Thursday, June 25, 2020

Partners in Crime

" have no expert knowledge whatever."

"Well, I have read every detective novel that has been published in the last ten years."

~Tommy Beresford; Tuppence Beresford
Partners in Crime (1929) by Agatha Christie

When Mr. Carter (The Chief from their debut in The Secret Adversary) suggests that Tommy & Tuppence Beresford take over a detective agency that has been receiving odd Russian-stamped letters in an effort to track down those behind some international mischief, he also opens the way for the Beresfords to put the skills of fictional detectives into practice. Tuppence's reading is going to come in handy. In a series of short story adventures, the couple employ the methods of everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot to the Old Man in the Corner. They successfully solve murders and forgery and robbery cases; find a hidden legacy; break an unbreakable alibi; foil the doings of several gangs; and, of course, help round up the group responsible for the mysterious Russian letters.

Some of the solutions may seem quite obvious to today's reader (I spotted the solution to the alibi story immediately), but that doesn't diminish the enjoyment to be had reading about Christie's young adventurers. And I'm sure they were very interesting to the readers of the late 1920s/earl 1930s--before everything was so immediately available to everyone. I've had a soft spot for Tommy and Tuppence since I was first introduced to them back in the early 1980s. With their banter and their enthusiasm, they just seemed to be having so much fun. They are really quite brilliant in their own way--with a healthy dose of luck mixed in as well. Good, light reading from the 1920s. ★★★★ 

Deaths = 8 (two stabbed; one electrocuted; one hit on head; three poisoned; one heart failure)
Mystery Bingo
Card #2: Clues & Cliches(Magnifying Glass)


Sean said...

As much as I like this book, I loved the BBC TV series from the 1980s even better! Amazing how they could stretch each short story to an hour length! *(And nothing felt like filler whilst doing it!)* I only just learned that they made another TV series about half a decade ago (with the girl from Call the Midwife). I know they used some of the book length stories, which is odd because Tommy and Tuppence were much older during some of those ("By the Pricking of My Thumbs", and "N or M" to name a few)

But anyway, the short stories are all fun. You mention the obvious solutions. I read these around 1983 when the show was being made, and I was only about 8 years old, so the mysteries seemed puzzling to me! I can't say how I would do as an adult reading them for the first time. I do like how Christie makes interesting stories without the sex, cursing and violence in books today, and even in some "hard boiled detective" novels from the States at that time!

Bev Hankins said...

Yes, the Tommy & Tuppence series from the 1980s was fantastic. I'm pretty sure that I saw one of those before I ever read the short stories. So much fun!