Sunday, August 25, 2013

#BookReview--> Tommy and Tuppence #2- Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie



"So Tommy and Tuppence were married", she chanted, "and lived happily ever afterwards. And six years later they were still living together happily ever afterwards..."

Some stories were fairly straightforward and I was able to guess the end which turned out right like "The Unbreakable Alibi"..  Yippeeee.. :)

The bantering between Tommy and Tuppence is amusing. They are two people who complement each other. While Tommy is serious and cautious, Tuppence is impulsive and hopelessly optimistic.
"I can rub my hands together when I'm pleased" for Polton, 

Tommy and Tuppence, who were first introduced in the bookThe Secret Adversaryare now happily married but Tuppence is restless and bored. She craves for some adventure.

"I wish.. something would happen"

As if her wish is granted, they are visited by Mr. Carter who works for some unnamed secret government agency and is their old friend. He proposes that they take over "The International Detective Agency" and Tommy pose as its owner Mr. Theodore Blunt. They are to intercept secret messages from Russia. Meanwhile they are to run the detective agency as their own and solve any cases that come their way.

Partners In Crimecontains short accounts of different cases that come their way with the secret Russian angle running in the background in all the stories.

Agatha Christie wrote these stories as parodies on the famous detectives of 1920s like Sherlock Holmes, John Thorndyke, Father Brown, Tommy McCarty and even Poirot. The stories present some much unexpected turns like in "The Case of The Missing Lady", I could never have guessed the end solution. :)

"It will be too marvelous..We will hunt down murderers, and discover the missing family jewels, and find people who've disappeared and detect embezzlers."
"I always like your cheery optimism, Tuppence. You seem to have no doubt whatever that you have talent to exercise."
"Well I have read every detective novel that has been published in the last ten years."

They are a fun loving couple who enjoy their life as well as the cases leaving the reader feeling giddy and delighted.
I especially liked their efforts in imitating their favorite detective inspirations like 

"..a nice little syringe and a bottle labelled Cocaine" for Sherlock Holmes

and it was hilarious when they sort of overdid the Sherlock Holmes or Polton or Father Brown mannerism copying.

'He picked up a violin which lay on the table, and drew the bow once or twice across the strings. Tuppence ground her teeth and even the explorer blanched.'  :P :D

Albert, first introduced in The Secret Adversary, is another great character who apart from being a domestic help at home is also appointed by Tommy and Tuppence Beresford as their assistant at their agency . He is efficient, yet eccentric and likes to change his behavior, mannerisms to suit a situation based on movies he has watched like

'a tall lad of fifteen who seemed undecided as to whether he was a footman or a page boy inquired in a truly magnificent manner:
"Are you at Home, Madam? The front door bell has just rung."
"I wish Albert wouldn't go to the Pictures..He's copying a Long Island butler now. Thank goodness I have cured him of asking for people's cards and bringing them to me on a salver." '

or

' Albert relinquished the role of a Long Island butler, and took  up that of office boy, a part which he played to perfection. A paper bag of sweets, inky hands, and a tousled head was his conception of the character.'

My words are inconsequential when it comes to commenting on Agatha Christie. She is aptly described as the "Queen of Crime" and she doesn't let us down in this book too. 
The book seems like a casual, "no-stress" venture from her and therefore is a perfect light, entertaining read.
The short stories though dealing with different cases are connected and should be read in the order they are presented in the book.

Although not the best from Tommy and Tuppence, the stories are simple in style but very expertly written and exercise our "little grey cells" vigorously. I give Partners In Crimea 3.8 out of 5 and urge all to read and fall in love with Tommy and Tuppence, a great pair of detectives who are courageous, impulsive, loyal and not afraid to risk their lives… Following the slogan "Any case solved in 24 hours" they will and can solve any case no matter how bizarre that comes their way…

Prepare to test all your mental faculties in this beautiful short story collection with these great Partners In Crime :)

  

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