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N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000

Book 3 of 5 in the Tommy and Tuppence Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Tommy and Tuppence (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451201132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451201133
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. James Warwick delivers a virtuoso performance in this rendition of Agatha Christie's spy thriller. As WWII spreads across Europe, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, former British Intelligence agents and a married couple, are enlisted to uncover Nazi spies at Sans Souci, a hotel in Leahampton. Taking on assumed identities, Tommy and Tuppence arrive at Sans Souci, where they must search for the German agents—known only as N and M—navigate a hotel full of suspicious guests, preserve their secret identities, and, above all else, defend national security. Warwick's portrayals of Tommy and Tuppence are spot-on, as is his evocation of life in a small English hotel in 1940s England. As the story unfolds and each new character—male, female, English, German, adult and child alike—is introduced, Warwick outdoes himself, producing one unique voice after another in an energetic and fully committed performance. A must for Christie fans and devotees of spy stories and cozy mysteries. A Signet paperback. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Middle-aged Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, too old to fight and too young to knit, are dismayed to find out that the British government of World War II has little interest in their detecting and spy-catching abilities. Then, almost incidentally, they are asked to spot a traitor, believed to be living at a rural guesthouse. But the place is full of harmless eccentrics: elderly ladies, retired military men, a hypochondriac and his colorless wife, a young mother, and a German refugee. The Beresfords invent personalities and elaborate traps, identify the imposter, and prevent an invasion. The strengths of this Christie "cozy" are the exuberant charm, intelligence, and enthusiasms of the central characters. Middle-aged they may be, but inside Tommy and Tuppence are still the same young adventurers who chased criminals and spies in post-Great War London. James Warwick does a highly competent, nicely unobtrusive job of reading this title, which is likely to be popular with fans of golden age mysteries. Recommended for moderate to large public libraries. I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

They love each other and their children deeply.
Randee Baty
The book kept me guessing all the way until the very end.
It is a pleassure to read an Agatha Christie's book.
francisco jose ramirez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Normally Agatha Christie chooses to focus on the mysteries and not really concentrate on political and social events of that period; consequently her characters sometimes seem to be living in a vaccuum, removed from all that is happening around them. What makes "N or M?" unusual is that Christie chose to focus on WWII and what was happening in England at that time. Tommy and Tuppence who are living quietly in London suddenly find their routine interrupted when Tommy is called away on a secret assignment to try and find Hitler's most dangerous agent who has infiltrated England in advance of a planned attack by the Nazis. Of course, Tuppence who refuses to be left out of anything, follows him and actively helps him while posing as a garrulous widow. The book is more powerful than most because of the very real sense of menace that Christie creates and the feeling of evil lurking in the air. Wingding suspense and a knock-out ending - the only flaw was the focus on romance. Normally, it is nice to have a romantic attachment develop in Christie's books as they provide a nice relief to the mystery, but in this case I thought she should have concentrated only on the mystery; romance is almost superfluous in such a setting. It's interesting to think that while Tommy and Tuppence never actually existed, there may have been characters like them - ordinary people who possessed above-average intelligence who were picked to lead dangerous spy missions and who succeeded precisely because they were so ordinary and therefore not what the enemy was expecting.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When one thinks of Agatha Christie, one usually thinks of novels in which a sharp-minded detective--such as Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple--unravels a tightly plotted puzzle from the comfortable safety of an arm chair. But Christie sometimes defies this concept of her work with a spy-thriller, and N OR M?, set during the early days of World War II, is among her best efforts in that direction.
The novel re-introduces husband and wife Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, characters Christie originally created for the much earlier spy-thriller THE SECRET ADVERSARY--and they are among her most immediately likable protagonists: quick witted, snappy, and unwilling to sit in an armchair when they can be up and doing things. Although they have been long out of the espionage game, when rumors indicate that one of Hitler's most trusted agents has arrived in England. they are sent to a small coastal boarding house in an effort to unmask the spy who might be hiding among the apparently innocent residents.
Readers will enjoy becoming reacquainted with Tommy and Tuppence, who Christie presents with considerable charm--and unlike the other novels in which they appear N OR M? is as much mystery as pure adventure: the book contains one of Christie's trademark twists at the conclusion. Although somewhat mild by the standards of her more famous novels, Christie endows the tale with a subtle sense of menace that serves it well; fans will enjoy the book, and newcomers will have a good time too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By green twistie eater on August 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i have been borrowing a couple of her books from the library after a long hiatus of 5-6 years. n or m is my first introduction to tommy and tuppence, and i must say they are a light-hearted, action-oriented departure from christie's other investigators, who give the impression of spending a lot of time in situ, whether at the murder scenes or comtemplating the case. christie veers from teh pack in her stubborn regard for the facts and teh circumstances; i have never done any professional spying, but i imagine if i did that i could take a few hints from her detailed analysis of how her characters think and act. so many detectives in detective novels strike you as so ordinary - some are not even very smart - but in this book you see the true complexity of wartime counter-espionage come to life, all the more frightening because it lurks beneath a veneer of everyday monotony. i love how she injects obscure words now and then...reminds you of a time when people didn't just use er..awesome as an umbrella expression for pleasure!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on April 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
During World War II, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford follow an obscure clue to a small English seaside town where a Nazi mastermind is recruiting Englishmen to help their cause. But who at the hotel is the mastermind? When a young child is kidnapped, Tommy and Tuppence believe they're on the right track, but are they? This riveting thriller is Christie at her best. It's a noteworthy for the political slant she includes, because that's not terribly common for her books. It constantly amazes me the amount of pertinent details Christie includes for the readers. Some are red herrings, and some are decisive. Agatha Christie was certainly the best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tuppence (about the British Secret Service): "I don't think the Intelligence is anything like what it was in our day."

Tommy (gravely): "It will attain its former brilliance now we're back in it."

As much as I appreciate M. Hercule Poirot's little grey cells and Miss Marple's insight into human nature, my preferred Agatha Christie sleuths are the fun-loving and very engaging Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. Christie, in 5 novels, chronicles their exploits, which, while often containing elements of real peril and intrigue, managed to convey an air of lightheartedness and real fun. And this stems directly from the personalities of Tuppence and Tommy (but mostly Tuppence). Near two decades of married life find them still best pals, still devoted to each other. No change in personalities, either, as Tuppence remains intuitive, quirky, and impetuous while Tommy is solid, practical, and plodding - "plodding" meaning that he takes his time figuring things out. But he gets there, to the ruin of various so-called clever criminals. Meanwhile, Tuppence's ear for the preposterous surfaces again with the fashioning of her alias. Gotta admit, Mrs. Blenkensop is a pretty silly moniker. Anyway, N OR M? finds the duo back at catching enemy spies.

A bit on the plot of N OR M?: Tuppence and Tommy's glorious amateur detecting days are years and years in the past. As we catch up to the Beresford couple, we now find them in their mid-40s and once again inhabiting a war-torn London. The still adventurous couple volunteer but are outraged to find their services spurned by the war effort. Discouraged and feeling useless, they suddenly receive a visit from British Intelligence and are offered a secret mission. Or, rather, Tommy is offered a mission. Tuppence pretty much elbows her way in.
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More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.