The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

15th August 2011

Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley are old friends who haven’t seen one another since the war. Broke and out of work, the two form The Young Adventurers, Ltd., a business in which the two will advertise in the paper as “willing to do anything.” Before they can even place an ad, a Mr. Whittington hires Tuppence, but when she gives her name as “Jane Finn,” a name Tommy overheard in the cafe, Tuppence is swiftly ushered out. She and Tommy place an ad for Jane Finn after things seem a bit fishy, and they receive two responses, one from a “Mr. Carter” who works for the British government, and one from Julius Hersheimmer, an American who claims he is looking for his cousin. Who is his cousin? None other than the elusive Ms. Finn who hasn’t been seen since a spy entrusted her with documents as she was evacuated from the Lusitania.

What follows is a madcap adventure, full of false identities, poison, double crossings, suspicions, a mysterious Mr. Brown, and all sorts of other tomfoolery. In many ways, I was reminded of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series; however, there is much more meat to the mystery here, and Agatha Christie kept me guessing. I did, indeed, point my finger to the right crook, but it took me quite a while to get there.

This was the first Tommy and Tuppence novel, and I am eager to follow them into their next foray. I am pretty confident it will be high fun!

P.S. Read this book for free on your computer or ereader, thanks to Project Gutenberg.

P.P.S. Anytime I see the word “adversary,” I think of this scene from What Women Want…


  • Love this book. But your review reminded me I haven’t re-read it in ages. Time to get cracking. First I have to see if I have it on my shelves. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Yvette – It was such fun! I know you are anti-ereader, but if you can’t find it, it is on Project Gutenberg.

  • Iliana

    I really enjoy Agatha Christie’s books but haven’t read any with these characters. Sounds like a fun read!

    • My mom has always raved about Tommy and Tuppence, and I have to agree – they’re pretty great. But I’m a Miss Marple gal myself.

  • I’ve never heard of Tommy & Tuppance (shamefully) but I love Christie so I need to get this one!

    • Do! Such fun. I’m reading a Miss Marple now and loving it.