They Came to Baghdad

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A secret superpower summit in Baghdad. Unfortunately the word is out, and an underground organisation in the Middle East is planning to sabotage the talks. Into this explosive situation skips Victoria Jones, a girl with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when an agent dies in her hotel room.

"It has the usual creamy readability and a deeply planted fiend."

The Observer, 1951, London



About this story

First released

Jan 1951 (serialised in John Bull Magazine, UK)

Genre

  • Espionage, 
  • Thriller

Formats

  • Novel

Murder methods

Setting

  • Middle East

From a classic Miss Marple (A Murder is Announced, 1950) to the deserts of Iraq. Hot on the heels of the success of her "Fiftieth" book, Collins licensed a serialisation of They Came to Baghdad to John Bull the weekly magazine which ran from January to March 1951. The Collins Crime Club first edition followed on the 5th March. 

Agatha and Max Mallowan kept a house in Baghdad for many years and she knew the city very well. Although a departure from her usual murder mysteries, the novel was well received on publication. Anthony Boucher in The New York Times ...

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From a classic Miss Marple (A Murder is Announced, 1950) to the deserts of Iraq. Hot on the heels of the success of her "Fiftieth" book, Collins licensed a serialisation of They Came to Baghdad to John Bull the weekly magazine which ran from January to March 1951. The Collins Crime Club first edition followed on the 5th March. 

Agatha and Max Mallowan kept a house in Baghdad for many years and she knew the city very well. Although a departure from her usual murder mysteries, the novel was well received on publication. Anthony Boucher in The New York Times thought it was “All in all, the most satisfactory novel in some years from one of the most satisfying of novelists.”

An interesting comparison can be made between the romance themes of this novel and The Man in the Brown Suit, which is also primarily an adventure novel, rather than a straight whodunnit. In that book, the exciting, mysterious young man that falls into the heroine's room ends up as the romantic hero. In Baghdad, an exciting, mysterious young man also falls into the heroine's room, but he is disposed of, as is the other exciting, mysterious young man that the heroine has followed to Baghdad. A more conventional and staid archaeologist ends up as the romantic hero; Christie herself was married to Mallowan by this date.

Perhaps because of its exotic location, They Came to Baghdad has never been adapated.



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