N or M?

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Novel

First published: 1941

Murder
methods:

  • Gunshot

Tommy & Tuppence

Synopsis

N or M?

N or M?

It is World War II, and while the RAF struggles to keep the Luftwaffe at bay, Britain faces an even more sinister threat from ‘the enemy within’ – Nazis posing as ordinary citizens. With pressure mounting, the Intelligence service appoints two unlikely spies, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. Their mission: to seek out a man and a woman from among the colourful guests at Sans Souci, a seaside hotel. But this assignment is no stroll along the promenade. After all, N and M have just murdered Britain’s finest agent.

Take it on? You bet I'll take it on. Though I can't see how I can be of any use. I'm just a blasted amateur.

Tommy Beresford, N or M?

More about this story

The third adventure in the Tommy and Tuppence series. Now middle-aged and feeling useless after the outbreak of the Second World War, the Beresfords don’t quite know what to do with themselves. When Tommy alone is asked by the government to resume his undercover work, Tuppence insists on joining him.

Not only did Tommy and Tuppence find themselves dealing with British Intelligence, but following the publication of N or M? Agatha Christie herself was investigated by MI5. She had coincidentally named one of her “least loveable” characters Major Bletchley and MI5 suspected she had a spy in Britain’s undercover code breaking centre, Bletchley Park.

Along with The Secret Adversary, it was adapted for TV in 2015 and was first broadcast on BBC One in the UK as a six part series titled Partners in Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine as the detective duo, Tommy and Tuppence.

Did you know?

  1. This was one of two novels which Christie alternated between writing during the Second World War, the other being The Body in the Library. She felt they kept her “fresh at task”.

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