Bore in the Streets, Snore in the Streets: The Secret Adversary Review

I love Agatha Christie. When most people ask my favorite author, it’s a rapid fire response about the brilliance that is Christie. Her mysteries are smart, compelling and, typically, keep you guessing to the end. With “Secret Adversary“, the pulse is novel thrives on discovering Mr. Brown’s identity. Unfortunately, that’s where the comparisons stop.  It’s unlikely you will find me continuing with The Young Adventures, Ltd. on any of their other journeys.

Maybe it is modern day marketing (and I don’t say this lightly as a public relations professional), but the back of the book drew me in with it’s description: two young lovers solving crimes and always on the run. Yet, nothing about it felt electric. Tommy and Tuppence genuinely care about each other, but the relationship always felt brother/sister-like. Their engagement at the end was not the end goal of my reading. It happened, but I would have been okay if it didn’t.

What the book does right is the characterization of Tuppence: quick-witted, smart mouthed and full of wonder. Alone, I hope I could follow her along as she stumbles into these highly dangerous situations. On the other hand, I’m okay if Tommy wants to sit on the sidelines. While I compliment Christie’s development of characters, he just sagged against Tuppence’s brightness. They were a fine pair, but he just seemed to exist.

Moving on, the characterization of Mr. Brown was fascinating. An ever changing chameleon, no one could ever pinpoint his true identity. While it seemed like he hid in the shadows, he was always in broad daylight. Don’t let me fool you, he isn’t a Moriarty or Joker. But he held his own, and built an interesting counterpart to the Young Adventures.

The story itself was your typical mystery. There was nothing that stood out or made it revolutionary. While it kept you guessing who Mr. Brown was, the mystery at hand wasn’t all that compelling or seductive. You knew the culprit after a few chapters, you just had to discover his identity. Sure, there was the aspect of finding Jane Finn, but even that unraveled rather quickly (or shall I say, felt transparent). This wasn’t as page-turning as “And Then There Were None“, but it found its charms through characters.

Ultimately, “The Secret Adversary” is what I’ve grown to love about Agatha Christie, but a little lacking on the heart of other mysteries. While I feel this way, I know many other cherish Tuppence and Tommy and enjoy some of the other adventures they tackle together. Please never let my words make you hesitate on whether or not you should pick up a book. Everyone has their own cup of tea they enjoy.

Don’t worry about my love of Christie diminishing, either. I will be following up with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” and “The Body in the Library“. The latter of which follows my favorite protagonist, Miss Marple. The former, of course, is lead by Hercules Poirot, who is a fine literary hero in his own right. Every mystery gives you something to unravel, it’s just about finding what your book soul is searching for in that moment.

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Reading Rainbow: Popkaiture’s 2017 Reading List

2017 has already started off as a mixed bag, but there is no better way than remedying it with some good old fashioned reading. If you have nothing better to do in your free time or just really love to read, join me on a unique reading journey. Between revisiting old favorites and journeying onto new stories, I hope you will join me for one helluva reading voyage. At the end of each month, I’ll dive into a dissection of each book and what I’ve gained through each piece of glorious literature. Let’s get started, we don’t have much of January left to finish our first book!

January’s Book: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife is my favorite book, and I learn something new with every reading of it. Unfortunately, the rest of Audrey Niffenegger‘s writing has not been able to recapture the magic of this book, but that isn’t going to stop me from loving it. If you are willing to dive into a relationship and the various moments of times they spend together, then get ready for one amazing magic carpet ride. I’m very excited to revisit this book, as it is the perfect way to kick of 2017!

February’s Book: The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

I’ve solved mysteries with Miss Marple and followed behind collecting details with Hercules Poirot, but this is the first crime I’ll be solving with Tommy and Tuppence. Mysteries are my game, and this is the first of three on the list. If you’ve never read Agatha Christie before, she is the mother of modern mysteries. I wish there was another author who could recapture her magic for today’s audiences, but I’ll settle for constantly finding new stories of hers to read. The Secret Adversary specifically follows a couple who is attracted to the allure of private investigating, but their first assignment threatens to test their bond. There’s nothing better to celebrate the month of love than a couple who embarks on these mysteries together, and continue to grow with one another over each new case.

