I had avoided this book for awhile because the first two times I tried reading it I couldn’t get past the first chapter. I stuck with it this time, and I ended really liking it. The reason the first chapter was, and still is a hang up is that Tommy and Tuppence, two best friends reuniting after the war who decide to start an adventure for hire (sort of underworld factota), speak initially in what I think is Agatha Christie playfully mocking post-war slang. It’s like trying to have a conversation with Bertie Wooster in that way. So it became something to work past. Once you do, the rest of the story is a delight. As they are discussing their plans to form a “joint-venture” they are approached by a man who tells them he has a job and to meet him the following day. Tuppence goes, and when he asks her name, she tells him “Jane Finn,” a name she thinks she pulls out of nowhere. He is aghast, demands where she learned that name, and tries to pay her off. When she tells Tommy about it, he tells her that name was one he overheard the day before and told her about, but she must have forgotten it. So they advertise in the paper about Jane Finn and are approached by a British spy boss and an American both looking for Jane Finn. They find out she is someone aboard the Lusitania who was given a packet from a spy before the ship went down. He died, and she disappeared and now years later, multiple factions are looking for those secret document.
Anyway! It all goes from there. The book is a lot of fun, and especially compared to the other early works of Christie, really well and fully fleshed out as a novel, something she sometimes doesn’t achieve. I am now more excited to check out the other Tommy and Tuppence books.