Her wish for excitement is answered when intelligence agent Mr. Carter puts a proposal before the two. A London detective agency has been found to be involved in espionage and its owner has been picked up–but government authorities want to keep the agency open in hope of tracing its illegal activities. How would Tommy and Tuppence like to take on the task?

This set up provides the frame for a series of short stories in which Tommy and Tuppence handle various legitimate calls upon the detective agency even as they hope to make contacts that will break the spy ring. There is Lawrence St. Vincent, whose lady-love has agreed to marry him… but only if he can solve a unique riddle. There is a stolen pearl, the odd scam, and a few murders as well–and, of course, espionage constantly in the background.



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