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Summary

Baghdad is the chosen location for a secret summit of superpowers, concerned but not convinced, about the development of an, as yet, unidentified and undescribed secret weapon. Only one man has the proof that can confirm the nature of this fantastic secret weapon, a British agent named Carmichael. Unfortunately the criminal organisation responsible for the weapon's development will stop at nothing to prevent him entering Baghdad and presenting his proof to the assembled delegates. Can Carmichael enter the city against such odds?

Into this explosive situations appears Victoria Jones, a girl with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded Carmichael dies in her arms in her hotel room. Now, if only she could make sense of his last words "...Lucifer...Basrah...Lefarge..."

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©1951 Agatha Christie Mallowan (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic reviews

"A very human heroine, whose powers of invention, just like those of her creator, never fail her." ( Times Literary Supplement)

What listeners say about They Came to Baghdad

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not an obvious Christie tale.

Love this slightly silly story, very 1950s paranoia/spy type narrative with a charming and humorous heroine in Victoria Jones. Unfortunately it is occasionally let down by some of Emilia Fox's accents and voices (something I've heard before in her other adaptations, (it is a shame the publishers couldn't overcome their gender expectations and just use Hugh Fraser for all of the Christie adaptations).

7 people found this helpful

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Like an Eric Ambler, but with a heroine

Leaves behind typical English bourgeoisie setting, and leads with a bright, resourceful, working class heroine. Very enjoyable and gripping, my new favourite among all the Christie novels I've read.
Narrator seems to think that women over 40 talk in shrill braying tones, but other than that bit of sexism and racism, is pretty good

3 people found this helpful

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Wholly enjoyable!

I loved the lesser-known side of Agatha Christie as presented in this stand-alone novel - in it, she brings together a gripping plot and wonderful characters. We root for the goodies and loathe the baddies and the exotic backdrop of Iraq is fascinating and beautifully evoked. Emilia Fox is a superb narrator and inhabits her characters convincingly and entertainingly. I was honestly sorry when the book ended and still feel quite bereft!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Christie's best but still worth a go

Being a major fan of both Christie and Fox cannot I'm afraid blind me to the fact that this is not one of Agatha Christie's more stellar works. The story really lacks any of the suspense or urgency of her other crime novels and some of the characters are a bit slack.

However like all her work it is laced with divine comical satire and brillant observations of human nature through said characters. Plus the heroine Victoria Jones - while perhaps a bit silly - is absolute fun and a peasure to identify with and travel along with on her wacky adventure filled trip to Baghdad.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great read from Emilia Fox

Excellent story, brilliantly read by Emilia Fox as she makes the characters really live. Its almost like a drama production! Highly recommended, you won't be disappointed if you like Agatha Christie.

1 person found this helpful

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Possibly Her Best Work

When the narrator first started reading I found her lisp very off putting but after a short while it became unnoticeable.
I adore all of Miss Christie’s books but I think this is possibly the best for excitement and strategy.

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Excellent Narrator of a Classic Story

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. Great characterisations by Emilia Fox. An old story which I've always enjoyed reading, brought vividly to life.

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Fox Reads Christie

This isn't a typical Agatha Christie, being more of a thriller than a whodunit but it's not bad for all that.

Emilia Fox does an excellent job of narrating the story. I think this is one of the the best read of all the audio books - on a parr with Stephen Fry and David Suchet.

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Great vocalisations.

Very good story and it's nice that Victoria has a realistic East London accent, not the usual too plummy one! Always enjoy Emelia Fox's readings.

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Interesting historical piece

I was rather put off by the negative reviews of Emilia Fox's narration, but having listened to the story I think they are completely unfair. I am very picky with narrators, having listened to many many books. I do love Hugh Fraser, but don't be put off this one.

As one of Christie's early spy novels the plot is rather ludicrous, but the descriptions of Iraq and the window into impressions of, and attitudes to, the Middle East, from a time before our current biases and associations, was very interesting. Some nice observations of human nature too.

If you've worked your way through most of the AC canon, this is a nice little side street.

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  • 13-11-12

Fun story and easy to listen to

This is one of Agatha Christie's adventure stories, so if you're looking for her traditional "whodunnit?" this won't be it, but it is still a lot of fun and surpassed my expectations.

Emilia Fox's performance was excellent. I only gave her four stars because her male voices don't sound like real men! haha, but this is an issue with almost all narrators performing voices of the opposite sex.