What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

They Came to Baghdad
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Agatha Christie mystery, kidnapping, hair dye. [s]

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Alysia (alysia01) | 39 comments I went through a phase in the early 1990s in which I read practically all the Agatha Christie novels, so at least the author has been narrowed down. But she wrote over 80 books! It's possible some of the stories blurred into each other. Here is what I remember:

- The novel was NOT a Miss Marple or a Hercule Poirot or even a Tommy and Tuppence mystery. It was a "stand alone" type book.

- It featured a woman with brown hair and I think she was looking for or related to a missing archeologist. I think she was on a dig in a desert or an area with a lot of sand. (Again, this detail could be from another book). I don't remember the time period this took place in.

- She has a quasi-romance with one of the suspects.

- At one point she gets knocked on the head and blacks out. When she comes to, she escapes and runs away to freedom. She finds out that while she was unconscious, her hair had been dyed blonde.

- Approximately two pages (okay, maybe it's five pages) before the end of the book, she makes an innocuous remark to her pseudo-boyfriend as he's got his arm around her protectively. And he stiffens. Just then, she realizes his "tell" and that he was the villain all along!

Does anyone out there know which book this was? I would be grateful for your help! Thanks!


Nachelle | 146 comments Sounds like "They Came to Baghdad" to me. It's been a little bit since I read it, but your details sound similar.


message 3: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34375 comments Mod
Alysia, that's a good start. Please add plot details to the topic header (title). We have thousands of book requests.

Click the small "edit" link after the header. This only works on the full Desktop website - not the Mobile website or app. (On the Mobile website, there's a "Desktop version" link at the bottom of the page.)


message 4: by Alysia (last edited May 24, 2020 04:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alysia (alysia01) | 39 comments Thanks, Kris, I edited the topic header. And thanks, Nachelle, I spent the better part of the day reading "They Came to Baghdad," and this was the book!

Another gem I recognized (but attributed to a different book) was a part near the beginning in which a woman (not the main character, but a secondary one) is travelling, but she knows that she's being tailed. She returns to her hotel room and opens up her luggage. She notices that everything appears in order except that a single strand of nearly invisible blonde hair is missing. Additionally, a leather briefcase in her suitcase appears untouched, but the woman sprinkles it with powder and notes that there are no fingerprints on it. However, before she left her room earlier in the day, she made sure to leave her fingerprints all over the briefcase. If it had not been tampered with, only her fingerprints should have remained instead of being wiped clean.

I mis-remembered some of the initial details. The main character wasn't knocked on the head; she was chloroformed before being kidnapped. And Agatha Christie didn't leave off the villain's identity till the second-to-last page; she revealed his identity with 33 pages left till the end of the book.

There were a couple of minor plot holes and the author uses a lot of coincidence. It was more of an adventure/spy novel as opposed to a whodunit. But I still enjoyed re-reading it after almost 30 years. Thanks again for your help!


Nachelle | 146 comments You're welcome!


message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16891 comments They Came to Baghdad for the link.


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