Why didn't AC write more Tommy and Tuppence Stories?

I've just finished reading the Secret Adversary and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shame I've heard that none of the other T&T books are much good but I actually think she had two great characters there and could have worked with them more, especially in her earlier years while she still in her prime. What does everyone else think?


  • I'm not a huge fan of Tommy and Tuppence, but I think that Secret Adversary was one of the best out of the T&T books. I'm not sure why. Could it be AC was contacted to write more Poirot  and Marple stories which were more popular/bigger sellers?

  • Yeah I know that Poirot and Miss Marple were both more popular but there were a few not so good Poirot books which I feel could probably have been made in T&T books and might have been more suited to Tommy and Tuppence.
  • I'm not sure what Christie's attitude to T&T was.  I know Mr Quin stories were her favourite to write. I think she was fond of Miss Marple, since as she was partly based on relatives. It's said that Poirot got on her nerves in later years, but this story was published in a newspaper, but was it true? But Mrs Oliver frequently complains about her detective's annoying habits, so perhaps that was AC's little in joke.

    The Clocks could have been an interesting T&T I think, also I can imagine them in Cat Among The Pigeons. I think CATP isn't that bad now. I disliked it the first time I read it. I think Poirot is out of place at a girls boarding school, but Tuppence would have known the girls habits and gained their trust. Same goes for Miss Marple.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    I thought N or M was the best T&T Book, I haven't really thought of other Christie books being T&T Books, I suppose Gwen and Giles could have gone to them instead of Miss Marple and I have always thought Bundle and Bill could have been on the Karnack instead of Poirot and Race as part of their Honeymoon but it could just as easily be the Beresfords, the only change to the Clocks I would make is take out Poirot. I think Agatha Christie should have written more Books with The Beresfords but maybe only 2 more.

    CATP could have been a Miss Marple book, then Miss Marple could have been one of the Governors at Meadowbanks

  • AlexBarryAlexBarry Wisconsin, United States
    Just about to finish my second reading of The Secret Adversary in the next two nights.  Quite a good story, and I love the Jazz Age lingo and the all the references to youthful exuberance, energy and enthusiasm.  I've read some other T & T's, and liked them all.  Again, I really "dig those cats".  I recall a BBC Mystery entry some years back that featured Tommy and Tuppence, and it was terrific.  Great casting and acting.  
         By focusing primarily on Poirot and Miss Marple, Dame Agatha may have been trying to appeal to a slightly more mature readership, one a bit removed from the juvenile antics of T & T.  Who can say?  I do regret that Thomas and Prudence weren't featured in more stories, but I cannot suggest any others they might readily have been substituted into, although MissQuinn (above) is probably correct about CATP.  
  • Thank you Alex-

     I wonder is there any other books that that could have had different detectives?  N Or M could have had Miss Marple and Dolly Bantry as the sleuths. Would The Hollow have been better with Battle rather than Poirot?
  • I think Frankie and Bobby in Why Didn't They Ask Evans could very easily have been Tommy and Tuppence, not that I'm saying they should have been. I guess maybe the advantage Frankie and Bobby have in Why Didn't They Ask Evans is that Lady Frances is able to use her title to her benefit. 
  • I agree about Evans but on the other hand, part of what's interesting is the question over if Frankie and Bobby will get together. That would only have worked before T&T got married.

    I think Frankie is less an authiasast than Tuppence, not a bad thing though. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Great Pontificating Miss Quin, I was thinking about starting a thread along those lines, I think Eileen and Bill could have been in Death On The Nile on Honeymoon, Miss Marple could have been in Evil Under The Sun, Poirot could have been in Ordeal By Innocense, When Calgary has first seen the Solicitor he goes to the Family when he next goes to the Solicitor The Solicitor has Poirot with Him. Miss Marple could be in Murder Is Easy, Ann Bedddingfield could be in They Came To Baghdad and Destination Unkown but it would have to have to be after Destination Unknown and They Came To Baghdad and the endings would have to be different I think in the first 2, she could just go off to have other Adventures and I would like to see Sparkling Cyanide with Tommy and Tuppence unless of course by then Race has married Lizzie
  • edited January 2014
    Miss Marple in Evil Under The Sun is an interesting concept. I like to think of her trying to sit very upright in a deckchair, casually knitting, whilst wearing her late Victorian/Edwardian clothes. At the time most others are in their (for that time period) scanty bathing costumes! Would she however- know about SPOILERS!!!!  bottles of fake tan? That was not widely used but Poirot being in elite Chic Society circles knew about it. 

    I know Agatha Christie did exclude Poirot from some Death On The Nile. SPOILERS!!! But I think it works better as a single person investigating it. Bundle and Bill would have added too much of a  Wodehouse feel, which although fun, isn't  suited to a story with such emotional impact. Poirot was older and wiser and could give Jackie that all important warning, which she ignored. I don't think any other character could have delivered it. Not even Miss Marple, as I think if her character had told Jackie, she may have listened. Miss M would have the effect of a Grandmother and most girls of that time, even wild ones like J, would listen to someone matriarchal.  

