Tommy and Tuppence Beresford (SECRET ADVERSARY and PARTNERS IN CRIME) are now a middle aged couple who have two grown children, twins Deborah and Derek. It is the opening days of WWII, England is bracing for the Blitz and all citizens are anxious to "do their bit". Unfortunately while the twins are away on military assignments, the older Beresfords are deemed to be too old for active service. They are urged to take up service at home, like knitting. Ultimately though Tommy's old contacts pay off - for him at least - he is offered a desk job in a restricted area, Tuppence must remain at home, with the hated knitting.
It is later revealed that the desk job is a ruse and Tommy is needed for an undercover assignment. Tuppence is one step ahead as usual and arrives on the scene before Tommy. Together the two work to ferret out a spy ring on the English coast. As always with these two there are deceptions, kidnappings and last minute rescues before the triumphant conclusion.
It is nice to see what old friends have been up to in the intervening years and good to see that they haven't lost a step. Christie does an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of the time, the tension as the war builds and the anxious waiting to hear news of loved ones in peril.
There are a couple of problems though for long time fans of this series. Judging from the publication dates of the earlier novels, 1922 and 1929, Tommy and Tuppence are in their early 40s and the twins are 11 years old during this one. Even going by the slighly different time frame listed in this novel the twins cannot be more than teenagers and Tommy would still be very young to be retired.
The plot is, as usual for Christie, clever and designed to keep the reader guessing until the end. The final chapter is, in keeping with the rest of the series, a nice, sentimental touch.