Thursday, December 4, 2008

I had a Barnes & Noble giftcard left over from my birthday, which was six months ago, and I hate having unused giftcards lying around. So I ordered the incredibly cheesy and yet strangely addictive Holiday in Handcuffs (and yes, I know ABC Family is playing this movie all the time this month but I no longer have cable, so that doesn't help me) and They Came to Baghdad.

This is a re-read for me. It's one of Agatha Christie's stand-alone novels and for some reason, reminds me of Mary Stewart and M. M. Kaye (which is probably why I like it so much).

Victoria Jones is a liar--but at the same time, an incredibly likeable character. (For some reason, I really like Victoria. I don't know if I'd ever trust her to tell the truth if she was my friend, but she's still so cheerful and quick and clever.)

Fired from her secretary job for doing a spot-on imitation of her boss' wife (she thought the boss was gone for the day; he wasn't...and got to see part of her imitation), she cheerfully looks for a new job. While eating her lunch in the park, she meets her Romeo, aka Edward. She's convinced he's her destiny...but he's leaving the next day for Baghdad.

Never one to let a little thing like thousands of miles separate her from her destiny, Victoria lies and finangles her way to Baghdad, where she meets up with Edward. At the same time as all this is going on, there's a whole other plot about spies and Communism. Christie delightfully works the two together and creates a solid mystery that just oozes with 1950s flavor.

If you're a Stewart or Kaye fan, definitely give this one a try.

Rating: 9/10 (some of the Communist aspects were a little boring...and I even like Communist plots)

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