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The Secret Adversary
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Product Description

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. The women and children were being lined up awaiting their

turn. Some still clung desperately to husbands and fathers;

others clutched their children closely to their breasts. One girl

stood alone, slightly apart from the rest. She was quite young,

not more than eighteen. She did not seem afraid, and her grave,

steadfast eyes looked straight ahead...

Customer Reviews:

  • Poor format fot the Kindle
    This version for some reason does not properly fit the Kindle. There are far too many spaces where non should exist and sentences are seperated for several lines inbetween. You constantly have to advance to the next page as very few sentences fit on the screen.

    Try another version of this classic....more info
  • Christie Parodies the Spy Thriller
    Although I read a great number of Agatha Christie books as a child, I never came across any from her "Tommy & Tuppence" series on my mother's bookshelves. So I thought that it might be fun to try the first of them to see what Christie's "other" series was like. And this first in the T&T series is like is a strange mix of John Buchan and P.G. Wodehouse -- it's an espionage story, but often reads like a parody of one. The title's play on the Joseph Conrad novel hints at a certain tongue in cheekiness, as does the use of every possible spy adventure clich¨¦.

    The story opens with a prologue aboard the sinking Lusitania in 1915, as a mysterious man entrusts a secret diplomatic packet to an American teenage girl. We then leap forward to 1919, where we meet Tommy and Tuppence, a pair of lovely young adults who are somewhat adrift and broke following their wartime experiences. Running into each other in London, the childhood friends cook up a scheme to advertise themselves as "Young Adventurers" for hire. Thanks to a wildly improbable coincidence (a snatch of overheard conversation), they find themselves in the midst of a plot to destroy England.

    It seems that some secret mastermind has managed to unite all of England's enemies (Bolshevik Russians, defeated Germany, Irish Republicans, and the English working class) in common cause. All they need to do is provoke a general strike that will topple the government and unleash anarchy (exactly how or why this is the case is left murky) -- and the packet entrusted to the girl on the Lusitania is the key. Apparently it contains some kind of draft treaty whose contents are so explosive that public revelation would throw England into just the desired state of unrest (again, just how this old treaty would do that, or who the signatories are are left to the reader's imagination).

    In any event, Tommy and Tuppence take on these plotters on behalf of the British government (who presumably would have more qualified people for the job), and there's much tailing, eavesdropping, impersonation, and general thrills and chills as first Tommy, and then Tuppence are captured. Naturally, neither hero nor heroine are simply killed by their captors, as that would make too much sense. Amidst all this toing and froing, they come into contact with a cast of colorful characters including an energetic young American millionaire, a crafty lawyer, a sinister society lady, a spunky kid helper, and Inspector Japp from the Poirot series. Since the reader knows full well that the plot will be foiled, the real mystery is the identity of the unknown mastermind, Mr. Brown. Alas, careful readers will realize less than halfway through, that barring some kind of "locked room" shenanigans, the identity of Mr. Brown must be one of two people.

    So it's rather an odd book, perhaps best read as parody, but enjoyable as an old-fashioned ripping yarn with two engaging leads -- who naturally fall in love. Definitely left me curious to read further adventures of Tommy and Tuppence....more info
  • Great Lead Characters Bogged Down in Weak Book
    Tommy and Tuppence were sparkling creations by Agatha Christie (and their ability to transfer deliciously to the small screen is also a proven fact.) But sadly they were never given as strong mystery material as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot were and have, therefore, languished on the literary sidelines to a great extent. Their first appearance, in the Secret Adversary, is a good example of this problem. Christie is weakest when politics are involved and the story is hopelessly naive with the fate of the world being controlled by one man, Mr. Brown, who ultimately is rather easily bested by those two crazy kids of the flapper Twenties, Tommy and Tuppence. The author never, ever, succeeded in achieving anything remotely approaching a spy thriller. Still, this book will hold interest for anyone wanting an early glimpse of the crazy duo who are always a pleasure to spend some time with....more info
  • Tommy & Tuppence In Their 1st Adventure
    I've been an avid Agatha Christie fan for decades now, but had yet to read one of Ms. Christie's novels with the characters of Tommy & Tuppence until now that is....

    Tommy & Tuppence are a nice, refreshing change from Miss Marple & Hercule Poirot. They are young upstarts in this novel looking to earn a decent living in an era where the economy isn't great.... So, Tommy & Tuppence, whom have been life long friends, decide to embark on a new career as the young adventurers in search of new adventures.

    They end up doing under cover work, off the record, for the British Government, in search of some important documents lost in World War I. These documents if recovered by the enemy, could have dire consequences for the allies now that the war is over.

    The Secret Adversary is a nice, tightly written novel by Ms. Christie and this novel keeps you guessing until the very end which character is the bad guy. ...more info