This was a surprise. I'm certainly a long way from having read the entire Christie canon, but I've read enough to expect a certain...atmosphere in her books. They Came to Baghdad certainly defied those expectations. Exuberant is the only word that comes to mind.
Unfortunately the plot is ludicrous. For the first 13 chapters, Christie was on fire, creating rich characters and setting. The breaking of the fourth wall in Chapter two, when Christie's narrator uses the collective present (Victoria was like most of us, ...), has left me wondering if there isn't a touch of the autobiographical in Victoria. I can imagine Victoria's first impressions of Baghdad being Christie's and I could well believe her final thoughts on relationships are pulled from Christie's first hand knowledge. It isn't until the plot is revealed that it all goes sideways. It's all just a bit too Austen Powers.
Still, if you can overlook it (and it becomes harder to do so in the second half of the book, to be honest), it's a highly entertaining book; practically a romp. I enjoyed it overall, and it was worth the wobbly plot to see Christie's lighter side.
(This was a buddy read for Summer of Spies.)