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N or M?

(Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries #3)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  18,694 ratings  ·  1,139 reviews
The final words of the dying man...the code names of Hitler's most dangerous agents...the mysterious clue that sends Tommy and Tuppence to a seaside resort on a mission of wartime intelligence. But not as husband and wife. As strangers, meeting by chance, setting an elaborate trap for an elusive killer. ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2001 by HarperCollins (first published November 1941)
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Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kay Davies I don't know either. I did wonder myself
I don't know either. I did wonder myself
Janell Hopefully they'll be able to do so after the war / after it gets declassified.…moreHopefully they'll be able to do so after the war / after it gets declassified.(less)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
N or M? (Tommy & Tuppence #3), Agatha Christie

N or M? is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in 1941.

After the outbreak of the Second World War and many years after they worked for British intelligence, middle aged Tommy and Tuppence Beresford feel useless and sidelined.

Then Tommy is approached by a secret agent named Grant to go undercover once more. Grant tries to find German spies and fifth columnists but is hampered by traitors within British intelligence who fol
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christie
Agatha Christie created the characters Tommy and Tuppence,in an early book she wrote,The Secret Adversary.That was during World War I and her sleuths were then a young couple.

The action of N or M takes place during World War II. Tommy and Tuppence are now a middle aged couple and find themselves sidelined.

But despite their advancing years,when Tommy is offered an opportunity to go undercover to trace German spies,he doesn't hesitate.Not to be left behind,Tuppence follows him anyway.

They'd end up
Pranta Ghosh Dastider
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be honest, this book didn't feel so good at the very beginning. But, as the things went ahead, I kept on guessing. Even with obvious fact my belief dangled, and I couldn't be sure of the decisions I made about the antagonist. And by the end I truly loved this story. Its everything you want from a Christie story. There is misdirection, suspense and proper explanation of the facts.

Normally I try to be critical about mystery novels, but I have absolutely no complain about this one. So, a full ra
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-owned, audio
I had a somewhat rocky start with T&T in THE SECRET ADVERSARY, but I was delighted to get on much better with them in this book. This book walks an interesting line between being a Christie thriller with definite Christie whodunnit vibes, and that balance really worked for me. I also think the fact that this is pretty short for a novel worked in its favor-- it didn't get bogged down in too much spy nonsense/hand-waveium, which I think was smart. Overall, a fascinating look into Christie's mindse ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
As light reading between more demanding literary works, Agatha Christie never fails. Although Tommy and Tuppence were always my least favourite sleuths of Agatha Christie’s, the detective formula largely follows the same formulas as in the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple stories.

This one has a bit of Fawlty Towers about it. It’s on the eve of World War II, and T & T go sleuthing in a sleepy seaside boarding house. There they meet the usual suspects: a retired major, a strange foreign woman, a dim
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A highly enjoyable spy thriller set during the outbreak of World War Two, the now middle-aged Tommy and Tuppence are soon thrust into action.

I much prefer Christie’s puzzle box mysteries, but there’s something about the Beresford’s that instantly appeal.
I like how they have aged to reflect the 1940’s setting.
My favourite of Christie’s thrillers.
***2018 Summer of Spies***

A fast, fun expedition into espionage! I liked the fact that Christie allowed her main characters to age and change a bit. As is true for most of us, they retained their basic characteristics which turned them into spy hunters to begin with, but they are dealing with details that afflict us all as we age. Younger folk (including the Beresford children) no longer see our relevance and no one wants the skills that we have on offer—just ask anyone who is over 40 and un
Vikas Singh
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
This novel sees the detective duo of Tommy and Tuppence in the midst of World War-2. N and M are the initials given to two of Hitler's agents whom Tommy and Tuppence hunt for. A character in the novel Major Bletchley is a former Indian army officer who claims to know the secrets of Britain's wartime efforts. During World War-2, the code breakers at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire under Dilly Knox had broken German Enigma machine cyphers giving British military to Germany’s secret plans. Knox w ...more
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of mystery and intrigue!
Shelves: mystery-intrigue
Charming and engrossing novel, with many twists and turns.
Andrea Cox
This fantastic mystery kept me guessing till the very end. I never did figure out one of the suspects before the big reveal. The narrator, James Warwick, did a marvelous job, doing various voices and accents -- including a toddler's murmurings and another character's stammering -- which, I suppose, shouldn't come as a surprise since he's a television and movie actor (often working on Agatha Christie stories, by the way). The leads, Tommy and Tuppence, were funny, clever, and very entertaining. I ...more
Christine PNW
That plot summary doesn't even bear a passing resemblance to this book. Whoever wrote it should be fired. Also, the cover of my edition is insane - I get the shoelace, the hammer and the note wound around the rock, but the vaguely racist imagine of a Native American in full headdress holding a shot gun? I can literally remember NO references to either of those.

The book itself wasn't Christie's worst, but it was far from her best. I mean, it wasn't a Passenger to Frankfurt/The Big Four level di
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it

Agatha Christie is of course famous for her murder mysteries, but she wrote more widely than that, dipping her toes in spy stories, such as the excellent The Man in the Brown Suit.

