and conditions of course.
...more
Pradnya K.
May 02, 2016 Pradnya K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Thought I'd finish it over a weekend but it took two. Never mind, coz it was good enough. Not the one which gets hold of you and shakes through and through but good enough.

It's a story of a mysterious teenage girl who's entrusted with important treaty and goes missing right after she gets handed it over to her. Tommy and Twopence, sorry, Tuppence ( that's the clue, right? )
form together Young Adventures, a tiny organization to earn money in curious ways, fall right into the track on a very firs
...more
Indrani Sen
Jun 18, 2016 Indrani Sen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
I enjoyed this book with its twists and turns. The start is a bit slow but builds up very well. (Will try for a more detailed review later)
Syl. A.k.a Topo di biblioteca
3ish stars.
Perhaps I am so used to either Marple or Poirot in my Christie mysteries, that anything else doesn't seem to work for me.
This post WW 1 espionage mystery wasn't much to my liking, though brilliantly written. I don't know why, but I somewhat dislike Tuppence, and Tommy too, by virtue of association with her.
This is the first book in their adventure series, wherein they try to solve the mysterious disappearance of important Allied forces documents, which in the wrong hands, were still
...more
Wealhtheow
Oct 04, 2011 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Dreadful. The mystery itself is far from mysterious—I had it figured out very early on—but the tone in which it is written is what really sinks this book. The unions and “common people” distrust the government only because they are manipulated into it by criminals, the government itself is filled with kind and upstanding men, and the criminals are cowards who enjoy writing grand declarations of their dastardly ways. Pah!
The only saving grace to the book is the pair of Tuppence and Tommy, althoug
...more
Jim
I have rated this at 2 stars. It was not a bad book. It was okay. This was not a murder mystery. It was a spy novel. Having read many of Agatha Christie's novels such as And Then There Were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, etc. it was a bit of a disappointment. There were times when I was reading this book that it reminded me of reading "The Hardy Boy's" when I was (much) younger.

This was the second of Christie's books and was originally published in 1922. It intr
...more
First Second Books
I've always been more of a fan of Christie's detective-less stories with average people thrown into crazy situations, fighting to solve the mystery around them before it eats them up. Though this book stars Tommy and Tuppence, who later went on to become recurring detective characters of hers—though hardly ever Poriot or Marple status. This is their first appearance: two naïve 20-somethings who have no clue what is happening and are merely looking for a way to make a quick buck. It has much of t ...more
Mo

This was the inaugural selection of my newly formed book club, which consists of various female members of my family scattered all across the country. We chose this book for a number of reasons.

•It was a free download from GoodReads, which made it readily available to everyone.

•It was a short read of only 190 pages, so everyone should have time to read it.

•It was written by a well known and very popular author.

•It was highly rated by the GoodReads community, with an average rating of 3.80.

W
...more
Carly
Dec 08, 2013 Carly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**edited 12/04/13

Tommy and Tuppence, two bright young things recently demobbed from WWI activities, meet by chance and sit down to discuss their lives over a cup of tea. Neither have fared well in the post-war world, but that hasn't dimmed Tuppence's sangfroid. Prodded by Tuppence, the two decide to start list themselves as "Young Adventurers, Ltd:" and put a notice in the Times:

Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused.
...more
Lyn Elliott
Very interesting to read this early (1922) Christie novel featuring young Tommy and Tuppence, recently demobbed, short of money and looking for adventure.
T and T became a series in their own right, never as well known as Poirot or Miss Marple, but this is the only one of this series I've read (though I do have a vague memory of a tv series years ago with suitable silly actors).
This plot is about spies threatening England through a revolutionary plot, in which the plotters represent all the vill
...more
Jennifer Girardin
I really enjoyed this Tommy and Tuppence adventure, which is full of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

The character of Tuppence was particularly engaging. Her upbeat and solve-anything attitude was refreshing and full of charm as together with Tommy they solved the mystery with wit and style.

A fun Christie read, classic and charming from the beginning to the end.
William Thomas
Apr 20, 2013 William Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have I gushed before in any of my reviews about how much I love the TV show 'Murder, She Wrote'? I feel like I had to have already gone on about how happy it makes me, however remedial and rudimentary most of the plots might seem. We should all know by now that there are many pleasures in a book aside from the plot- otherwise reading a succinct review would sate most of our appetites. So it isn't really about the story, with MSW, but the players involved, and the interactions between.

So it is w
...more
Laurel Young
Jan 11, 2010 Laurel Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How cute is this book?? It immerses the reader thoroughly in 1920's England, with Tommy and Tuppence calling everyone (including each other) "old bean" and so forth. It's a departure from the classic mystery of its predecessor, The Mysterious Affair at Styles--although there is certainly a mystery with a twist worth of Agatha, there is also a heaping helping of adventure and romance. The romance is delightful--Tommy and Tuppence are irresistable. The adventure is a little much for me: all the wi ...more
Melissa
Wow, this is amazingly good.Hard to put down.Full of action written in such attentive detail that we have come to expect from an Agatha Christie story.