March’s Book: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Every new year deserves a little bit of comedy, and Mindy Kaling is the perfect author to help you giggle. Why Not Me? is the follow-up to her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and I’m excited to see the different aspects of her life with this new(ish) short story collection. Maybe we will find out the answer to the lifelong question: why not me? Or maybe we will just get a full heartfelt laughs at relatables stories. Any way it goes, Kaling will be the perfect entry way into St. Patrick’s Day 2017!

April’s Book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Marking off one of the classics, April is dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse-Five. My husband and I just inherited a whole collection of Vonnegut’s books, and I’m looking at this being the first of many books of his that I will be reading. I missed out on reading this gem in high school, so I’m making up for lost time.

May’s Book: Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Just like January was dedicated to my favorite book, May is dedicated to my husband’s favorite. A science-fiction story centered around a badass teenage girl? Sign me up! Since Isaac Asimov is my husband’s favorite author, I’m familiar with a few of his works and have been dying to read Second Foundation. 2017 is going to be dedicated to tackling things I’ve been wanting to do, and my reading list is no different! Let’s adventure into one of the greatest sci-fi stories of all time together.

June’s Book: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

To mark the start of summer, we will be backpacking with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Okay, maybe not backpacking, but Ann Brashares captures the joy and turmoil of a teenage summer. I’ve been wanting to revisit this series for awhile, especially with all the talks of a third Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie. If I get you addicted and inspire you to read the rest of the story, well that’s all part of job! 😉

July’s Book: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine Complex was, hands down, my favorite book of 2016, and it’s sequel is getting released July 4, 2017! If you aren’t familiar with Sarah Kuhn‘s work, get acquainted with her. She has such a genuity and quirkiness to her writing, and I indulge in it wholeheartedly. Heroine Complex follows Evie Tanaka, while Heroine Worship will be following Aveda Jupiter, who is her best friend and original superhero. I’m a little skeptical of diving into Aveda’s mind, mostly because I loved Evie’s story, but I’ll follow Kuhn to the end of the line. I hope you will, too!

August’s Book: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

If you are familiar with Barbara Kingsolver, then you know that she weaves together her words with lyrical storytelling. I read her novel, The Poisonwood Bible, in high school, and I’ve been dying to revisit her writing. Prodigal Summer feels like the perfect next step, and I’ve only heard people rave about it. I’m not sure what to expect for it, but I’ve heard that it centers on three different stories and it’s very organic in more ways than one. If you don’t know how to interpret that, neither do I. Let’s do this together!

September’s Book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I was introduced to Rebecca in my senior AP English class. Described as a modern-ish Jane Eyre but with a lot more intrigue, and I’ve been dying to read it. I’ve owned this book since reading that article, and I’ve never touched it. Well, that’s all about to change this year! I feel like this is a good way to welcome back school or welcome in fall, whatever change you are experiencing in September. I’m ready to experience Daphne du Maurier. It’s been a long time coming.

October’s Book: The Trespasser by Tana French

The 6th book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, Tana French is the closest we have to a modern day Agatha Christie. I’ve been a fan of this series after one of my English teachers recommended it to me. French has such a unique way of constructing a mystery, and each book follows a character from a previous book. This means you don’t need to read the first five, but I recommend it if you enjoy mysteries and if you want a little bit of background on everything. I’m excited to see where The Trespasser is going to take us.

November’s Book: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

The last mystery on this list, so we have to do it right. Back to Christie, but this times at the hands of Hercules Poirot. Murder on the Orient Express is a classic, and one of the few big titles I haven’t tackled from the Poirot stories. Why has it taken me so long? I was waiting for something great to come along, like the Murder on the Orient Express film that will be released on November 22nd. I’m gearing us up for the movie, so you’re welcome. Also, just be prepared because we know it will not be as good, but we take the victories no matter how small!

December’s Book: The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Two years ago, I read this book called The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Little did I know, this was a series referred to as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the next book was a “prequel” called The Angel’s Game. Luckily for you, this book can be read independently of one another, but Zafon’s writing is very alluring and eerie. Some categorize this as a mystery, and while it has mystery elements, it feels like your technical gothic fiction. What is gothic fiction? I’m glad you asked. It’s like the best of horror, mystery and romance in a dark setting. If that sounds tantalizing, then Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the author for you.