    Same goes with Murder Is Easy- I think not suited to Poirot- the witchcraft theme would surely be alien to his Catholicism?  I also think that Miss Marple- devout Church Of England, would be out her depth with Satanic rites in the wood. I think that's why it was dropped from the ITV adapation. They basically re-wrote the whole plot to fit her.  Murder Is Easy is one of my favourite books, so I was NOT pleased! I like the fact that it, like the Pale horse has such a eerie  feel which is unique to the non series books. 

    If anyone added a detective to Then There Were None- I would be very annoyed! 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    And Then There Were None Wouldn't work with a Detective, the whole point is no-one survives, the only way it could work is if Poirot disguised himself as a waiter or was the one taking people on the Island, letting 1 person die in one book and another Person die in another book is one thing but Poirot wouldn't let 10 people die, I suppose If One Of the Recurring Policemen had a Fatal Illness they could easily replace The Murderer but that would mean 2 Policemen they would have to replace McCarthur and be on the Island to Die but they all have loved ones, would they all do that to their Families but there again people do don't they?
  • edited January 2014
    I've always said that Then There Were None should never have a detective. Anyone's whose read the book knows it. The old forum had a whole thread about the horror of Miss Marple turning up on the island. It would bring me to tears!
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited February 2014
    As many of you have already said, T&T could have been in Why didn't they ask Evans? but I think now that in that case it should have needed some changes.
    Franky and Bobby do get involved in ths story because, if my mind doesn't betray me (I read it many years ago), the girl wanted to investigate and Bobby felt he had to follow her. For the plot to work as it does, it needed these type of characters: ones who have free time and money to move around. 
    If it had been a T&T story, first it had to be introduced in their timeline, that it would be after the first or second book. But due to their connection to the police and secret services, they would have never jumped into this adventure without, say, talking to Mr. Grant first. Or some other high police or politician. And if this would have been the case, the whole story would have been solved faster, since the main characters would have had the government's support. Besides, the mystery is so not connected with politics (as the first two T&T books) so that there should have been introduced a stronger reason for them to investigate.
    Yes, they could have been in this story with many changes in the plot. Maybe that's a reason why AC didn't include them here; because she would have needed to change many aspects of it.
    The other main book, as a friend in goodreads suggested in a review (I borrow his idea because I agree with it), is definitely The Pale Horse. While I enjoy the story as it is (it's in my top 5), it's the perfect narrative for them. It has secret identities, a moriarty mastermind, an evil organisation and some adventures that put people in danger. Here, I feel that the changes in order to introduce them (even at their sixties) would have been fewer.
  • It's interesting to think  of The Pale Horse with Tommy and Tuppence. But I love the book so much I wouldn't change it. One of the reasons I love Non series books is that there's an element of the unknown. You don't know enough about the narrator to know if they have a guilty secret. 
  • Yeah, that's absolutely right MissQuin and it does in a way add a bit more intrigue because there is potentially a massive curve ball that Christie can throw at you and say that one of the supposed protagonists is actually the murderer! 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    Why Didn't They Ask Evans? would work in my view with Tommy and Tuppence were on Holiday and staying in a Hotel and in the Bar Tommy got chatting to a Fellow Golfer and they arranged to play the day after and then they found the body then, when they had decided to investigate Tommy could then phone Mr Grant and ask if he could assure the Local Police they weren't meddlers.

    It is a nice Idea to have Tommy and Tuppence in Pale Horse because then all 3 Series's would be connected, Mrs Dane Calthorpe, Ariadne, and the other two who know Poirot and It would have been nice to add someone from The T&T books but I can't see how it would work having Tommy and Tuppence, Albert maybe at the Fate (I think it's a Fete), but not T&T, I used to think Non-Series books lacked structure and I still think that They Came To Baghdad and Destination Unknown, Endless Night and Ordeal By Innocence need a Recurring Character but I love The Sittaford Mystery and Why Didn't They Ask Evans. and I like Ordeal By Innnocense

  • I agree with you Lacy. Destination Unknown hasn't had much of mention on here. But it's a good enjoyable book. The main character is suicidal, so she has this element of being a loose canon. It wouldn't  have felt right in Poirot or Marple. Same goes for They Came To Baghdad. Which characters can you trust? You know nothing about any of them.