A young Tommy and Tuppence are such loveable characters.Post WW1, down on their luck and looking for adventure.
Advertising themselves as-
'Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused', fancying themselves as sleuths.
Quickly, they become embroiled in a case of mystery involving
...more
Tatiana
Not enjoying this Tommy/Tuppence dynamic duo. The story itself is kind of rompy and gimmicky, trying too hard to be funny and lighthearted. Give me Poirot or Miss Marple instead!
Hayden
Aug 12, 2015 Hayden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, mystery
I have a confession to make: one of my biggest weaknesses in literature/film is husband-and-wife detective teams. Blame it on William Powell and Myrna Loy's fabulous portrayals of Nick and Nora Charles, but it's a trope I've adored for ages, and one that I hope to suitably make proud one day in my own writing.

For that reason, I've always been interested in Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence mysteries...only to be dismayed by the fact that the last THREE libraries I've had the pleasure to patro
...more
Mmyoung
Aug 08, 2010 Mmyoung rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, christie
I imagine that this book would have disappeared from memory had it not been the second Agatha Christie. It would probably have been categorized as a romp, or the equivalent term in the early 1920s, when first published. The story is completely unbelievable and yet it finely captures a moment in time. The men and women who went off to the First World War have returned home, changed, to an England that has also changed. The book captures the dislocation of life at the time and the nervous feeling ...more
Becky
Jan 28, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I'm rediscovering my love for Agatha Christie...mainly because the library near my house doesn't have much of a selection of books on tape. I ADORED Agatha Christie when I was in middle school, and it's fun to re-experience my complete inability to figure out who the bad guy is - even if I already read the book before. Also, I've realized that Agatha Christie probably was a key player in my interest in human nature and psychology. Until I read her books more recently, I didn't realize all of ...more
Bookworm
Yet another delightful and suspenseful book about Tommy and Tuppence! (Don't mind saying at this point, that I am completely in love with Tommy!) Keeping one jump ahead of the notorious Mr Brown, Tommy and Tuppence work furiously to discover the where abouts of a girl named Jane Finn, who is the keeper of a very important and deadly document. Can it be found and destroyed, Mr Brown outwitted, and Jane saved?? Read it to find out.:)
Abigail Hartman
Dec 28, 2012 Abigail Hartman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Tommy and Tuppence have long been my favorite Christie detectives for their sheer amount of personality and chemistry, but I hadn't read this first novel before. I heartily enjoyed it, even though it is much more over-the-top than the majority of her mysteries; the petty villains are as shifty as those in a Nancy Drew story, and there was one part where I wondered if Ned wouldn't be showing up to rescue a character. I think, however, that this was in keeping with Tommy and Tuppence being true am ...more
Kelsey
Feb 05, 2016 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this story most of the day at work. This is one of my favorite Agatha Christie stories!
The Year of Agatha
Tommy and Tuppence are pure delight! This is a fun introduction to this witty pair full of adventure and general fun.
Kavita
Jun 25, 2016 Kavita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Tommy & Tuppence book, and the characters take over the book in a way Hercules Poirot and Jane Marple are never able to do. The couple is broke, bored, and desperately in need of jobs. They decide to join hands to seek adventure. Of course, the pay needs to be good. A chance encounter leads to the prospect of a job for Tuppence, but when she says the words 'Jane Finn', all hell breaks loose. Curious, the two sleuths embark on a hair-raising adventure, full of kidnappings, m ...more
Arwen56
Un po’ sullo stile di P.G. Wodehouse. Molto “inglese” e alquanto improbabile. Non avevo mai letto nulla prima di questa coppia di investigatori creata dalla Christie, Tommy e Tuppence. Non mi è piaciuto granché, anzi, per dirla schietta, mi sono alquanto annoiata. Sembra un romanzo per bambini adattato affinché vada bene anche per degli adulti. Ben lontano dagli standard della Christie.
Sharadha Jayaraman
This was my first Christie read and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I get a hunch that this isn't her best work and look forward to reading some of her better novels in future, but this one, nonetheless, has been a quick and warm induction into her legacy.

The characters of Thomas 'Tommy' Beresford and Prudence 'Tuppence' Cowley as undercover agents for the British Government tackling a deadly coup didn't hook me as much as the main story did. For starters, I found Tuppence to be ultra dramatic and con
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Lord Peter (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)
  • Why Shoot a Butler?
  • Photo Finish (Roderick Alleyn, #31)
  • The Circular Staircase
  • Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery #2)
  • The Scoop and Behind the Screen
  • Miss Silver Deals With Death (Miss Silver, #6)
123715
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
...more
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence (5 books)
  • Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence, #2)
  • N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence, #3)
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence, #4)
  • Postern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence, #5)

Share This Book



“Never tell all you know—not even to the person you know best.” 346 likes
“To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure.

[author's dedication]”
84 likes
More quotes…