Tommy and Tuppence

Tommy and Tuppence

Tommy and Tuppence are two fictional detectives, recurring characters in the work of Agatha Christie. Their full names are Thomas Beresford and Prudence Cowley. The first time Tommy and Tuppence appeared in a Christie novel was in "The Secret Adversary" (1922). They started out their life as blackmailers (all in search of adventure and money), but the detecting life soon proved more profitable and much more exciting.

Their other appearances were in "Partners in Crime", a 1929 collection of short stories (each reminiscent of another writer's work); "N or M?", a 1940s espionage novel; "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"; and "Postern of Fate", the last novel Christie ever wrote (although not the last to be published).

Unlike many other recurring detective characters, including the better known Christie detectives, Tommy and Tuppence aged in time with the real world, being in their early twenties in "The Secret Adversary" and in their seventies in "Postern of Fate". In their early appearances, they are portrayed as typical upper middle class young adults of the 1920s, and the stories and settings have a more pronounced period-specific flavour than the stories featuring the better known Christie characters. As they age, they're revealed to have raised three children -- twins Deborah and Derek and an adopted daughter, Betty. Throughout the series they employ a man named Albert, who first appeared as a lift boy who helps them in "The Secret Adversary", and in "Partners in Crime" became their hapless assistant at a private detective agency; by "Postern of Fate" he's their butler and has been married and widowed. In "Postern of Fate" they also have a small dog named Hannibal.

The Tommy and Tuppence characters have been portrayed on television by James Warwick and Francesca Annis, first in the feature-length "The Secret Adversary" (1982), followed by the 10-episode hour-long series "Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime" (1983).

The novel "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" was adapted in 2005 by the French director Pascal Thomas with the title Mon petit doigt m'a dit.... The movie casts André Dussolier and Catherine Frot as Bélisaire and Prudence Beresford. The action is transposed to Savoy.

An adaptation of "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" appeared in 2006 as an episode of the Granada television series "Marple". In this version, Tommy and Tuppence were played by Anthony Andrews and Greta Scacchi respectively, but with Miss Marple instead of Tommy and Tuppence as the detective character, unlike in the book.

External links

* [http://us.agathachristie.com/site/the_detectives/tommy_and_tuppence.php Tommy and Tuppence at the official Agatha Christie website]
*http://www.all-about-agatha-christie.com/tommy-and-tuppence.html


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