N or M? features Tommy and Tuppence back on the scene, trying to find some meaningful work during WWII despite their 'great advanced age’ (they are in their 40s - lol). Luckily enough, they are sent on a mission to uncover a spy in a seaside resort. The beginning, after Tuppence’s masterful action, is a little sl
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A typically light and fast paced Tommy and Tuppence romp, this time set in early 1940 with the Germans about to topple France, and Dunkirk looming. Not a great time for Britain (or Europe generally). Tommy and Tuppence are now middle-aged with 2 grown up children, but still want to do their bit for the war effort. They end up in a guest house on the south coast to try and unearth the identities of the mysterious (and ruthless) N and M. This is a story filled with intrigue, spying, and Nazi Fifth ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2020
3.5 stars

I actually caught on to one of the suspects relatively early! Woohoo! This was a fun introduction to the Tommy and Tuppence series, although this was more of a spy thriller instead of a whodunit mystery so I missed that there was no mysterious dead body that popped up.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite the meandering speculations, somewhat predictable suspect... T&T ''s signature style remains the biggest pull ...more
"The female of the species are deadlier than the male..."

4.5 stars

This was such a heartpounding, thrilling, World War 2, spy who-dun-it! I was constantly on the edge of my seat the whole time and read this in just over a day!
Probably not the best Tommy and Tuppence book to start with though, as I was, because they're imitating another personality and it's hard (at first) to determine which personality is actually theirs. But Tuppence is amazing. She's such a strong female heroine, and though To
Callum McLaughlin
Another excellent Christie read. First and foremost, this one reaffirmed my love for Tuppence; she really is a fantastic character. It's great that Christie has allowed us to see the progression of her and Tommy over time; the duo having grown from ambitious youngsters to middle-aged retirees with their own grown-up children. This in turn allowed for a great thread throughout this book about society being dismissive of people and their worth as they age.

The plot itself was as intricate and deftl
Heather W
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great Christie story following Tommy and Tuppence as they go on the hunt for a german spy. Its great fun to read and I cant wait to read more in this series. I love Tommy and Tuppence in their own ways (they are not as great as Poirot but who is?) and it a nice easy read. Helped to get me out of a reading slump so that is a bonus
A rather, but amusing novel about Tommy and Tupence during wartime. While trying to find the spies, They have lots of adventures. Enjoyable book, a real cozy mystery.
Hayley Tolan
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The author’s purpose in writing this book was to entertain readers. The author did this by writing a mystery. The author also provided information about the Fifth Column which was a group of German spies that had infiltrated all of Europe during WWII.
The theme of the story was that even middle-aged detectives can be as sharp as young detectives. The two protagonists had a hard time finding work during the war because they were considered too old to be of any use. However, they were brought in
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh, Tommy and Tuppence I do love you two! And reading about your WWII adventures was just as fun and exciting as reading about your adventures during the 1920s.
Such fun! Spies, espionage, and patriotism! I loved Tommy and Tuppence and their relationship. I can't wait to read more about them! ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I enjoyed middle-aged Tommy and Tuppence. I'm always really struck by how well-matched and very much a set they are. They're just so clearly each other's person. Also, them going undercover at a boarding house during the war was just fun. The secondary characters were entertaining. They are generally just entertaining. I also liked the discussions about how they had become more aware of risk as they got older, while also feeling like they had been passed by this war. I was a fan. ...more
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
Not that good. You can't top Hercule Poirot! ...more
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british-mystery
Really enjoyed this book by the prolific and entertaining Agatha Christie. This book N or M? is a fun ride even with it being set in 1940 England, WWII. The main characters are spies Tommy and Tuppence (husband and wife) sent to the coast to find and capture the male (N) and (M) female spies that were the leaders of the Fifth Column-German infiltrators-some sent years before the war, carefully placed to do the most damage when German invasion began. Many were politicians, police, military, intel ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The next installment in my quest to re-visit Dame Agatha's works: N or M? follows the adventures of Tommy and Tuppence during the war.

Full review posted at BookLikes:
Laurel Hicks
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Manchester, immigrants, and spies.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
As much as I love Tommy and Tuppence, the plot or mystery in this one was rather too easy to unravel. I figured out who the German Spy ensconced at the hotel was early on and was a bit disapointed it took Tommy and Tuppence so long to catch on. But it was still fun to go on another jaunt with T & T.
Where this book really shines for me is that it was published in 1940 and really gives the modern reader a little peak into the prejudices, thoughts and predictions about the war in its early days.
All of Tommy and Tuppence mysteries are above all the rest; this one was, perhaps, a little more tragic, but with a pleasing ending-and the only thing that I really didn't like, was how their children were so uninterested in their parent's Great War stories, and thought they were past doing anything! ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book which gives us Tommy and Tuppence in their 40's during WWII. Of course they want to help their country but it seems people of their age aren't needed. How they get involved with 5th columnist (spies working inside England) makes a quick, fun tale. It's unlikely the reader will figure out all of the twists and turns in this story, bu even when I remembered who did what and why I still thought the story held up well. Their kids are unnecessarily dismissive of our pair, b ...more
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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries (5 books)
  • The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)
  • Partners in Crime (Tommy & Tuppence, #2)
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence, #4)
  • Postern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence, #5)

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38 likes · 21 comments
“You know," said the young man with enthusiasm, "I think you're splendid, simply splendid."

"Cut out the compliments," said Tuppence. "I'm admiring myself a good deal, so there's no need for you to chime in.”
“—Tampoco creo, por mi parte, que esté yo dispuesto a hacer tal cosa.
Tuppence y yo no hemos llegado todavía a ese extremo. Los asuntos los
emprendemos y los acabamos juntos.
Al decir aquello tenía fija en la mente una frase pronunciada hacia el final
de la Primera Guerra Mundial: «Una aventura común».
Así había sido su vida con Tuppence y así sería siempre… «Una aventura
More quotes…