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Curtain (The Agatha Christie Mystery…

Curtain (The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection) (original 1975; edition 1975)

by Agatha Christie

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2,548282,365 (3.75)54
Title:Curtain (The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection)
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Bantam Books (1984), Faux leather hardcover
Collections:Agatha Christie
Tags:Bantam Books 1984

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Curtain by Agatha Christie (1975)

  1. 01
    Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (raizel)
    raizel: The detective /solver of the case tries to help the cause of justice.

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The final Hercule Poirot novel, Agatha Christie's Curtain brings things full circle, with Poirot and Captain Hastings returning to Styles (the scene of their first murder investigation) to attempt to prevent a second murder in that ill house. This time, the killer is far more ingenious and cunning, compelled to kill but with no connection to his victims and a clear suspect for every crime. An ailing Poirot needs Hastings' assistance to stop this, his most diabolical adversary.
Christie ended her long run of Poirot stories with a masterpiece, breaking one of the cardinal rules of classic detective fiction, though in a manner that satisfies her audience. Curtain is permeated with a sense of nostalgia, evoking Poirot's long career and reminding Christie's readers why he remains such a mainstay of detective fiction while simultaneously giving him a fitting sendoff. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Nov 17, 2015 |
I read this after watching the David Suchet dramatization on television.
It is a dark, sad story but good in a way to wrap up Poirot's last days.
The moral twists are quite troubling - the question of who can or should be the judge of evil along with the idea of euthanasia and who gets to decide are covered in some depth. The results are a bit alarming but maybe a reflection of what was happening when the story was written.
The character of Hastings is very interesting to the point where it would be wonderful to know what happened next. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Nov 27, 2014 |
Published in 1975, and supposedly written about 35 years earlier, which puts it at the beginning of World War II, apparently during the blitz.

Hastings, as narrator, makes his first appearance since DUMB WITNESS. In fact he has married, brought up four children, and then buried his wife. The timeline of Hastings' life doesn't quite fit real time so it is one of those things we don't look at too closely. His daughter Judith is one of the characters in the story, and seems to be in her early twenties.

Poirot, crippled with arthritis, a shadow of his former self, and confined to a wheel chair, brings Hastings to Styles to assist in the apprehension of X who has already been involved in five murders. He hopes they will be able to prevent another murder.

Poirot constantly tells Hastings that his mind, his little grey cells, is not impaired, just his body, and he needs Hastings to be the mobile one. However he refuses to tell Hastings who he has identified as X, and this puts him at quite a disadvantage. Poirot finds Hastings as frustrating to work with as he always has, and they do not manage to prevent more murders occurring. It is not for four months after the last murder that Hastings finds out the truth.

Even without the title the reader knows this is the final curtain for Poirot.

I don't actually think that I have read CURTAIN before and so the ending comes as a real surprise. I am not sure it fits with the Poirot I know from books that were written after this one. In many ways CURTAIN is a very black pessimistic book, fitting with the mood of the world when it was written.

The novel is relatively short, similar to earlier novels.

At the end of the Kindle version there is an interesting essay by Sir Charles Osborne in which he discusses the decision taken to finally publish the novel, and the impact that it had on the Christie reading public. ( )
  smik | Oct 28, 2014 |
The best obituary Poirot could have gotten

Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective has returned to Styles Court, the scene of his first English adventure in crime for his final case. But now the handsome country mansion is a guest house and Poirot, old and arthritic, is one of the guests. He invites Captain Hastings to join him and then reveals the reason for his request. Poirot informs his old friend that they are "here to hunt down a murderer." And to find out who is the killer, first a murder has to be committed. But who will be the victim?

Although Curtain was written during the London blitz in the early years of World War II, it never got published until 1975. The reason being that in this book the famous detective Hercule Poirot concludes his wonderful career. Agatha Christie wanted Poirot not to survive his creator. Therefore she finished his career by writing Curtain and locked the manuscript in a bank vault. Dame Agatha Christie died on January 12, 1976, one year later than her most famous creation.

Curtain is a vintage Christie. The plot is ingenious and seems totally committed to putting the reader on the wrong track. Although the actual motive and operation procedure of the murderer are quite dubious and unbelievable¸ there is only one word that can truly describe the denouement: sublime. In a few lines Poirot explains how the unsuspicious reader probably missed five smartly interwoven clues. When you read these lines you can only but hit yourself on the head for being so short-sighted, exactly the same feeling reflected by Captain Hastings at the end of the book. ( )
  Hanneri | Dec 17, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fonticoli, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wie van hen is een moordenaar.....

Poirots laatste moordzaak.
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Who is there who has not felt a sudden startled pang at reliving an old experience, or feeling an old emotion?
I was sitting in an armchair wrestling with the Times crossword and reading out the clues.
"The chaps between the hills are unkind."
"Tormentor," .... (p. 181)
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Poirot's final case
Murder waiting to happen
Heart wrenching choices

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425173747, Mass Market Paperback)

Poirot returns to the scene of his very first crime to solve a mystery that will be his last.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:21 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Hercule Poirot and the recently widowed Captain Arthur Hastings return to the scene of their first investigation many years before. Joining them at the estate is a mysterious stranger linked to five seemingly unrelated murders. Poirot must work quickly to prevent the sixth murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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