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143 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
The Secret Adversary introduces Agatha Christie's characters of Tommy and Tuppence, an out of work young man and woman who decide to become "adventurers" out of a lack of anything better to do. They quite accidentally get sucked into an international mystery that reaches to the highest levels of British government.

This story takes place shortly after WWI, and...
Published on March 26, 2010 by John Brooks

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be aware--this Agatha Christie features detectives Tommy and Tuppence
This novel was a re-write of an Agatha Christie novel featuring detectives Tommy and Tuppence. It wasn't plausible that these two young people could more quickly outsmart seasoned detectives in solving a complex multi-murder situation. I'm never disappointed in an Agatha Christie novel, but I was with this one. Good thing it was free. Give me a Hercules Pierot-solved...
Published on January 8, 2013 by So Petite


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143 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, March 26, 2010
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This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
The Secret Adversary introduces Agatha Christie's characters of Tommy and Tuppence, an out of work young man and woman who decide to become "adventurers" out of a lack of anything better to do. They quite accidentally get sucked into an international mystery that reaches to the highest levels of British government.

This story takes place shortly after WWI, and there are a few obscure terms -- even to my British coworker -- but they don't hinder the enjoyment of the story. It is interesting to see attitudes and philosophies of early 20th English perspective.

It's Agatha Christie, one of the best-selling authors of the 20th century, so you can expect good work. The characters are well-written, the story is quite gripping, and the ending is satisfying (if a tad predictable). This made me want to read more Christie and more Tommy & Tuppence.

A little hint if you want it: Pay attention to the telegrams.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Serendipitous Read, April 14, 2010
By 
Motley Wisdom (Southern California USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
I have not been a big fan of the Tommy and Tuppence episodes on PBS' Agatha Christie series; however, this is a surprisingly well-written thriller even for Agatha Christie. The plot is convoluted, in a nice way, and the dialogue believable. I missed the mark completely in identifying the villain. Tommy and Tuppence are a nice break from Miss Marple and M. Poirot, and I recommend the book for anyone who enjoys Agatha Christie's style.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crime before technology, May 7, 2010
By 
J (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
I've recently become addicted to crime shows and books. In the age of "24" and CSI and all these hyper-tech worlds, there's a novelty in going back to the 1920s when people left telegrams and couldn't track the bad guy on satellite-powered traffic cameras.

This version for Kindle doesn't have an active table of contents. However, I just make a bookmark at the beginning of each chapter, so I don't see what the big deal is. Thanks whoever made it available to us for free!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, less mystery, December 1, 1999
I am a devoted fan of Agatha Christie and usually rate all her books "5-stars". In this case however, I would give it "4-stars" because while the characters of Tommy and Tuppence are really well drawn and it's great fun to read about them, the book is more shakily plotted than many of Dame Agatha's other books. I spotted the master criminal almost immediately and normally never do that. Also the basic plot line was thin at best and never really hung together in any coherent way. I got the feeling that Christie enjoyed creating and writing about Tommy and Tuppence so much that the mystery became almost secondary in this case. But the characters are so entertaining to read about that it's impossible to not enjoy the book! If ypu enjoy reading about post-WW1 England and the struggles of young people who find themselves suddenly at a loss to get by, all done in a most light-hearted, fun manner, then you need look no further!
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tommy and Tuppence---Young Adventurers in Their First Novel, April 8, 2001
By 
Antoinette Klein (Hoover, Alabama USA) - See all my reviews
In her second novel, Agatha Christie introduced Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley and Tommy Beresford, old friends who are both newly discharged from the service at the end of World War I. By chance, they meet in London one day and to fight their boredom launch a detective firm together. Their first case involves tracing a young girl, Jane Finn, who disappeared during the war with a folder of important government papers. This is also Mrs. Christie's first of many novels to use the "master criminal" plot, a device she will use many more times in her writing career. The suspense is thrilling as is the enthusiasm of Tommy and Tuppence, two characters who will return in "Partners in Crime," "N or M?" "By The Pricking of My Thumbs," and "Postern of Fate." But it is in this first novel that the two are most endearing, especially when Tommy asks Tuppence to become his wife.
Adding to the mystery are Mr. Whittington, who by attempting to hire Tuppence to impersonate Jane sets the couple off on their adventure; Mr. Carter, a mysterious government official; Julius Hersheimmer, Jane's American cousin; and Albert, a young boy who will remain with Tommy and Tuppence and become their life-long friend.
In the end, the British government is saved, Tommy and Tuppence realize they are in love, and Young Adventurers, Ltd. is a thriving business. A most satifying read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be aware--this Agatha Christie features detectives Tommy and Tuppence, January 8, 2013
By 
So Petite (The Austin, TX area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
This novel was a re-write of an Agatha Christie novel featuring detectives Tommy and Tuppence. It wasn't plausible that these two young people could more quickly outsmart seasoned detectives in solving a complex multi-murder situation. I'm never disappointed in an Agatha Christie novel, but I was with this one. Good thing it was free. Give me a Hercules Pierot-solved Agatha Christie mystery any day over a Tommy/Tuppence-solved one.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Debut of Tommy & Tuppence, June 24, 2010
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This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
It was a real treat to come across this Kindle edition of the first Tommy & Tuppence adventure. They're so young in this story -- "Their united ages certainly would not have totaled forty-five." But their experiences in World War I had made them more mature than average twenty-two year olds.

