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They Came to Baghdad by [Christie, Agatha]
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They Came to Baghdad Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'A very human heroine, whose powers of invention, like those of her creator, never fail her' Times Literary Supplement 'All in all, the most satisfactory novel in some years from one of the most satisfying of novelists.' New York Times

Review

"The action is rapid...the characters are astonishingly real."--New Yorker

"Excellent...delightful...and a very human heroine, whose powers of invention, like those of her creator, never fail her."--Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

  • File Size: 1022 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062073788
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (September 16, 2003)
  • Publication Date: September 16, 2003
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC144Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"They Came to Baghdad" is not a Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mystery. It is really more of a thriller. Victoria Jones, an indifferent London typist loses her job in a typing pool for impersonating her boss's wife and meets a charming young man in a park. Only, he is about to leave for Baghdad. Parting is such sweet sorrow! Not so, thinks Victoria. Undeterred by this obstacle to romance, the resourceful Londoner secures a job paying her passage out East. There she becomes embroiled in international espionage, is forced to flee people who are out to kill her, and finds herself working on an archeological dig. Christie writes in a mature and witty style. The descriptions of post WWII Baghdad and Basrah are fascinating, as are the fully-fleshed (for Christie) cast of characters. Does Victoria ultimately find love? Yes, but not where she expects it. A thoroughly absorbing read for any Christie fan. For another exotic A.C., check out Murder On the Orient Express (The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this 1951 novel -- which is perhaps more relevant today than in its own time -- Christie shows her remarkable talent for spinning a web of characters that, ultimately, entangles and engulfs the reader like none other of her 80 odd titles. This book offers a relatively flawless plot and an intriguing set of characters that are really just side dishes to the staggering atmosphere the reader takes from this book's pages. By the story's end you smell, see, feel, and hear every molecule that the characters experience -- and it's more than you might wish! The story is deep and complicated, and the characters are numerous, but the outcome is really nothing short of intoxicating. This is a dark horse that is very much a must-read for its eerily prophetic 1950s look into the Middle-East, which seems rather more potent in the early twenty-first century given what our world has faced as recent. The vast aroma of the Middle East never seemed so invigorating as when you are on the loose with one of the many elite members of the slow-to-start but increasingly fast-paced plot. Breathtaking description, enough to guide the reader but little enough to let you imagine on your own, sets you down running into a maze of panic and frenzy. I believe this is Christie at her best! Which is not something one should say lightly.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Christie appears to be harkening back to her earlier "young girl as adventuress" theme in this novel which centers around Victoria Jones, a protagonist who specializes in mimicry and lies. The combination gets her in endless trouble.
The story begins when she meets an attractive young man named Edward in FitzJames Gardens one afternoon. They have an immediate bonding, but Edward is scheduled to leave very soon for Baghdad in connection with his job with a cultural arts group called The Olive Branch. Not one to be easily discouraged, Victoria sets about finding a position that will allow her to follow Edward to Baghdad. Her search for him in this colorful city involves her with many suspicious characters, a badly wounded man who dies in her hotel room, and a great look at an archaeological dig, a particular specialty of Mrs. Christie's.
It is all wildly incredible, definitely improbable, but still an entertaining work with many likeable and well-drawn characters.
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Format: Paperback
You mention Agatha Christie and you may say "period" and "dated" where I may say entertaining and inventive. THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD strays a bit outside Christie's patented cerebral whodunits in that it's an espionage thriller, more along the lines of THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT and THE SECRET ADVERSARY. Here, we meet another of Dame Agatha's clever young heroines harboring a romantic yen for adventure.

The impending Middle East summit among the leaders of the world's true super powers has the British secret service in a frenzy. A whisper floats regarding a bid for world domination by a sinister organization and an intent to derail the summit talks. The key is British agent Henry Carmichael who is coming to Baghdad with insurmountable proof of this devilish plot. Unknown assassins await him at every turn. Bad cess to him, then, for not being the protagonist of the book.

That role falls to the unwitting Victoria Jones, an inexpert typist - but with a facility for telling elaborate lies - who'd rather while away the work hours doing impressions of the boss's wife. Sacked for such, Victoria sits near penniless in the park and chances upon a good-looking young stranger, with the ensuing discourse leaving Victoria charmed and in love. When the handsome gent remarks that he's soon off to Baghdad, Victoria determines to follow, never mind the lack of funds or her dim prospects or dearth of influential contacts. Being kind-hearted, during my initial impression of Victoria Jones, I elected to regard her as "indefatigable," although "staggeringly naive" may also be applicable. What's undeniable is that Christie writes her heroine as very likable.
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