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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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I came accross "The Secred Adversary" in my 20's and fell for Tommy and Tuppence. They were a breath of fresh air in the serious and mysterious world of detecting. Even now, many years later their characters are delightful.

One of the refreshing things about Tommy and Tuppence is that we get to follow them through life. Unlike Miss Marple and to a certain extent Hercule Poirot, their characters follow the time line of the books. In this one, both are in their 60's. Their children are married off and live their own lives. Since "N or M" Tommy and Tuppence have been away from the world of crime (that is not counting Tommy's career within the Intelligence world).

With the stated visit to Tommy's grouchy old aunt, Ada, things that changes. Tuppence becomes obsessed with the statement of Mrs. Lancaster about "something behind the fireplace". When Tommy's aunt dies; and they clear out her stuff from the retirement home, Tuppence discovers that Mrs. Lancaster has been removed to another home by the mysterious Mrs. Jones. In addition she finds out that Mrs. Lancaster has left Tommy's aunt a picture of a house that Tuppence once saw on a train ride, and things take off and Tuppence sets out to discover the mystery behind Mrs. Lancaster's disappearance and the mysterious country home.

This book is delightful and I recommend it highly to any and all.
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on 6 May 2013
The main protagonists in this book are Tommy and Tuppence Beresford who feature in four of Christie's novels. When visiting Tommy's Aunt Ada in a care home they encounter an old lady, Mrs Lancaster, whose ramblings about a child's body behind a fireplace, disturb Tuppence. On revisiting the home after Aunt Ada's death they find Mrs Lancaster has been suddenly removed from the home and nobody seems to know where she has gone. Concerned for her safety Tuppence sets out to investigate the disappearance her only clue being a picture of a country house. The plot has lots of twists and turns and the end was certainly a surprise to me. It isn't a very cosy mystery and was quite chilling and dark in parts. It was however a really good read and I found it totally compulsive. One of the best I have read by the author.
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on 7 March 2001
Once again Agatha Christie has brought back her amteur detectives, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, on a haunting case that has shone in the middle of her 72 novels. While visiting an aunt in a nursing home, Tuppence meets an eccentric old lady, who utters the phrase: "Was it your poor child?" This simple line sends Tommy and Tuppence on a new adventure, and become entangled in murders long forgotten. One inters\esting thing I picked up was, in the Agatha Christie "Sleeping Murder" there is a breif part of the book that involves a nursing home, where an old lady says "Was it your poor child?" The same happens in "The Pale Horse". Must be just one of those things.... Anyway, this is a must read for any Christie fan, but I wouldn't recommend starting out on this one (Even though I did!), it is set in the sixties, has a different kind of murder to the more common Christie, and is altogether quite unlike any other christie. A Great book, Five stars.
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on 17 June 2013
A great book & try as hard as I could, couldn't figure out the ending before I got there. A cracking my.story with a sinister, spooky element. I was spooked anyway.
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on 19 August 2014
I've always liked Tommy and Tuppence - I don't understand why anybody wouldn't! I wish she'd written more about them. Only four novels - but many short stories. This story is set in the 60s but seems more timeless than the usual Christie. It combines themes that recur in her work: such as finding the solution to a mystery from the past by chatting to gossipy ladies who drop many hints. It is also full of in-jokes (isn't "Amos Perry" a variety of rose?). I love the visit to the gallery. Just a tiny flaw: one element in the final unfolding of plots is oddly downplayed, happening offstage.
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on 21 October 2015
A 'late' Christie (published 1968), which is not in the same league as books written in her Golden Age period (1930 - 1950s). When I read it first more than 20 years ago I was annoyed by the rather farcical description of the Sunny Ridge residents and I was bored by its inconclusively rambling and rather inconsequential central section. And yet, since then, I have had the urge to re-read the book several times. It has the appeal of a recurrent nightmare which you want to make sense of -- Mrs Lancaster and her startling question concerning a child that was buried behind a fireplace -- her subsequent disappearance -- Tuppence's fascination with a picture of a house by a canal and her compulsive search for it -- the rather unsettling atmosphere of the house itself and its sinister history -- the dead birds in the grate and the finding of the ragged doll -- Sir Philip Sarke with his tortured 'El Greco' face -- and finally the actual solution which is very unusual and quite startling but perfectly logical, when one thinks of it.
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on 2 October 2011
I chose this book expecting Christie's usual gentle but entertaining format.How wrong I was, I was genuinely chilled from the start. Hints of child murders,old ladies and poison, witches in the woods and strange isolated cottages! Its fabulously creepy, in fact,at one point, just as I was chilled to the bone and frozen with fear, at a particularly creepy description, my nose started bleeding on to the book,I have never jumped with fright as much as I did that night! It may have been a coincidence,but what timing. Honestly folks,you wouldn't believe that nice Ms Christie could come up with anything macabre as this.One of my top 5 Christie's of all time.
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on 9 February 2013
If she wrote this book at the beginning of her career, Mrs. Christie would be forgotten by now. But remembering The Secret Adversary (The first Tommy/Tuppence thriller and what a grand book that is!); this is a pale shadow. But still a Tommy and Tuppence, ageing fast like their creator and will soon be followed by the last one: Postern of Fate, even less memorable than this one.
A word about these 'facsimile editions', they are really not. The shape/the shade of color are all different. Come on, Harper Collins editors, at least make them exactly like the originals, that's what facsimile means.
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on 11 May 2000
I first read about Tommy & Tuppence in Partners in Crime and fell immediately in love with their characters - its Agatha at her best. Pricking of My Thumbs keeps you enthralled to the very end and leaves you ready to embark on yet another adventure with two very endearing characters. Truely superb.
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on 7 October 2011
I much preferred it to Christie's usual whodunit plot of 'Mr Plum in the dining room with the lead piping'

Altogether an excellent 'murder mystery' and highy recomended- 5 Stars
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