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The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  25,564 Ratings  ·  1,813 Reviews
The Secret Adversary: A Tommy and Tuppence Mystery
Audiobook, 8 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1922)
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Mar 05, 2017 BrokenTune rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
IT was 2 p.m. on the afternoon of May 7, 1915. The Lusitania had been struck by two torpedoes in succession and was sinking rapidly, while the boats were being launched with all possible speed.

This is still one of the most intriguing Agatha Christie opening lines I have read (another can be found in Murder on the Orient Express, but I'll get to that in a different post).

The Secret Adversary is the first adventure of Miss Prudence Cowley and Lieutenant Thomas Beresford, a.k.a. Tommy and Tuppence
Simona Bartolotta
“Don't be offended because I think you're young. Youth is a failing only too easily outgrown.”

I am willing to bet anything that Tommy and Tuppence are the two cutest wannabe detectives in the panorama of spy fiction in its entirety.
Yes, spy fiction: I dove into this expecting a crime story, instead espionage was the key word here. There is no denying that I was a little disappointed and more than a little taken aback, but Christie can do no wrong, even when she does do wrong, so, of course, I
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
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
Sep 07, 2012 Bettie☯ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Brazilliant and AM-Hayes-Zing
Description: After WW1, childhood pals Tommy Beresford and "Tuppence" Prudence Cowley lack money and prospects and become adventurers for the British Government. Rich American Julius P. Hersheimmer, powerful Mr Whittington, and an evil mastermind's conspiracy all seek Jane Finn who was given papers vital to peace by an agent at the sinking of the Luisitania.

Oooo -stop the press, this is a 2015 TV series starring Jessica Raine and David Walliams: 'Is she like this at home?'

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
2.5 stars. I can tell this is an early work. It feels kind of all over the place, though the plot does move along pretty fast. The characterizations are kind of stereotypical (Julius!!) and I found it interesting how no one, including Tommy and Tuppence, who are pretty low on $ at the start of the book, is sympathetic to the concerns of the workers who are agitating (probably for better rights and conditions.) But there you go, no main character comes from the working class.
I did like how quick-
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
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
Bill Lynas
Although I've read a huge amount of Agatha Christie stories I've always avoided the four Tommy & Tuppence adventures as they never looked very appealing to me. I have to admit that this, their first adventure, was not as bad as I was expecting. Yes, I did get fed up with the amount of times that they referred to someone as "old bean" & it was a bit light & fluffy for my tastes.
On the other hand the plot zips along quite nicely & there's plenty going on. I really love The Saint s
Pradnya K.
Apr 22, 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
Marts  (Thinker)
Mar 24, 2011 Marts (Thinker) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
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.
I must admit that, after listening to this audiobook, I find that the voices inside my head now have British accents. Whatever am I to do?!

Haha! Sorry about that. It's just that I've always been able to hear the voice in my head saying whatever it is that I'm about to write and right now... that voice doesn't sound like my normal self one whit! I keep wanting to say things like "ol' chap" and such like that. But-- That is one thing that I absolutely love about books like this! (That's not weird,
Indrani Sen
Jun 15, 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)
Apr 06, 2016 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one and even suspected the right person to be Mr Brown.
Dec 13, 2016 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite Christie, enjoyable though.
Stephanie Anze
Feb 28, 2017 Stephanie Anze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 rounded to 4

"Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything. go anywhere. Pay must be good. No
unreasonable offer refused." Tommy and Tuppence are childhood friends that find each other after the war. Needing to find employment that suits them, they decide to go into the sleuthing business together. It does not take long for them to land a big case and put their detective skills to the test.

Recently I read an Agatha Christie novel and absolutely loved it. So it was only a matter of t

"To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure"

Agatha Christie seems to have indeed gone for an adventure with a good dose of mystery instead of her usual crime scene. We follow Tommy and Tuppence in their first endeavours, and especially how they end up falling into a complex web of political manipulations and secrets. All the events take place just after the end of WWII in a world of penury, which is where we fin
Jul 30, 2007 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
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!
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

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.

Jun 19, 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
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
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
Dec 12, 2011 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.

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
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.:)
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.
Jan 05, 2012 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, wobble, uno2017
Tommy and Tuppence were my favorite Christie characters when I was a teenager. I think now my favorite is Miss Marple. This feel like quite a style departure from "traditional" Christie and was quite a romp.
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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 about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence (6 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)
  • The Gentleman Dressed in Newspaper: A Short Story

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“Never tell all you know—not even to the person you know best.” 371 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]”
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