My sister read this on the cruise and so when I was about halfway through I messaged her all SOMETHING IS UP WITH THAT JULIUS CHARACTER and she messages back all SOMETHING IS UP WITH ALL OF THE CHARACTERS and then we were both like ROOOOEEEAWR because that is how we get sometimes.
And SOMETHING BEING UP is how Christie gets sometimes, because I sort of knew who did it at one point, but then got distracted by everyone else acting shifty, and the only other Christie I’ve read is That One Where Everyone Is The Murderer ← not a spoiler because I didn’t tell you which one! But so I tend to suspect everyone, is what I’m saying.
So. Tuppence is plucky and poor and Tommy is plucky and poor and together they are poor and bored in England Olden(ish) Times, and so Tuppence, because she is the pluckier (thank you, Agatha), decides that they will hire themselves out as adventurers. ADVENTURERS! Two young adventurers for hire, pay must be good, that sort of thing. How droll.
Soon enough, either because this sort of thing used to actually happen in Olden(ish) Times or because of Plot Contrivance, Tuppence is asked to go to Paris in character for moneys. There is obviously more to this request than meets the monacle’d eye, and in short order Tuppence and Tommy are embroiled in a search for the lost Jane Finn, holder of a Seekrit Treaty that could potentially ruin the Allies now that the war is over and whatever, it’s really all just an excuse for the two young adventurers to get into scrapes.
And WHAT SCRAPES. Spying and sleuthing and altered telegrams and kidnappings and handsome rich Americans who tend to fall in love with one and a wholly improbable lack of anyone being killed. Criminals in those days were much more likely to genteelly knock you on the head and keep you in a dark room than just shoot you on sight.
And I downloaded this from Project Gutenberg, where the quality is scattershot at best, so it was rife with errors that made it nearly unreadable. Ps where Ts should be, a series of unnecessary jjjjjyjjjj^jjjy^js, and my personal favorite:
Formatting aside, the whole thing was very British and Proper and Wry, and everyone refers to everyone else as ‘old bean’ and tells them to ‘dry up,’ which I now can’t stop saying. I was born in the wrong era.
Agatha Christie, old bean, I will continue to read your delightful romps in the periods when I can no longer stand to read about Modern-Day Folks Having Tedious Introspective Existential Life Problems.
So…all the time, then. You and Dorothy Sayers can get me through this exceedingly unsympathetic stage.