Finessing the King

  • Tommy & Tuppence
  • Short Story
  • 1924

A personal advertisement written in code attracts the attention of Tuppence Beresford. When Tuppence suspects that the code involves the Three Arts Ball, she persuades Tommy to attend dressed in costume. Tuppence’s suspicions prove to be correct when a murder takes place, but as all of the guests are dressed in masquerade, identifying the killer may be more difficult than first thought…

More about this story

Finessing the King and The Gentleman Dressed in Newspaper are in fact two parts of the same story, so they share this story page.

Not even Tommy’s trivia about the way newspapers are printed can detract Tuppence from her boredom. She wants to go dancing and is reading the paper in search of a party. That is until she discovers a secret message in one of the articles. Just what does it mean to “finesse the king”?

In this short story, the detectives Tommy and Tuppence impersonate are McCarty and Riordan, created by Isabel Ostrander (1885-1924).

This story was published by Collins in the collection Partners in Crime, 1929. It was adapted for radio in 1953, starring Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim and it also featured as the second episode of the 1983 TV series Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, with Francesca Annis and James Warwick.

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