Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie: A Tommy and Tuppence Collection (Read Christie 2023 February Selection)
Publication Date: 1929
Length: 214 pages
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
When I started this book for the Read Christie challenge this month, I had no idea it was a series of short stories. I wasn't thrilled as I'm not a big fan of short stories or novellas. I just find it is hard to get into the characters and storyline when it is such a short piece. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book and thought it worked well. Having never read any Tommy and Tuppence books before I knew nothing about them and it was a great way to get small glimpses into their relationship.
When the book begins, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have been asked to pose as owners of the International Detective Agency. Their old friend, Mr. Carter, who works for the government has asked Tommy to pretend to be Mr. Theodore Blunt and for Tuppence to be his assistant. They are to continue taking on legitimate cases while also looking for any information regarding the whereabouts of enemy spies that need to be apprehended. They also have an assistant named Albert to help them. Throughout the book as they solve current cases, the couple uses the style of different famous detectives to help them, ambitiously guaranteeing a resolution within 24 hours. Even Hercule Poirot's style makes an appearance in one story.
With seventeen stories this book is impressive. Christie's clever clues and use of the methods of a different detective each time are entertaining. For Read Christie February the focus was on the method of murder with a blunt object although with so many stories this didn't factor in every time. Rather than review them all, and they are short enough that reviewing them too in depth gives away far too much of the plots, I will give honorable mention to a few of my favorites. All can be read separately and and contain witty dialogue, suspense, and just enough depth to be puzzling. The banter between Tommy and Tuppence is adorable and I thought they came across as an authentically loving couple.
"The Case of the Missing Lady" involving an explorer who has returned home to find his fiancee missing, "The House of Lurking Death" with a mysterious, scripture quoting woman and poison as the murder weapon, and " The Unbreakable Alibi" where a man takes on a challenge to win the woman he loves, were the ones I enjoyed most. These all had a touch of either humor or originality that stuck with me. It is hard to choose though because each case was so different and unique. Tying in the idea of a famous detective's handprint to the solution was brilliant. I honestly hadn't heard of most of them and it made me want to read their mystery stories as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be reading more of Tommy and Tuppence in the future. The last page was heartwarming and a perfect conclusion to their cases.
I'm not a big fan of short stories either, but I do like Christie's and I enjoyed this book, even though I wasn't familiar with most of the other detectives the stories refer to! I've only read this and one other Tommy and Tuppence book (The Secret Adversary) but I'm hoping to read another one soon.ReplyDelete
I want to read that one because I think it's the first one? They were very cute as a couple, I enjoyed their back and forth. No, I didn't know many of these detectives either. I guess it likely we wouldn't since this book is nearly 100 years old! Crazy....Delete