After Victoria Jones is let go from her job, she runs into a man named Edward. He is charming, and Victoria falls in love with him at once. They only catch is that Edward is leaving for Baghdad the next day. Victoria is determined to follow him no matter what it takes, or no matter what meets her in Baghdad.
With They came to Baghdad Christie shows her range as a writer. The story is more spy than detective. Her hero is also different from her two more known characters of Poirot and Marple. Yet, you do see that they are the brainchild of the same woman. While Victoria isn’t book smart, she is clever, and does deduce things like both Poirot and Marple. While the story isn’t one of her more complex mysteries, it is fun to see how Victoria solves the puzzles during the story, and not waiting for everything to be revealed at the end.
But, the best aspect of the story is the description of people in Baghdad. Christie was married to an archaeologist and did travel out with him on digs. She was very fascinated with history and archaeology. You can tell how much she was fascinated by Baghdad. At the same time, the book is not focused on the sites, more than the people themselves. About Tio, who runs the hotel or Jesus, inspired by the real-life bartender Christie met on her travels.
This book came out in 1951, and it’s interesting to see how Christies writing has changed from her start in the 1920s, through the war and now situated in the cold war. Christie was never one to be very political, yet the politics of her time seeps in her text. It really hits you the huge changes people at that time went through.
If you want to try a Christie book that’s a bit out of the ordinary, I can’t recommend coming to Baghdad high enough.