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They Came to Baghdad (Agatha Christie Collection) Hardcover – 5 Feb 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (5 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002318539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002318532
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,719,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A very human heroine, whose powers of invention, like those of her creator, never fail her’
Times Literary Supplement

‘All in all, the most satisfactory novel in some years from one of the most satisfying of novelists.’
New York Times

‘The action is rapid and profuse, the characters are astonishingly real, and the author’s style remains far more lucid and persuasive than that employed by the vast majority of her colleagues. Altogether one of the year’s most agreeable contributions to the spy-and-counterspy diversion’
New Yorker

Book Description

Agatha Christie's middle eastern spy thriller comes to CD --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Victoria Jones is a recently sacked shorthand typist who has an elastic approach to telling the truth, and a great longing for adventure "to Victoria an agreeable world would be one where tigers lurked in the Strand and dangerous bandits infested Tooting". She gets a chance at adventure when she meeets Edward, a handsome and charming young man on his way to Baghdad to work for an organisation called the Olive Branch, the purpose of which is to foster understanding between nations by getting young people together to read Shakespeare and Milton. He wishes that Victoria could join him there, and by a lucky coincidence, the very next day she is offered a job accompanying a lady with a broken arm on the journey out. She enterprisingly provides herself with fake references and claims to be the niece of archaeologist Dr Pauncefoot Jones, excavating at Basra. Victoria is entranced by Baghdad, but before she has a chance to find Edward, a wounded man stumbles into her hotel room and dies in her bed. Who is he? And who is the mysterious Mr Dakin? And what are the people at the Olive Branch really up to. And who on earth is Anna Scheele? This is a tremedously enjoyable book. Victoria is a delightful heroine, imaginative, romantic, enterprising, and quite outrageously untruthful. There are wonderful vivid descriptions of Baghdad, a complicated and exciting plot, and plenty of humour. Great fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How did she do it? Agatha Christie, that is. This book has a very improbable storyline, a ridiculously unlikely heroine, bias ("The American President and the Russian Dictator") and a twist (I won't spoil it by saying what it is) that doesn't make any sense at all. And yet it is a simply fantastic story which grips to the very end, and which I recommend to the top of the highest hills! That shows the genius of Agatha Christie. The story starts of in London, where a temp loses her job and accidentally meets a young man who she falls in love with at first sight. She follows him to Baghdad - a very different Baghdad in those days - and a story of intrigue and adventure begins. It twists this way and that, and you just can't put it down. Brilliant.
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Format: Audio CD
Having read and listened to a lot of Agatha Christies in the past I was expecting this tale, not having Poirot or Miss Marple in it, to be a second rate Christie, like Tommy and Tuppence. How wrong I was. The story is very good and it is very easy to like the heroine, Victoria Jones.
Christie manages to take your imagination all the way to the Baghdad of the Thirties and even though the plot is about international politics, the personal side of the story is dominant and I found myself dying to know how it ended. So much so that out of all the Christie audio books I've listened to this has been my favourite.
The only down side is at first the narration by Emilia Fox seems a little lacking, but give her a chance and soon you can easily see all the characters she is portraying and she really does do a good job of all the male roles.

If you love a good mystery with an exotic setting I would heartily recommend this, and for Christie lovers it is a must.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the Agatha Christie novels, but found this a little slow paced at the beginning. However, the storyline does progress through many twists and turns so will satisfy the amateur sleuth nicely. I was a little confused about some of the geographical allusions as they seemed to switch places at one time, but did not detract greatly from the story. Overall a good read and I would have given 5 stars if it were not for the rather slow start.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've loved this book since I was 12 and now I read it whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. Marmite on toast, a cup of tea and They Came to Baghdad is one of my great pleasures in life.

The book itself is a lighthearted thriller set in the Baghdad that my grandad (stationed there in WW2) used to tell me about. Its heroine, Victoria Jones, is the kind of spirited Christie young girl that could surely only ever have existed in novels who finds herself wishing for adventure, finding it, and meeting it head on. As with a couple of other of her novels, there are the usual archaeological references and at times you feel Christie is almost living through her character but this just makes it more enjoyable for me.

Spies, kidnappings, assassinations, idealists and world leaders converging in Baghdad for a summit conference. And Victoria Jones, shorthand typist at the centre of it all. A glorious thriller, lighthearted, escapist but with the underlying menace of a hidden enemy, They Came to Baghdad is the best of Christie's non-detective novels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a book by Agatha Christie that I had not been aware of before - I have many of her other books. I really enjoyed the story, the descriptions draw a colourful picture of life in the heat and dust of Egypt, Iraq and the neighbouring mountainous areas; very evocative. Excellent adventures with satisfactory ending.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. As other reviewers have mentioned, it starts a little slowly, but I was feverishly racing through the later chapters to see what happened to Victoria. As a character, she becomes more and more likable as you get to know her, and it's really important to you that things turn out well for her. I found this a real edge of the seat story with some classic adventures and escapes from seemingly hopeless situations. One part in particular was very creepy - it filled me with horror and made my blood run cold... The descriptions also made me nostalgic for the Middle East - I was reminded so much of Syria (where unfortunately I won't be going again any time soon) and Egypt. Lovely descriptions of the archaeological dig and great characters. Fantastic!
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