Tommy and Tuppence

I have tried, several times, to read a Tommy and Tuppence book and quite frankly, I couldn't get past the first few pages, I have never finished a book.  I love AC, am I missing something?  Should I continue reading, do they get better?  Which would you recommend for me to read?


  • edited October 2013
    Which book were you trying  to read? I think that there's a reason why Tommy and Tuppence aren't as well know as Poirot. I don't find any of the stories as ingenious as a Poirot. Nor do they have the emotional impact that Miss Marple can. I think the Mr Quin stories are a better standard. I think people tend to love them or hate them. 

    The Secret Adversary is quite good if you like something in vein of The Man In The Brown Suit, or Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

    I thought N Or M? is a good book too, it's more like a Miss Marple than any other T&T. Admittedly it's very easy to work out the plot. 

    The  first T&T read- part of By The Pricking of my Thumbs and I found it dull. It's also quite gloomy, there's lot's of monolouges about the past being a happier place. I avoided the rest of the T&T books for some years. Then I thought I'd try again. 

    As for Postern Of Fate, I posted my thoughts on this forum. If it wasn't written by Agatha Christie I doubt most people would bother reading it to the end.

    I watched the Partners In Crime series and I found it fun. As it seems purposely filmed in a lighthearted way, it's easier to get into. I've not read all the Partners In Crime stories. I've read extracts and found it quite hard to stomach.  

    There are times when the couple infuriate me! I mean they can walk right into traps when the reader can see them coming a mile off! Also wheras most AC books seem timeless, there's something modish about some of the Tommy and Tuppence stories. 

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    They are the only ones of the Beresfords, Poirot and Miss Marple who age, I love the way they come upon heir Adventures In the Novels, They are Whimsical, Fun and I am sorry you don't like them, Yes,By The Pricking Of My Thumb is gloomy but they are separated by circumstance and Tommy is worried About Tuppence,

    I think a lot of the books Agatha Christie Wrote wouldn't be read by people if Agatha Christie hadn't written them, I can think of a few Poirit's and Miss Marple books I wouldn't bother with if they weren't written by her. The Bundle Books do have a Beresford feel about them and Why Didn't They Ask Evans and IMHO to some extent The Clocks, I think you obviously think the Mr Quin Books are of a better standard or you wouldn't have called yourself Miss Quinn, I personally find them Dull with the occasional good bit, each to their own.

  • Poor Glanonzo, you've been given two entirely opposite views of Tommy and Tuppence! Anyway, I'd love to know which books you've read.

    Have you read Parker Pyne or Mr Quin stories? If you don't enjoy the other T&T books then  maybe you'll like those.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    That shows that people have differing views, one man's meat is another man's poison like life.
  • ChristeryChristery Rhode Island, United States
    The Tommy and Tuppence stories are definitely a more acquired taste than the Poirot and Marple ones and there is a reason they are not as well known. To me they seem more dated in the early 1900s era. I think that Christie liked them because they were young and devil-may-care as opposed to Poirot and Marple. I do enjoy their books and I like the fact that Christie lets them age so that every time we meet them they are older and have changed somewhat. Tuppence is supposed to be viewed as that wild and carefree "modern girl" who sees life as a fun lark. she's lighthearted and up for anything and Tommy is like her true love and "anchor". Later on they're the married crime-solving couple ( like Nick and Nora Charles). One can see where Christie probably found them a welcome change from writing about the elderly Poirot and Marple.
  • edited December 2013
    That's a really good summary of Tommy and Tuppence. I think that Tuppence is probably not as daring as Bundle Brent but still brave. I have wondered what it would have been like if they hadn't became a couple in the first book? Would there have been romantic friction between them  keeping the reader in suspense to read the next T&T to see if they get together? 

    I think that the style of writing has dated a little on the early books. Some quotes from Partners in Crime. Also the fact that alot of people don't know who T&T are parodying, is one reason why it's hard to join in the amusement.  

    Has anyone seen the TV series? I actually really liked it. It was so obviously meant to be light and frothy and not intellectually demanding. In fact I watched it a few years ago, I found it a refreshing change to the usual bodies in a autopsy room that modern TV  are so fond of showing us! One of the best things was the costumes, so so glamorous. 

    So  the early books offer something different.
  • I've mentioned this before but I read The Secret Adversary not that long ago and I found it really enjoyable. I liked the youthful enthusiasm and daring shown by the two and I found the story to be full of action and twists and turns. This has lead to a very positive opinion of Tommy and Tuppence, however, I will reserve judgment somewhat because I haven't read any other of the books about them.

