After introducing Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” Agatha Christie wanted to try something different for her second book. Something fun. Something easy to write, because plotting a mystery took a lot out of her. Plus, the family needed money, and even though she earned only £25 for “Styles,” the reviews and sales were good.
So she created Tommy and Tuppence, longtime friends who went their separate way during the war. He served in the Intelligence of the army and was wounded a couple of times. She volunteered at a hospital, drove a truck, cleaned wards, and did her part.
Broke and looking for work, they decided to advertise themselves as “Young Adventurers, Ltd.,” willing to do anything for a price. Soon, they find themselves hired by the British government to hunt for Jane Finn, a woman who was on the R.M.S. Lusitania who might be carrying a draft treaty whose release could cause the downfall of the government and revolution in the streets!
Can Tommy and Tuppence defeat the enemies of the British Empire — Bolshevists, Sinn Feiners, Germans and labour union leaders — recover the treaty and prevent anarchy in the U.K.? (Note, this is not a joke. An explanation of why they were considered enemies of the state is in the book.)
Two Editions: Standard & Deluxe!
“The Complete, Annotated Secret Adversary” is available in trade paperback in two editions: Standard and Deluxe. (The ebook version will be available only in the standard edition).
Here is what they contain:
* Size: 8.5” by 5.5” (the trade paperback is the same size as “The Complete, Annotated Mysterious Affair at Styles”)
* Number of pages: 419
* Number of footnotes: More than 500
* Eight essays: (“Bolsheviks, Feinians and Labourites”; “Negotiating British Currency”; “When Tommy Comes Marching Home”; “Tuppence’s World”; “Revolutionaries, Saboteurs, and Spies”; “Let’s Be Adventurers! The Creation of Tommy and Tuppence”; “If I Made More, They’d Take More” Christie’s Struggles with the Tax Man; “”The Mystery of the Missing Christie”
* Illustrations: Maps of England and central London.
For Christie’s biggest fans, we present the 472-page Deluxe trade paperback edition. It has the same material found in the Standard edition, plus:
* 200 more footnotes, making 700 in all!
* Larger page size: 9” x 6” with a distinctive cover (hint: look at the illustrations on the left side of the cover).
* Artwork Added: 30 illustrations from the novel’s newspaper serialization, not seen for 80 years! (The standard edition has none of the artwork.)
* More essays: “Punch Pokes at Britain”; “Novel Reconstruction: A Punch Parody”; “Tommy and Tuppence’s Fate: The Critics Respond”; “On the Screen and On the Page: Tommy and Tuppence in Other Media”; Chronology of Agatha Christie’s Life and a List of Her Books.
Sounds Awesome! Where Can I Buy A Copy?
“The Complete, Annotated Secret Adversary” was published in December 2013. This is all I have as of 12/2013. As soon as I confirm links to other bookstore sites, I’ll put them up.
Buy the Standard Edition at Amazon
Buy the Deluxe trade paperback edition at Amazon.