Fiction Agatha Christie The Secret Adversary

ISBN 13: 9780007265152

The Secret Adversary

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9780007265152: The Secret Adversary

The Secret Adversary, a detective novel by Agatha Christie, is her second published novel. The book introduces the characters of Tommy and Tuppence who feature in three other Christie novels.

A man aboard the sinking RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915 quietly gives important papers to a young American woman, as she is more likely to survive.

In 1919 London, demobilised soldier Tommy Beresford meets war volunteer Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley, both out of work and money. They form the "The Young Adventurers, Ltd", planning to hire themselves out with "[n]o unreasonable offer refused." They are overheard by a Mr Whittington who follows Tuppence to offer her a position. He is shocked when she gives her name as "Jane Finn". Whittington sends her away with some money, then disappears without a trace. They advertise for information regarding Jane Finn.

The advertisement yields two immediate replies. They first meet with Mr Carter, whom Tommy recognises as a leader in British intelligence from his war service. Mr Carter tells the story of Jane Finn, an American heading for Paris on the RMS Lusitania when it sank in 1915. She received a secret treaty to deliver to the American embassy in London. She survived, but the government has found neither Jane Finn nor the draft treaty since. Publication of the treaty now would compromise the British government. Tommy and Tuppence agree to work for Carter. He warns them this is a dangerous mission, because of the elusive and merciless figure known as Mr Brown. Next they meet with Julius Hersheimmer, an American man who is the first cousin of Jane Finn and a multimillionaire, staying at the Ritz Hotel. He is intent on finding her. He has already contacted Scotland Yard; an Inspector named Brown took his only photo of Jane, before a real inspector contacted him. Tommy and Tuppence join forces with Julius.

Upon publication of the first book edition it was reviewed by The Times Literary Supplement, which described it as "a whirl of thrilling adventures". It stated that the characters of Tommy and Tuppence were "refreshingly original" and praised the fact that the "identity of the arch-criminal, the elusive "Mr Brown", is cleverly concealed to the very end".

The critic for The New York Times Book Review was also impressed: "It is safe to assert that unless the reader peers into the last chapter or so of the tale, he will not know who this secret adversary is until the author chooses to reveal him."

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From the Back Cover:

Now the Major TV Series Partners in Crime

From the brilliant pen of Agatha Christie comes the first novel in her Tommy and Tuppence mystery series featuring the beloved sleuthing duo.

Tommy and Tuppence are young, in love . . . and flat broke. Restless for excitement, they decide to embark on a daring business scheme:  Young Adventurers Ltd.—“willing to do anything, go anywhere.” But they get more than they bargained for when their first assignment for the sinister Mr. Whittington draws them into a diabolical conspiracy.

It isn’t long before they find themselves plunged into more danger than they ever could have imagined—a danger that could put an abrupt end to their business . . . and their lives.

“Agatha Christie proves that if you really are good enough, you can break all the ‘rules’ and still come up with a winner.” —Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author of the Thomas Pitt and William Monk series of Victorian mysteries

About the Author:

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre. Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha. During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison. On Christmas Eve 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Christie discovered her husband was having an affair. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During this marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.

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