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Publisher's Summary

The first Tommy and Tuppence mystery, including an all-new introduction by Agatha Christie expert John Curran.

Tommy and Tuppence, two people flat broke and out of work, are restless for excitement. They embark on a daring business scheme - Young Adventurers Ltd. - "willing to do anything, go anywhere." But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr. Whittington, draws them into a diabolical, political conspiracy. Under the eye of the elusive, ruthless Mr. Brown, they find themselves plunged into more danger than they ever imagined.

©1922 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 03-07-13

A wonderful listen with marvelous characters

Where does The Secret Adversary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

While Tommy and Tuppence aren't as well known as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, in some ways I enjoy them more. Christie injects them with levity and humor that seems to be missing with her more celebrated detectives.

Hugh Fraser does a marvelous job, as always, with his narration.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Wild spy adventure

Often when walking down the street, we catch snatches of conversation from those we pass, and Agatha Christie weaves a whole mystery around a single name overheard on the street in her second novel, The Secret Adversary, published in 1922. Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley, recently demobbed from her work in the Great War, runs into her childhood friend Tommy Beresford, also recently demobbed from intelligence service in the war, and both commiserate over their difficulties finding work and making their limited money last. They decide to form The Young Adventures, Ltd. to offer to do any work for good pay, with Tuppence suggesting they offer to commit crimes for pay. They write an ad for the paper offering to do work for good pay, “no unreasonable offer refused.”

When leaving the cafe, Tuppence gets approached by a man who offers her a job and tells her to come see Mr. Whittington the next day. Tuppence seems on the way to a lucrative job when Whittington asks her name. Uncomfortable using her real name, Tuppence throws out the first name that comes to her mind, Jane Finn. Suddenly furious, Whittington starts to go wild when his secretary comes in with a message that changes Whittington’s attitude, getting him to pay Tuppence £50 and ask her to return the next day. Flush with money and anxious for more, Tuppence eagerly shows up the next day only to find that the office is empty.

Curious about the situation, Tuppence and Tommy advertise for information on Jane Finn, a name Tommy recognizes from hearing it in conversation in the street. They receive a letter in response, that introduces them to Mr. Carter, and the duo find themselves a job working for the secret service to look for Jane Finn, who disappeared with secret papers after the sinking of the Lucitania, and hints are that it is the result of her being abducted. A secret organization seems to be trying to make a move against the government, led by a mysterious and elusive Mr. Brown, so it is becoming even more imperative that they find Jane Finn.

This book is exciting with a twist of mystery. I find it interesting that when I first listened to this book a number of years ago, I was not very impressed. But this time I really loved it. Christie creates a number of creative twists, and it’s interesting to see the perspectives from both Tommy and Tuppence. The former takes his time to think things out, while the latter acts on impulse and the spur of the moment. Together they make a great team.

I loved Hugh Fraser’s performance of this book. He voices the characters ably and creatively, giving depth to the book and strength to the story.

The Secret Adversary is a great book, showing Christie’s abilities from the beginning of her career. This book is followed by four more books featuring Tommy and Tuppence written throughout Christie’s career, and they would not have been as successful without this book’s having set the stage so well. I really love the characters of Tommy and Tuppence in all five books, and this book establishes them well. I give this book five stars!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Terri
  • Missouri
  • 05-29-16

Fabulous Agatha Christie!

If you could sum up The Secret Adversary in three words, what would they be?

I was not familiar with Agatha's Tommy & Tuppence characters, but loved them immensely! I didn't want the story to end, it kept me guessing the whole way through.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Delight!

There’s nothing like an Agatha Christie mystery—witty characters, clever plots, and detailed descriptions of backgrounds and settings. It’s a great way to leave the world behind and escape to a different time and place.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Thrilling mystery.

Kept me guessing until the last chapter! The narrator, Hugh Fraser, read it very well indeed!

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  • Trish
  • Littleton, CO, United States
  • 05-09-18

Agatha Christie at her finest

This is Agatha Christie's second novel, written in the 1920s. I love that there is a sort of innocence and naivete in the characters and in the story. Although I guessed who the secret adversary was, I still enjoyed guessing who the devious and mysterious Mr. Brown was. I am sure if I was alive in the 1920s and read it then, this would seem like a novel new form of literature and would have been impossible to guess what was going on. My only criticism is that the narrator's American accent was way off...sounded more Irish to me. But I am sure when American's do British accents they feel the same way. I am amazed at how the younger generations of British actors pull off the American accent these days.

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Good one!

Not your usual Agatha Christie. This one’s an adventure, and a very good one at that. With superb narration by Hugh Fraser as usual. On to the next books in the series now! :)

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Amazing story and performance

Huge Fraser is the real goods. Amazing execution and very well done. Obviously the story itself is amazing to begin with. Must listen.

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A Twist

It's a younger Agatha Chtistie within two adventurers. It's a nice change with new characters and a love story, too.

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  • Carolyn
  • Middletown, CT, USA
  • 08-09-16

Very Agatha Christie

...in its twists and turns, its distinctly drawn characters, and its sense of serious play. This was my first T and T story and I imagine I'll try out another. Hugh Fraser did a great job!