The Secret Adversary was published in 1922 and introduces Tuppence and Tommy, two of Agatha Christie’s beloved recurring characters. The story begins with out-of-work Tuppence and Tommy in a tavern brainstorming ways to make money. It becomes clear the only way to get rich is to hire themselves out to do other people’s dirty work and they decide to advertise their joint venture called, “The Young Adventurers, Ltd.” Little do they know that adventure will seek them out first!
Due to bits of a conversation Tommy overhears in the tavern and casually mentions to Tuppence, the young friends quickly become involved in a British intelligence search for both a missing treaty and a mysterious girl named “Jane Finn”. Along the way, Tuppence and Tommy meet a whole cast of friends and foes, including an American claiming to be Jane Finn’s cousin, a he’s-too-cool-for-school lawyer, a rich and beautiful widow, a French maid named Annette, an imaginative elevator boy named Albert, and a house full of bad guys.
What I enjoyed the most about The Secret Adversary was our super cute heroes, Tuppence and Tommy. Right from the start of the story it is obvious the two detectives have a lot of chemistry. It was surprising they didn’t have a romantic history because they both fell into what I felt was a domestic role with each other, as if they were an old married couple. Their cute banter does border on being annoying, but Tuppence and Tommy work well together with their strengths and weaknesses balanced out by the other.
I read a few Agatha Christie novels in my youth and remember enjoying them, but don’t remember the exact book titles or plots. For that reason, I approached The Secret Adversary as if it were my first Christie book. I loved it! If you are able to suspend your disbelief with some of the questionable plot twists and turns, it is fast-paced and entertaining book. I did attempt to solve the mystery alongside The Young Adventurers, but Agatha Christie had me second-guessing and in suspense all the way to the end.