The Ambassador's Boots

  • Tommy & Tuppence
  • Short Story
  • 1924

Two men with the same initials accidentally swap bags at an airport; but one of them never had a bag at all. From Partners in Crime.

More about this story

Beginning as a case of curiosity, Tommy and Tuppence must investigate the swapping of two bags at an airport, both marked with the same initials. Things become all the more interesting when one of the men has no recollection of any such bag at all.

In this short story Tommy and Tuppence solve the case in the guise of Dr. Reggis Fortune, the creation of H C Bailey (1878-1961). Fortune, the son of a middle-class doctor, is himself a surgeon and consultant to Scotland yard; more important, Reggie is a consummate snob, prone to effete speech mannerisms, who proclaims himself a “man of the people” while consuming enormous gourmet meals or driving around in his Rolls-Royce. Tuppence proclaims herself Reggie Fortune, “because I feel like a lot of hot butter.”

This story was published by Collins in the collection Partners in Crime, 1929, and the title was changed from The Matter of the Ambassador’s Boots to more simply The Ambassador’s Boots. It was adapted for radio in 1953, starring Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim. It also featured in the 1983 TV series Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, with Francesca Annis and James Warwick.

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