  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Tommy: somehow, all the stories are connected.
    In the Pale Horse we clearly see that Marple and Poirot universes are indeed connected. The connection with T&T is more distant and indirect, but there is something that links them.
    In one scene at a bar, one of the characters is talking about a lady in a nursing home he once knew who used to ask "if the milk wasn't poisoned today". This is a character from By The Pricking, that T&T know at the very beginning of the book. The existence and mention of this woman proves that they all could live in the same universe.
  • Oddly Mr Quin is in the same universe as Poirot, Miss Marple and T&T! Parker Pyne is also as he knows Mrs Oliver and Miss Lemon.
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited February 2014
    Yes! I didn't mention that other link because we weren't talking about Satterthwaite and Quin here. It's true, since this senior citizen appears and co-stars in Three Act Tragedy.
    However, there is an incongruence that I think that simply cannot be explained (other than AC lifespan and prolific writing).
    In the final story of Partners in Crime, Tommy solves the mystery thinking, as he says, like Poirot. All troughout the book they have reminded us that they were mirroring detectives from fiction. So, here, it seems that in the end, Poirot is from fiction and they are real (therefore, don't exist in the same universe).
    It's not a complaint, but just a remark of the only possible thing that hurts this huge consistence.
  • As Hastings memoirs were published it is possible T&T were basing Poirot's mannerisms from this account?  They may have believed that he was fictionised?  Or it might be a small mistake. I've not read Partners In Crime, so I don't know. 

    even more strange in Miss Marple Body In The library, Agatha Christie herself is mentioned! 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    I forgot about that lady youngmrquin but you are right I just think it would have been nice if Albert was in Pale Horse at the Fete or whatever it was, the point you make about the last Tommy and Tuppence story I take as a sort of In-joke that Agatha is having with the Readers and so for me doesn't harm it at all but I can see how it might for readers which is a shame as I think it is both Funny and Clever.

  • One thing I realised is that during Partners in Crime, Poirot certainly hadn't reached the height of his career and his only remarkable case was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, so there is every chance that Tommy and Tuppence wouldn't have heard of him. Maybe a slight misjudgment from Christie?
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited February 2014
    I don't think it was a misjudgement from her. On the contrary, I believe she was really confident that Poirot would be just that famous as the other detectives mentioned. There is no way, in my opinion, to make this fit in.
    Simply AC wanted Poirot to be fictional for T&T at this stage in her writing career, in order him to be in the same standards of the others. Many many years after, she decided to start to needle her narratives and include all her characters in the same universe (despite this early decision).
    Just like when Colonel Bantry was dead in Mirror Crack'd and maybe she had forgotten that Sleeping Murder, being kept for later publication and supposed to be Marple's final case, had him alive.
    In the end, we can't expect everything to be perfect in the lifespan of such a prolific writer like AC.
  • T&T make me think of Nora and Charles from The Thin Man movies. They even have the dog... Considering how popular The Thin Man movies were (Myrna Loy and William Powell) you'd think these would have been, too, thereby causing AC to write more of them.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I have a box set of these films, I love them
  • LAURAMUSHKATLAURAMUSHKAT Massachusetts, United States

    I have read many Tommy and Tuppence  stories and am now buying them up.  like that there is a small amount because who has room for all her works?!


    the difference from her other books seems to be the fact that there is a set pattern following the growth of T & t's relationship and life. 


    I understand that these were some of the favorite things of Agatha Christie that she wrote.


    it has been a long time of reading AC works since I was about 10 and am now 71.  still have not read everything!  at one time I could not get AC's UK only books and am looking foreward to reading some or all of those!


  • @LAURAMUSHKAT, whenever I read Tommy and Tuppence, it seems to me that Agatha Christie was a bit tired of her elderly detectives (she once admitted having made them too old) and so was enjoying herself with some energetic young detectives. It gave her a chance to change her writing style a bit; be a bit more humorous and not have to worry about putting them in situations where they'd complain about their aches and pains.
    Also, it perhaps guaranteed her a younger audience, though generally she does have characters of all ages in her novels. Nevertheless, it's different when the hero/ heroine is your age. And when they're a married couple, it shows that even married people can have fun...
  • TuppenceBeresfordTuppenceBeresford Hertford, United Kingdom

    I read somewhere (I think Agatha Christie's Notebooks but can't check as I'm not at home) that They Came to Baghdad was originally going to be a Tommy & Tuppence. It was noted that Victoria's impulsivity was reminiscent of Tuppence's, though the quote from the notebook seemed to suggest that they would have a slightly different role. There was something about them being last seen entering the British Consulate.

    I think the plot of Why Didn't They Ask Evans? would have worked well as a Tommy & Tuppence but the romantic element would have been completely different. Although Agatha Christie is primarily a crime writer I think she is also a bit of a matchmaker. I think there was less opportunity for this with Tommy & Tuppence as their stories seem to focus on action rather than psychology. There aren't many characters besides Tommy & Tuppence that you get to know. N or M? has a love relationship but you see it at a distance. (Obviously, Poirot and Miss Marple don't have relationships but there are always a few characters you get to know very well and I find myself rooting for them.)

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I would av loved to read They Came To Baghdad with Tommy and Tuppence, I think it would have ben much better, Bobby in Why Didn't hey Ask Evans? is like a dimmer younger brother or Cousin of Tommy's and :Lady Derwent a chum of Tuppence's, There are similarities between The Secret Adversary and Why Didn't They Ask Evans and N or M and Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
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