    If you are sick of reading Poirot or Miss Marple and looking for something with a different flavour then T&T can definitely deliver that.
  • JonathonJonathon Ohio, United States
    I discovered Agatha Christie the summer before my senior year in high school. It was a summer reading assignment and one of the options was Murder on the Orient Express. I choose that one and as the saying goes, the rest is history. After that, I wanted nothing but to keep reading Hercule Poirot novels. A few years later and I soon read nearly all of Poirot's books, so I moved to Miss Marple. Again, fell in love instantly. Same story as before and I went on to Tommy and Tuppence. Once again, love at first sight. Bottom line, I am a huge Christie fan and I love every single one of her books. So my answer is YES keep reading. 
  • It is interesting what Miss Quin and Tommy_A_Jones say about Mr Quin, having read them I felt they were incredible similar to the Sherlock Holmes stories.
  • I think I should explain why...Both detecives are a assistant who is old...both are younger than the assistant....both in short story form...both mysteriouse names...both solve mysteriouse...both stories focus on the assistant rather than the detective.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I always thought in the books Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were the same age.
  • glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States
    I always thought in the books Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were the same age.

    I did too....
  • FrankFrank Queensland, Australia
    edited June 2014

    glalonzo0408Tommy_A_Jones. Watson tells us in "A Study in Scarlett" that he received his MD in 1878. If we assumed Watson was 25 when he got his MD, we can guess he was born around 1853. 

    In "His Last Bow", Holmes is given as sixty. As this took place on the eve of the First World War, that places his birth around 1854. 

    So Holmes and Watson were around the same age. 

  • CaptainHastingsCaptainHastings Illinois, United States
    I am in the process of reading my first Tommy and Tuppence novel.  I chose The Secret Adversary since it is the first of the novels in which this couple are the sleuths.  And I have to say, I'm really enjoying it.  I think I have it figured out, and frankly, I like when I can solve a Christie.  And if she stumped me, there's a certain joy in being duped too!  But I have to say I really like these characters and there's a whole lot of daring action in this book.  It reminds me of The Big Four, and unlike many, I actually enjoyed that book (or series of short stories interlinked with an overarching framing story.)  I like how both Tommy and Tuppence have an appreciation for the finer things in life while both having little money.  Their dining experiences are very well-described.  Makes me hunger for those authentic high teas and steak 'n chips. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Enjoy it.
  • AriadneAriadne Texas, United States
    MissQuin said:
    Has anyone seen the TV series? I actually really liked it. It was so obviously meant to be light and frothy and not intellectually demanding. In fact I watched it a few years ago, I found it a refreshing change to the usual bodies in a autopsy room that modern TV  are so fond of showing us! One of the best things was the costumes, so so glamorous. 

    I watched the series a year or two ago, and even though almost all of the mysteries were too easy, imo, I still enjoyed them. And, yes! The costumes. Most of Tuppence's clothing was so lovely! Really enjoyed that. :)
  • CaptainHastingsCaptainHastings Illinois, United States
    I am listening to N or M on CD and the actor who played Tommy in the 80's British TV series narrates the novel.  He has a good reading voice, but I don't care for how he voices Tuppence.  He makes her sound too eager with every line of her dialogue he voices.  Otherwise, he can do all sorts of accents quite convincingly.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I have 2 Cassetttes of him reading some of Partners in Crime, The voice he uses for the voice of the Explorer is great, I think his Tuppence is Great, I think she is eager, I have N or read by Samantha Bond who is in the Hickson version of A Murder is Annonced, I think both her Tommy and Tuppence are excellent, I also have By The Pricking of My Thumbs read by her but am waiting until I re-read the book
  • CaptainHastingsCaptainHastings Illinois, United States
    I did like his voicing of the Explorer in Partners in Crime.  His voice for Commander Haydock in N or M was also quite good and as I recall, similar to that of the Explorer.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I liked his voice for the Explorer too,
  • I love T&T. Recently I was in The Secret Adversary play. I love all mysteries but especially Agatha Christie. I think you should give T&T a chance. A lot of the stories and series that I like started out not very interesting. The ending of The Secret Adversary shocked me. So I think you should read it.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Who did you play?
  • nefnef Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    I know that Postern Of Fate is a difficult read but I read it just after her autobiography and it is fascinating to see her past bleeding into the story. To be honest, I cannot remember the plot at all just the sense that this was an old lady whose powers were fading but who's memories were all in tact. Seen from that point of view, I found it a charming and terribly nostalgic work.
  • EllesseEllesse Vancouver, Canada
    I would start at the beginning, and work your way through.  This way, you "fall in love" with the characters, and want to see what becomes of them, in the future.  I was lucky to accidentally happen-upon the first one, first: which is "The Secret Adversary".  I liked it.  Unlike either Poirot or Marple, the "feel" of the characters is very "whimsical", as commenters have said, above.  I just finished "N or M?" and loved it.  Now onto the next...
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    edited July 2017

    I agree, I love the T&T Books.

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