Review: N or M? by Agatha Christie (1941)

N or M? cover N or M? by Agatha Christie
Publication: ebook, 527 pages in iPod Touch, originally published 1941
Genre: Mystery/Detective, Thriller
Rating: 3.5/5
Find paper edition @ Amazon

Continuing on my adventure through the Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie (previous reviews), I’m now on the third book, N or M? Tommy and Tuppence are back, a little older, with two grown children and another World War on the horizon. They’re called back into action to ferret out two German spies, the male spy M and the female spy N, from a sleepy little place called Sans Souci.

First off, I want to mention that I have very little patience for hardcore spy thrillers. I always feel that it takes too long to get to the end, and all the double-crossing and so on makes me tense. (This is probably why I never finished any John le Carre books.) Luckily, though it’s not the same as the first two T&T books, it still has enough oomph to pull me through. Plus, there’s obviously T&T in it, who I’ve grown to love.

Since I’ve never finished a spy thriller before– that I can remember, anyway– I don’t really have anything to compare it to. However, I do think that it was very well done. I wasn’t entirely sure who the spies were until the end, though I did have enough hints about all the characters to suspect them of something. I liked getting to know T&T’s kids a bit, and though T&T themselves didn’t really change since the last book I do love that they still act the same as when they were in their 20’s. It’s nice when characters age but don’t grow old, y’know?

I think I’ve already forgotten most of the secondary characters, including their names. But Albert showed up, and Mr. Carter makes a cameo! Being stuck in one place for so long, I think, made the plot a little frozen and slow, but it picks up at the end and then takes off quickly. Not as fast as some of Christie’s other books, but pretty fast compared to the rest of the plot. I felt quite clever when the answer was presented, as I had gotten one of the German spies right!

I don’t think anything can top The Secret Adversary, but it was a very nice addition to the series.

What’s your favorite spy thrillers? Any I should definitely check out? (I did get halfway through Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, mind.)

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3 Comments

  1. Hi– I was just stopping by to thank you for stopping by my book blog the other day so I wanted to check out your blog. I like what I see…and I enjoyed this review. I read Agatha Christie when I was growing up and then kind of set her aside (always enjoyed the Miss Marple books). Never heard of this series but you have got me interested! I think I’ll look for it on Paperback Swap.

    And I see you are reading “The Know It All.” I loved that book — his stuff just cracks me up. I reviewed it on my book blog along with his other books “The Year of Living Biblically” if you are interested. The link is here:

    http://findyournextbookhere.blogspot.com/2008/11/books-about-challenging-quests.html

    I’m going to add your blog to my blogroll! I think I like it!

  2. Pingback: Review: Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh « Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

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