The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

I decided a while ago that I was going to read all of the Agatha Christie novels in order. I read and enjoyed the first one, but then for whatever reason didn’t get around to reading the second for a long time. Now that I’ve finally read it, I wish I’d done it sooner, because it was a really enjoyable read.

While you might associate Agatha Christie with murder mystery stories, and with characters like Poirot and Miss Marple, this one is much more of a spy thriller, and it stars the characters Tommy and Tuppence. Tommy and Tuppence are an absolutely delight – they’re two old friends who come together after the end of the First World War, both in need of new work. Together, they decide it would be fun to become detectives and share adventures together. Not only do I enjoy having a female detective in Tuppence (which feels progressive for the time), I loved that the pair of them are a sort of comedic duo – they joke around just like real friends, and they’re just adorable, really.

The story concerns a draft treaty, written up before the war finished. The details of the treaty are never really revealed, but it is said that if they were to be made public now that the conflict is over, it would almost certainly cause another war to break out – with Britain’s alleys now turned to enemies. The only known copy has gone missing, but there are suspicions of where it might be. As a comedic reflection of the politics of the time, at one point they say something like “Even if it doesn’t cause a war, it’d almost certainly main that we get a Labour government in the next election” and in today’s world, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

The novel is fast-paced and filled with lots of cool characters and unexpected twists and turns. From the somewhat bumbling millionaire, Mr Hersheimmer through to the level-headed lawyer, Sir James, everyone stood out and I was often left wanting to read more as I got to the end of each chapter. It’s a light, cosy novel and one that I’m sure will keep you entertained throughout. It left me eager for more Agatha Christie, and more Tommy and Tuppence especially.

Rating: 9.2/10

Buy it here.

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