The next installment in my quest to re-visit Dame Agatha’s works: N or M? follows the adventures of Tommy and Tuppence during the War.
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford – both getting on a bit – are both refused a chance to contribute to the war effort. Tommy is turned down from working for the secret service and Tuppence is turned down from working as a nurse. Yet, just a short time afterwards Tommy is approached with a secret mission and Tuppence inevitably follows him in an adventure to expose two German spies and save the country from impending invasion.
N or M? is like many other Tommy and Tuppence adventures – charming. Everything is very twee. There is no blood or gore – even though there is a murder and plenty of action, the story solely focuses on the mystery of the guessing game which of the characters are the spies.
Christie, is famous (or rather infamous) for not being able to pull of thrillers very well, and N or M? gives us a good idea of how she achieved that literary ill repute: The story is fun, but despite the red herrings and interesting characters it doesn’t really fulfill it’s potential as a spy story. As a result, it satisfies Christie fans who – like me – love and adore her formulaeic structures as well as her humor and, of course, like to be reacquainted with the beloved characters of Tommy and Tuppence.
3* (out of 5*)