Tommy and Tuppence Books in Order, Agatha Christie’s detective duo

While Agatha Christie is best known for her characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the Queen of Crime also created two lovely detectives, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford.

They have been less active that her most famous creations, as the duo only appears in four novels and fifteen short stories. Let’s discover now the best way to dive into their adventures!

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How to Read Tommy and Tuppence Series in Order

Contrary to other Christie’s detectives, Tommy and Tuppence age in the course of the series. The married couple is in their early 20s when we encounter them for the first time and are in their 70s in their last book.

For this reason, I would suggest to read their stories in chronological order. Know that all the short stories have been collected in one book.

The Secret Adversary (1922)
Partners in Crime (1929 short story collection)
N or M? (1941)
By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)
Postern of Fate (1973)

the series is also available on Audible.

Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries Series

The following descriptions are taken and slighted adapted from several publishers.

The Secret Adversary – With that bold declaration, Thomas “Tommy” Beresford and Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley launch their career as sleuths. The childhood chums, newly reunited in London during the lean years after the Great War, are immediately swept up in a series of thrilling escapades as they search for a secret treaty in the hands of a survivor of the shipwrecked Lusitania.

Witty banter highlights their tale of adventure, courage, and suspense, populated by a colorful cast ranging from an American millionaire and a British Intelligence agent to a ring of Bolshevist conspirators headed by a criminal mastermind.

Partners in Crime – Tommy and Tuppence Beresford are restless for adventure, so when they are asked to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency, they leap at the chance. Their first case is a success—the triumphant recovery of a pink pearl.

Other cases soon follow—a stabbing on Sunningdale golf course; cryptic messages in the personal columns of newspapers; and even a box of poisoned chocolates. But can they live up to their slogan of “Any case solved in 24 hours”?

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…

By the Pricking of My Thumbs – When Tommy and Tuppence visited an elderly aunt in her gothic nursing home, they thought nothing of her mistrust of the doctors; after all, Ada was a very difficult old lady.

But when Mrs Lockett mentioned a poisoned mushroom stew and Mrs Lancaster talked about ‘something behind the fireplace’, Tommy and Tuppence found themselves caught up in an unexpected adventure involving possible black magic…

Postern of Fate – Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books. While rustling through a copy of The Black Arrow, Tuppence comes upon a series of apparently random underlinings.

However, when she writes down the letters, they spell out a very disturbing message:
M a r y – J o r d a n – d i d – n o t – d i e – n a t u r a l l y…
And sixty years after their first murder, Mary Jordan’s enemies are still ready to kill…

Tommy and Tuppence Adaptations, from radio to screens

Agatha Christie’s detective duo, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, have been subject to various adaptations over the past two decades.

It began in 1953, when the BBC adapted Partners in Crime into a radio series starring real life couple Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim. They were also playing together in Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap in 1952.

The most famous portrayal of the Tommy and Tuppence characters came in 1982, when James Warwick and Francesca Annis played the couple in the film The Secret Adversary (1982), and subsequently reprised their roles in the ten-episode television series Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime (1983).

More than two decades after the television adaptation, French filmmaker Pascal Thomas introduced another take of the duo in 2005 with Mon petit doigt m’a dit… (By the Pricking of My Thumbs), with André Dussolier and Catherine Frot.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs was also adapted for the Granada television series Marple in 2006, starring Greta Scacchi and Anthony Andrews as Tommy and Tuppence.

David Walliams and Jessica Raine most recently portrayed the detective pair in the BBC television series Partners in Crime, which premiered in 2015 and lasted 6 episodes.

For more Agatha Christie, check out our selection of her 10 best books, then consult our reading guide for Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. For more mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective fiction, read about Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gentleman Detective Lord Peter Wimsey.