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They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
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They Came to Baghdad (1951)

by Agatha Christie

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Adapted from the book jacket: Baghdad is holding a secret superpower summit, but the word is out, and an underground organization in the Middle East is plotting to sabotage the talks. Into this explosive situation appears Victoria Jones, a young woman with a yearning for love and adventure who gets more than she bargains for when she follows a young man to that city.

My reactions
I love Dame Christie’s works, and am especially fond of the series starring Hercule Poirot. This is one of her better stand-alone novels. There are lots of characters to sort out, and much intrigue (no surprise, given the basic premise). Victoria is plucky, thinks quickly, given to prevarication, and quite resourceful in a pinch. I love that she seizes opportunity; recently let go from her job she meets the charming Edward and decides to follow her heart (and her man) to Baghdad.

Among the people she encounters are a professor of archeology, a junior embassy official, an ebullient hotel owner, a taciturn older man, a jealous office worker, a seasoned spy, and, of course, her young man. Along the way she experiences something of the culture and customs of the Iraqi people, stumbles into the major espionage ring at the core of the novel and learns more than a little about herself.

I identified the culprit fairly early, but it was fun to watch it unfold and to watch Victoria talk her way out of more than one tight spot with her quick wit and talent for spinning a plausible story. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 7, 2019 |
A cold war era thriller from the queen of crime? I did not have much hope for this one. But it turned out to be surprisingly suspenseful! Sure, there are plotholes and sketchy characterization but the fast paced lucid narrative kept me hooked. Victoria Jones is one of the pluckiest Christie heroines I have met. She is rather naïve at times, but her capacity to improvise on the spot made her an enjoyable character. Overall, I enjoyed it. ( )
  Porua | Nov 27, 2018 |
The death of a spy in her hotel room launches a young tourist on a whirlwind adventure.

"They Came to Baghdad" has always felt like an airport novel to me: passable, but characterised solely by stereotypes, and never really reaching any kind of plot intensity, at least not any that doesn’t feel manufactured. This novel is a vivacious little romp in the vein of Christie’s early thrillers, where Dame Agatha was allowing herself to experiment a little now that she’d reached a secure point in her career. Things move along steadily, and at least you can sense Christie’s enthusiasm – it’s not just workmanlike.

But, like all her thrillers, it borders on the preposterous, and I doubt anyone in the world has ever put this down and thought, “Wow. Glad I read that.” Copies of this book probably litter bargain basements and attic bookshelves everywhere. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Convoluted. Not Christie's best. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Oct 18, 2018 |
Shorthand typist Victoria Jones fines herself suddenly out of a job. She meets a young man in a London park and they take a fancy to each other. Edward is returning to his secretarial job in Baghdad. Now that she's at loose ends, Victoria determines to join him there. She manages to get a temporary job as companion to a female traveler on her way to Baghdad, and surely a shorthand typist – even a not very good one – can find some sort of job there. One thing leads to another and, before she knows it, she's mixed up in international intrigue. Is anyone who he or she seems to be? She'll have to rely on her wits and her ability to lie convincingly to stay out of the clutches of the conspirators, whoever they are.

Although Christie is better known for her mystery novels, several of her adventure novels are among my favorites. I've now added this one to that list. This book strikes just the right balance between suspense and humor. Although I guessed a few of the book's secrets, Christie still managed to surprise me. This would have been a 5-star read if not for the fact that the conspiracy Victoria was enlisted to thwart was never actually explained!

”The delusion that by force you can impose the Millennium on the human race is one of the most dangerous delusions in existence. Those who are out only to line their own pockets can do little harm—mere greed defeats its own ends. But the belief in a superstratum of human beings—in Supermen to rule the rest of the decadent world—that, Victoria, is the most evil of all beliefs. For when you say, 'I am not as other men'—you have lost the two most valuable qualities we have ever tried to attain: humility and brotherhood.” ( )
  cbl_tn | Sep 5, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Captain Crosbie came out of the bank with the pleased air of one who has cashed a cheque and has discovered that there is just a little more in his account than he thought there was.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312981643, Mass Market Paperback)

Flighty but good-hearted Victoria Jones craves love, intrigue, and adventure. She strikes gold in Edward, a handsome and mysterious traveler whom she's vowed to follow to the ends of the earth. Yet no whirlwind affair can prepare Victoria for what unfolds once she lands in Baghdad. Not a day in Edward's shadow, and she hears whispered warnings of danger and witnesses the murder of a secret agent in her hotel room. And when she discovers that a romantic rival for Edward's affection has arranged for her kidnapping, Victoria fears that her impetuous nature could be the death of her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Victoria is pursued by an unknown power that threatened not only her, but the fate of the entire world.

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