Thursday, April 13, 2017
The 1951 Club: They Came To Baghdad by Agatha Christie
I'm excited to take part in the The 1951 Club, the creation of Simon over at Stuck in a Book, where bloggers read a book published in the year 1951. I chose They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie. Rather than a straight murder mystery, this novel is more of a thriller and reminded me of an action packed film.
In They Came to Baghdad, the city is the site of an upcoming secret meeting of superpowers. A group of anti-capitalists is trying to prevent the meeting and will stop at nothing.
They Came to Baghdad is not the usual type of detective story I'm used to from Christie. Instead of a detective, the protagonist is the intrepid and impetuous Victoria Jones, a beautiful young woman who has lost her job. She has a happenstance meeting with Edward in a London park and from this one meeting, Victoria decides that it must be love. She decides to follow Edward to Baghdad where he is beginning a new job.
While Victoria longs for love and adventure, once she's in Baghdad, she doesn't count on a dying man, known as Carmichael, bursting into her hotel room, demanding a place to hide from the police. Before he dies, Carmichael tells Victoria a message which seems to make no sense but actually contains clues that will save Anna Scheele whose very life is threatened by her knowledge of financial affairs and her important role in the upcoming secret meeting.
The plot of They Came to Baghdad is quite intricate, and there are lots of characters to keep track of from spies to archaeologists. I love the setting, and Christie's writing is so evocative. Her love of Baghdad is obvious. Although the plot is quite intense, there are also moments of humor. The pacing of the story is excellent and kept me turning the pages.
They Came to Baghdad has a little something for everyone--action, romance, adventure, a plucky heroine who has to use her wits to save herself, a great twist that only Agatha Christie can deliver, and a happy ending.
I really enjoyed They Came to Baghdad, and I recommend this novel.