A spy novel by Agatha Christie. Or should i say pages and pages of words put together by the queen of crime? (I dont want to use the word crap here) I cant beleive that the same person who wrote "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" and "LORD EDGWARE DIES" wrote this book. This was the last spy novel Christie wrote. Man, Am I glad about that! (I feel slightly guilty about saying this about my idol but then i have to accept the truth)I never thought i could dislike a Christie. I love reading her books and i also cherish my childhood dream of buying all her books and making it a part of my private library by the time i am 30. Only after buying this book did i realise that the collection would be one book less. I have no intention of keeping this book in my handpicked selection of fiction.
There are not going to be a lot of spoilers. I couldnt read more than half the book.
The story starts with Sir Stafford Nye coming back from Malaya. A mysterious woman asks him to lend her his passport so that she can safely go to london. She convinces him that with a hair cut and his coat put on top of her clothes, she can pass for him.Our gallant gentleman, who thirsts for adventure, agrees to be drugged and have his passport stolen.(Maybe he thought he could earn extra points with the female. Did i mention he is a bachelor? ) Once he returns to london , he gets to know that he assisted a very smart and valuable spy and thanks to his gesture, she is still alive. He finds his passport returned in a very unique way(You can read the book. This was the point i started losing interest in it.) and is anxious to get to know the person whose life he saved. (Shall i make this melodramatic and say he longs for a glimpse of the lady??) He goes to meet her in a bridge and then in an opera. A few moments with her. Nothing more. (I think Christie tried to build a nail biting suspense here. A very miserable attempt!) How can i forget to mention his enlightening(read as nonsensical) conversations with his Aunt matilda(who like all aunts assume her nephew is in love?) which happens when he goes to her place? I reread the whole conversation twice but wasnt able to make any sense out of it. It was only because of my loyalty to Christie that I continued reading and finished the next two chapters where he (finally) meets the mysterious Mary Ann, who poses as a Countess and hijacks him after the party to a spacious mansion. I threw away the book at this point regretting the instant i saw it in blossoms. Sigh... 130 pages and this is all that happened. (read as nothing)
Why did Agatha Christie have to write this book?! I read the Big Four by her. It wasnt great but atleast it was tolerable. She had imitated the Sherlock Holmes style in that book. As AJ says,she should have stuck to mysteries and not attempted spy novels. It is hard to digest when a chidhood idol dishes out crap that the adult you cannot take. I am so angry with her.