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Summary

Six short stories from the Queen of Crime, telling, amongst other things, of Pink Pearls and Sinister Strangers.

Bonus Feature: Includes an exclusive Q&A session between Hugh Fraser and David Brawn, Publishing Operations Director at HarperCollins.

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford were restless for adventure, so when they were asked to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency, they leapt at the chance. After their triumphant recovery of a pink pearl, intriguing cases kept on coming their way: a stabbing on Sunningdale golf course; cryptic messages in the personal columns of newspapers; and even a box of poisoned chocolates.

©2007 Agatha Christie (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Sherlock Holmes, John Thorndyke, Father Brown and even Poirot are amiably parodied, and once or twice the solution as well as the dialogue is deliberately facetious." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"Required reading.’Books‘Distinctly worthwhile." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about Partners in Crime

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Enjoyable escapades

Enjoyable escapades from T and T although at times they display genius akin to HP, but good fun all round. Hugh Fraiser excellent as always

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great read

superbly narrated. spellbinding set of short stories. Fast paced and captivating. Agatha Christie at her story telling best

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Love it!!!

What a fab book! Each story funny and gripping. With a delightful end to the whole book! Wish it would have gone on longer!!!

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Flows from crime to crime with ease.

Short elegant stories read beautifully. Not major crimes against the world but enjoyable every chapter.

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Loved the book, love Hugh Fraser reading it

I have loved this book since I first read it on my early teens, Hugh Fraser"s reading of it is excellent

2 people found this helpful

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Best Narrator

I would recommend any Poirot or Tommy and Tuppence book to be narrated by Hugh Fraser.He is a great mimic of both male and female characters.

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Elementary, my dear Tuppence...

Although very happily married to Tommy, Tuppence Beresford is finding life rather monotonous, so when their old friend Mr Carter of the Intelligence Services puts a proposition to them, the young couple jump at the chance. Mr Carter believes a private detective agency is being used to pass messages in some kind of shady espionage plot. The owner has been arrested and Mr Carter wants Tommy to impersonate him and pass on information about any odd contacts he gets. Thus Tommy becomes Mr Blunt of Blunt’s Brilliant Detectives and, having no intention of being left out, Tuppence is transformed into Miss Robinson, his confidential secretary. While they wait to be contacted by the spy ring, they investigate the various cases brought to them by troubled clients…

This is a bit of light-hearted fun from Christie, in which she shows her love for the mystery fiction world of which she was such a shining light. The book is in the form of short stories, each an individual case, with the background espionage plot only really appearing once or twice throughout. Tommy and Tuppence, having no experience of detecting, decide to learn the craft from the masters, so in each case they take on the personas of a different fictional detective and his or her sidekick.

I’m pretty sure when I first read this long, long ago, I’d have recognised Holmes and Poirot, and assumed all the rest of the fictional ‘tecs were simply names made up by Christie. But after being steeped in Golden Age mysteries for the last few years, I now realise they’re all real – well, real in the sense that they are all based on fictional detectives who would have been well known to Christie’s contemporary readers. Inspector French is there, and Inspector Hanaud, Father Brown, The Old Man in the Corner, Reggie Fortune, etc., and a few I still don’t recognise. Christie doesn’t go overboard with the references – she name-checks the ‘tecs and makes a few amusing observations about their style or mannerisms, but when the cases get underway Tommy and Tuppence revert to being themselves.

The cases themselves are quite slight and vary in quality and style. Some are humorous, some more serious, up to and including murder. A couple have a slightly spooky edge – something Christie always does well. Tommy and Tuppence are a great partnership, though the format of this tends to mean that Tommy gets to be the lead more often, since he’s playing Blunt. But Tuppence uses her ingenuity and intuition, not to mention using her social skills to mingle with the people involved in the cases and pick up bits of gossip. Albert, their usual assistant, is in it too, but only makes a real contribution to a couple of the stories.

Truthfully, I’m not sure how much appeal this collection would have to anyone who didn’t already know and love Tommy and Tuppence from their first appearance in The Secret Adversary, but for fans they are an entertaining addition to the full-length Tommy and Tuppence novels, and the references to the other Golden Age ‘tecs is an added bonus for vintage crime enthusiasts, giving an insight into Christie’s own reading tastes. Hugh Fraser’s narration is, as usual, wonderful, and the format of lots of short stories gives him the opportunity to portray a vast selection of characters, from society women to foreign spies, all of which he does with great gusto. Lots of fun!

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Tuppence is wonderful!

Listening to Tuppence and Tommy go on at each other is delightful.
I can't wait to read more...

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Great story & performance but horrible structure

The chapters do not correspond to the real ones, the story's just randomly broken up into 6 chapters. Otherwise it would have been great.

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Enjoyable and lighthearted detective stories

Hugh Fraser is the perfect narrator. He captures an essence of the era and portrays a variety of characters with aplomb.

The many stories in this book are short and sweet, with an underlying plot running through them. Each story gives Tommy and Tuppence the opportunity to investigate crimes and mysteries in a most engaging and jolly manner - involving disguises, fake personas and japes galore!

I love all of AC’s writing - but she seems to have particular fun with these two characters. Highly recommended!

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Profile Image for mr kieran j murphy
  • mr kieran j murphy
  • 29-05-20

very weak story

this book really was just Agatha Christie getting rid of a few ideas which went no where. they are well read