- Books, Literature, and Writing
Agatha Christie: N or M? Wartime mystery
A middle-aged couple as spycatchers
I adore this novel. The main characters are a couple who first made their appearance in Agatha Christie books in the early nineteen twenties.
In these early novels, they were young people just making their way in the world. They were just trying to rebuild their lives after their activities in the First World War when they set themselves up as 'adventurers'.
They came to the attention of the British Intelligence service for which they then worked as undercover agents and ultimately the 'pals' marry.
Now they are middle-aged
When the Second World War breaks out, the couple - Tommy and Tuppence - are frustrated. The war, they say, is for young people and as an older couple, their services aren't required. Tuppence bemoans the fact that the best use she can be is as a knitter of socks for soldiers.
Enter British Intelligence
It transpires that their former boss hasn't forgotten about them after all as he calls to see them with a job - searching out a dangerous German spy located in the south of England. Tuppence is excited at the thought of her and her husband being useful again ... until she realizes that the job is for Tommy only. She is supposed to stay at home and keep knitting whilst he goes off on his dangerous undercover mission. But they had reckoned without her.
Never underestimate a woman
By her own deviousness, Tuppence learns where Tommy will be sent to and simply goes there herself. There's nothing her husband can do. Now they are a team again, seeking out spies and getting into the most dangerous situations.
No spoilers though
I'm not giving the game away and will say no more apart from the fact that this is a wonderful period piece and delightfully entertaining with the most amazing plot and the typically-Christie twists and turns. Highly recommended.
Middle aged indeed
Our married couple, Tommy and Tuppence, are in their mid forties. That's not terribly old but everywhere Tommy goes and enquires, he's told that he's too old to be of use.
They may, they tell him, require him later.
This is so frustrating for them both.
The book shows the resourcefulness of a middle aged couple and also that of a middle aged lady, Tommy is sent to a seaside guest house and the first person he sees, sitting in the lounge, is his wife. She has outwitted him and will not be left out of this adventure.
This is the first time we meet Tommy and Tuppence. It is shortly after the First World War and the couple, who have known each other from childhood meet up and find that life is rather boring now that they have no war duties to perform.
Life doesn't stay boring for long...
Here's a snippet from the audio book. This gives you a great idea about the flavour of this book.
© 2014 Jackie Jackson