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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping plot
When I started this book, I was a bit disappointed, thinking it would be another murder mystery. However, having recently read several other murder mysteries by AC, I found this story a refreshing change and a wonderful introduction to the world of spy adventures - and this really is some adventure. Don't write it off because it is not what you expect from Christie. I...
Published on 11 July 2005

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars An Agatha Christie without Miss Marple and Hercule.
A readable book but not one of Agatha Christie's best efforts. A good story line and an easy read but a bit corny!
Published on 7 May 2013 by Mrs. C. Beavers


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping plot, 11 July 2005
By A Customer
When I started this book, I was a bit disappointed, thinking it would be another murder mystery. However, having recently read several other murder mysteries by AC, I found this story a refreshing change and a wonderful introduction to the world of spy adventures - and this really is some adventure. Don't write it off because it is not what you expect from Christie. I think it has opened up a whole new avenue of reading to me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 28 Oct. 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is one of Agatha Christie's later works, published in 1954. At this period, she was trying to adjust to the modern world and find relevant plots - though with mixed success.
The novel begins in a very intriguing manner when Hilary Craven, deserted and bereaved, is planning suicide. In Morocco, she is challenged to undertake a top secret and possibly suicidal mission, impersonating the wife of Thomas Betterton, a scientist who may have defected to the Russians. She does so and uncovers a dastardly plot involving a leper colony, the world's best young scientists, a rather improbable method of removing people's resistance to abuse and rather a lot of money. In the process, Hilary finds love...
Agatha Christie [in my opinion] was at her best when writing about the world she knew, the upper-crust world of country houses and rather posh villages, or the then sometimes exotic world of archaeology. Her characters in those books are authentic and believable and her psychological insight is acute. When she tried to write about international intrigue, however, her plots could verge on the ludicrous. As is always the case in her books, the plot of this novel is very ingenious and has many twists and turns and her denouements seldom disappoint. This is a very readable book with many pleasures, if more than a bit unlikely
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADVENTUROUS FUN, 24 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
As usual, when Christie boots Poirot and Mrs. Marple, you're in for an adventurous and fun book. It all starts when a harried detective stops a girl from committing suicide and asks her to step in the place of a dead woman in order to solve a mystery. From then on you have mayhem, danger, and sweeping romance. Trust me, this is a great book--especially if you're a little bored and depressed yourself!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 28 Oct. 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is one of Agatha Christie's later works, published in 1954. At this period, she was trying to adjust to the modern world and find relevant plots - though with mixed success.
The novel begins in a very intriguing manner when Hilary Craven, deserted and bereaved, is planning suicide. In Morocco, she is challenged to undertake a top secret and possibly suicidal mission, impersonating the wife of Thomas Betterton, a scientist who may have defected to the Russians. She does so and uncovers a dastardly plot involving a leper colony, the world's best young scientists, a rather improbable method of removing people's resistance to abuse and rather a lot of money. In the process, Hilary finds love...
Agatha Christie [in my opinion] was at her best when writing about the world she knew, the upper-crust world of country houses and rather posh villages, or the then sometimes exotic world of archaeology. Her characters in those books are authentic and believable and her psychological insight is acute. When she tried to write about international intrigue, however, her plots could verge on the ludicrous. As is always the case in her books, the plot of this novel is very ingenious and has many twists and turns and her denouements seldom disappoint. This is a very readable book with many pleasures, if more than a bit unlikely
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage in Casablanca, 16 Jun. 2009
Hated the book more than 20 years ago, but was surprised how much I enjoyed re-reading it. It is not a typical Christie, yet it contains elements that are familiar from other Christie novels: enigmatic nursery rhymes, ambiguous words uttered by someone on their death-bed, the boldest of impersonation plots, the familiar becoming startlingly unfamiliar and menacing. The story unfolds with the topsy-turvy logic of dreams, has a courageous attractive heroine at its centre and is actually quite suspenseful. It also paints an entertaining picture of the English abroad as well as of various 'foreign types'. (The book was written in 1954).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric spy mystery, 27 Sept. 2007
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Not your usual tea, cakes and the vicar Agatha Christie story - but then not many of them are. She liked to use her experiences travelling in the Middle East and around the world. I can imagine her sitting in a hotel looking around at the other guests: suppose that archetypal Englishwoman was really an agent of MI6? And that plump American lady was in the pay of Them? That shrivelled but distinguished old man - perhaps he is so rich that he really runs the world, or thinks he does. Or would like to. Those tweedy young men claiming to be archaeologists: are they really on the trail of Him? Christie knew a lot of tweedy young archaeologists (she married one) in Iran and Syria in the 30s. Perhaps they were really spies too? This story, like They Came to Baghdad, is reminiscent of John Buchan at his best. The chilling atmosphere of the Unit is brilliantly imagined, and the types, briefly sketched in, who flourish in institutions and love to be part of a System. "Ah, Mr. Bond, come in, I have been expecting you ... " The swivel chair swings round to reveal the mastermind - Agatha Christie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY INTERESTING, 23 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
It's nice to take a break from Poirot and Marple. Usually, when Christie gets away from her usual detectives, you get a story that has plenty of adventure and a much more interesting story. A harried detective sends a girl ready to commit suicide on on a hunt for some murderers...dressed up like a dead woman. Needless to say, your heart is racing thru-out the whole thing. Buy it, especially if you feel bored or rather depressed yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air, 3 Jan. 2015
By 
As another reviewer has said, once Christie boots out Marple and Poirot, she can write something much more unusual. This is a spy story. Yes, it's far fetched; yes, a bit dated, but I still wanted to know what happened and there are some twists which, if not elegant, add to the depth.

Recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly different Christie, 7 May 2014
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Not quite typical, but recognisably Agatha Christie. Flaws are there if you look, but just enjoy the story. Old fashioned of course, look at the date it was written: I particularly like the line "you always have a wait at airports" when they boarded a plane a mere half hour after arrival.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling-- a really good book, 5 Sept. 2014
I often feel that Agatha Christie is under rated. This book really shows she had her finger on the pulse. It is both an easy and enjoyable read as well as a disturbing one. I think that it really conjures up a sense of the time in which it was written.
Well worth a read.
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