Agatha Christie: The Secret Adversary

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Agatha Christie: The Secret Adversary

This book opens aboard the Lusitania on May 7th, 1915. Yes, that’s the day the ship was torpedoed and sank. As the passengers gather on deck, a young American girl is approached by a stranger.

He too is American and,knowing that the tradition on a sinking ship is ‘women and children first’ entrusts her with a sealed package to carry with her to England.

He tells her that this is a matter of urgent security and that if she doesn’t hear from him within three days of reaching London,she should take the mysterious package to the American embassy.

She agrees.

The book then fast-forwards a few years to 1919. Two old friends accidentally meet up. Both in their early twenties, Tommy is a demobbed soldier and Tuppence a now-unemployed military nurse.

They go to  nearby café to catch up on their latest news where they discover that they are both looking for work, bored and just about penniless. Together, they explore the idea of starting their own will-do-anything-interesting business.

When they leave the café and go their separate ways, Tuppence is approached by a strange man. He says that he overheard the conversation and is looking for someone to work for him. They meet t his office the following day.

The trouble is that he wants Tuppence but not Tommy and she feels that now they are partners, they should be employed together. And it’s suspicious. He’s offering her a lot of money simply to go to stay in a respectable, well-known hotel in France. It seems too good to be true.

He asks Tuppence her name.Because she is so suspicious of him she doesn’t give her real name but the first one that comes into her head – ‘Jane Finn’ she says.

At this, his attitude changes completely and he accuses her of trying to blackmail him. What is going on? His clerk enters the office to give him a message and the mysterious stranger changes his attitude again. He tells Tuppence to return the following day and in the meantime thrusts £50 (a lot of money in 1919) into her hands to keep her mouth shut.

When she returns the following day with Tommy, the office is deserted and abandoned. Now the pair have a genuine and adventurous mystery on their hands.




Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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