They Came to Baghdad–Agatha Christie


A lot of people don’t like the “thriller” Agatha Christie books. I think they’re not her best work, but she knew what she was doing and the thrillers are perfectly fine for what they are.

In this one, there’s a huge assembly of powerful people coming to Baghdad in 1950 to have a conference that will decide whether or not there will be another world war.

And the only person who can stop it is…an unemployed typist from London.

Sure, why not?

In any event, this young woman, Victoria Jones, follows a crush to Baghdad utilizing her skill set (which is mostly lying) and gets involved in the British intelligence service, an archaeological dig, and of course, murder.

By the way, the difference between a thriller and a mystery (in my mind) is that in the mystery, solving the murder is the entire point, whereas in a thriller, stopping the bad guys is the point, and the murders are just to raise the stakes.

In point of fact, although I hadn’t read it in some years and didn’t remember it, I knew the bad guy as soon as I saw him. I think her hints were less subtle than usual this time around.

The weirdest part of this book, to me, was trying to reconcile the Baghdad Christie knew in 1950 from the one I think of sixty years later. Christie’s version implied a primitive, ancient society with a few Western modern veneers slapped uncomfortably on. That’s not the Baghdad we see on the news.

Anyway, that’s my takeaway. Romance, spies, intrigue, sand.

Trivia time! Except, there does not appear to be a trivia question for this one. Ouchy, I guess we know which book the author didn’t like.

Oh, and the answer to yesterday’s question is “Go and Find Out”–which is from the Jungle Book, it’s the motto of the mongoose family. I have not read the Jungle Book, so I can’t tell you any more than that.


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