I've read a lot of Agatha Christie's works, most of it back when I was about twelve or thirteen. For a summer when Nancy Drew suddenly seemed too childish, but I wasn't ready for adult books yet, Agatha Christie came to the rescue. At a rate of nearly a book a day, I went through all the Agatha Christie the public library and used bookstores had to offer. I liked the Miss Marple stories, maybe because Marple stayed in the background for the most part. Hercule Poirot seemed silly and cartoonish to me even then. I loved Tommy and Tuppence, but there weren't many stories that featured them.

The Secret Adversary is a spy story rather than a murder mystery. It's not bad, twisting back and forth, but I particularly enjoyed the glimpse at the young Tommy and Tuppence, before they were a couple, and for the authentic descriptions of post World War I London. I thought I knew Central London fairly well, but I was stumped when Tuppence left the Dover Street Tube Station and walked toward Piccadilly. I found out that used to be the name of what is now the Green Park Station.

One thing that stands out is how independent Tuppence is. She seems to have little trouble finding work (even as Tommy is having a hard time finding a job even a year after the War) and even turns down a proposal from a rich American, much to her own surprise.

Recommended!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Secret Adversary, March 9, 2001
A Kid's Review
A mystery thriller and full of intrigue...Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley go through such adventures as being kidnapped, false messages, An anonymous fugitive, murder,international terrorism and all because of a long lost girl carrying a vital draft treaty to the United States after World War One. First, Tommy follows a strange man and ends up being kidnapped! Tuppence, thinking Tommy was dead was asked to work as a house maid for a suspicious woman. After struggles, Tommy escapes just in time to find Tuppences' boss dead! Murdered! They eventually find the girl (working as a house maid for Tuppence's boss too) and the papers only to find that the person that they had confided in the most was Mr. Brown! The Criminal Mastermind behing international affairs! The book never lets you down, you may never be able to put the book down! I gave it 4 stars. So I highly recommend this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Lead Characters Bogged Down in Weak Book, March 14, 2005
By 
Ricky Hunter (New York City, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid genre mystery, but step lightly., July 18, 2011
This review is from: Secret Adversary (Kindle Edition)
Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary (Dodd, Mead, 1922)

The good thing about buying a Kobo: it came pre-loaded with one hundred classic (read: out-of-copyright) books, most of which were either obscure titles by authors I knew, stuff I'd outright never heard of, or stuff "I mean to get around reading sometime in the future". The bad part about buying a Kobo: they were all in some weird format that didn't make sense to anything but Kobo. So after a long night of erasing the weird proprietary format, pulling them all off Project Gutenberg, and reloading them, I was ready to get started. I just didn't know where to go. My clumsiness decided for me; I was reading something else, I no longer remember quite what, and I clicked on <em>The Secret Adversary</em> instead. So from then until I finished the books in front of it, it sat there taunting me on the "I'm currently reading" screen saying "1% finished." Which it was going to keep doing short of my deleting it--again--and reloading it--again. At which point I decided it would be the first classic I tackled. (I'm quite glad I didn't accidentally click on <em>the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire</em>, which I'm saving for when I have a terminal illness and need to bargain with Death.)

The first of Christie's five books to feature amateur sleuths Tommy (Beresford) and Tuppence (Crowley), <em>The Secret Adversary</em> begins with our hero and heroine, without a dime to their name, deciding on a lark to become adventurers. They are overheard, by coincidence, by someone in need of one. Which unleashes quite a powerful raft of coincidences, but I'm getting ahead of myself. In any case, they're hired to find a missing girl and the documents she was carrying, which are very secret and could do irreparable harm to the government were they to get out. (Of course, the bad guys are also looking for them.) The search involves a good deal of chasing, being chased, secret meetings with highly-placed government contacts, infiltrating communist cells, a stereotypical Texan with unlimited funds (the missing girl's cousin), and, of course, all kinds of romance.

Give Ms. Christie one thing--once the pedal hits the floor in this book, which is does roundabout Chapter Three, it doesn't let up until the very end. The pace is breakneck in the extreme, the excitement is always palpable, and the identity of "Mr. Brown", the head of the conspiracy arrayed against our young folks, will keep you guessing until the (overly-dramatic, to be sure) Big Reveal. As a straight-up genre mystery, it's got all the hallmarks, and will keep you turning the pages.

On the other hand, it's an early novel, the second she ever published. It relies on the raft of coincidences I mentioned before to advance major plot points, the minor characters are stereotypes of the highest order, and one can detect a touch of paranoid ethnocentrism in a number of Christie's depictions of the members of the Bolshevik Conspiracy(TM) arrayed against Tommy and Tuppence ("He was fair, with a weak, unpleasant face, and Tommy put him down as being either a Russian or a Pole", for example). Of course, whether Christie was caught up in the politics of the day or lampooning them is for the reader to decide, but I didn't really see anything to indicate the latter myself.

Genre fiction that doesn't aspire to be anything else, and that's not a bad thing, but ninety years later some of it may make you a bit uncomfortable; recommended, but proceed with caution. ** ˝
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The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence Mysteries)
The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence Mysteries) by Agatha Christie (Paperback - May 1, 2009)
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