Zoe's Reviews > The Secret Adversary

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
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's review
Dec 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites

I am a big Agatha Christie fan, but I normally stick to the more well-known Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries. I am so glad I decided to branch out, because Tommy and Tuppence were a delight! This book was so much fun to read that I had trouble putting it down.

In the story (I promise not to include any spoilers!!) Tommy and Tuppence are old friends who bump into each other again. Having a spot of tea together and catching up, they share their money woes and decide--just for fun!--to embark on a joint venture, placing an ad in the paper for their services as Young Adventurers, "no unreasonable offer refused." It's just a bit of fun that leads to unintentional blackmail, undercover assignments, kidnapping, car chases, etc.

I have a bit of a weakness for stories where the characters are leading "normal" lives then suddenly and unsuspectingly stumble into some huge adventure.

I have to admit, though, the political aspects of the story were a little unclear to me and by halfway through I already suspected who the, er, main culprit was. Also, the Russian and American characters still seemed to use British accents and expressions as far as I could tell--but I guess that was just kind of funny. Anyway, these minor shortcomings didn't take away from my enjoyment from the book in the least!

However, I would definitely describe this as being more of a "popcorn" read. It was easy, funny, and purely entertaining. If you're looking for something serious and challenging, this probably isn't for you!

That's one of the reasons I liked it, though. When it comes to contemporary murder mysteries, it's hard to find something that's just a lighthearted read. This would have been a much different story if it was written today...filled with torture, brutal killings, more emphasis on the political aspects and an over-the-top romance. As it was, all of that was kept to a minimum, and the focus was on the characters and the plot itself. I also appreciated that the romance of the story was so low key (not that I have anything against love stories! It's just nice that it wasn't a big focus. It's a mystery novel, after all.)

Anyway, if you're looking for a lighthearted mystery with great characters that'll make you giggle now and then, this is it!

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