I decided to read all of the Tommy and Tuppence novels in order when I read that they were Christie’s favorite sleuths. Partners in Crime is the second book in the series, set six years after the first.
Tuppence is beginning to be bored when Mr. Carter, Tommy’s boss, asks him to take six months off his work in the Secret Service to reopen the Blunt Detective Agency, which the department believes is connected with espionage. They are to look for a Russian blue stamp on a letter and further contacts.
Partners in Crime is not exactly a collection of short stories, but it is about a series of crimes Tommy and Tuppence solve in between tussles with the bad guys. Each case takes up one or two chapters. The book also has a running theme of either Tommy or Tuppence taking on the persona of a different detective from literature in each case. Unfortunately, I didn’t know who most of the detectives were, so I missed some jokes.
Some of the mysteries are laughably obvious, but others are more difficult. The novel suffers slightly from the problem I find with short detective fiction—not a lot of time to develop plots, red herrings, and characters. However, Tommy and Tuppence are funny and charming, so I enjoyed the book.
I’ve read all of them as well, and I think I read them in order. But I want to buy copies for my shelf and re-read all of them. They’re my favorite sleuths as well!
I didn’t know they were her favourites, that’s interesting and inspires me to read them!
They tend to be some of her sillier plots, but the characters are fun.
I liked all the detective references more when I re-read it recently because I’ve read a few of them now, but there are still a few I’d never heard of. One day I might track them down!
Yes, I’d only heard of a few.
Was SO pleased at this reminder: I’ve had the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries on my Kindle for a while now. . .
Very light, pleasurable reading: I can see why Christie was so fond of them: In this particular volume, she certainly didn’t have to “waste time” ( as she called it in her autobiography) on description, and she did what she liked to do best: dialogue. The repartee between Tommy and Tuppence is first-rate fun; I wonder if the later Nick and Nora Charles were based on this couple. I also found a phrase that I always thought was from the 1960s, and here it turns up in a British novel of the 1930s: “Don’t let me cramp your style.”
I agree completely that there’s very little “texture” in these short stories; it’s almost as if Christie had gone through her notes at the time and just picked out some to include. Several of the denouements were real “eye-rollers,” but funny just because of their implausibility.
On to the next one—as soon as I finish a history and a study of romances. . .
That one’s a little better. I don’t do well with the short form for crime fiction.