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Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie
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Postern of Fate (original 1973; edition 1973)

by Agatha Christie

Series: Tommy and Tuppence (5)

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2,209375,144 (3.18)56
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books. While rustling through a copy of "The Black Arrow", Tuppence comes upon a series of apparently random underlinings. However, when she writes down the letters, they spell out a very disturbing message: Mary-Jordan-did-not-die-naturally.… (more)
Member:mhhza
Title:Postern of Fate
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Collins Crime (1973), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, mystery

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Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie (1973)

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English (32)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Totally different in that Tommy and Tuppence are trying to solve a mystery that is very old and then spoiler in the last 100 pages a more recent one. Lots of references to the other mysteries solved in other books from series which it helped that I had read them. Liked the beginning with references to ways of thinking and looking at things but then it was repeated to the point of boring. Even the behavior of their dog Hannibal could not help. Disappointing ending for the series. ( )
  kshydog | Dec 13, 2020 |
In which a retired pair of amateur detectives discover an age-old mystery right under their noses.

So it has come to this. "Postern of Fate" was Agatha Christie’s final written work, and it is undoubtedly her worst. Yes, worse than those tawdry thrillers she churned out in the 1920s, or the spurious supernatural short story collections of the ’40s. In her defence, the octogenarian Dame Agatha was probably suffering from early onset dementia, but her editors should’ve seen sense in not damaging her legacy by publishing this tripe.

This is the 5th novel in the Tommy & Tuppence series, which began with two delightful little throwaway books in the ’20s, matured into a charming-but-pointless ’40s novel, and was already teetering on the brink with the laborious "By The Pricking of My Thumbs". The only redeeming factor is to see the continuation of these lovely characters, who aged along with Christie since their first novel (her second) in 1922. Conversations meander onto tangential topics page after page (Christie reportedly would speak into a dictaphone, or recite to a typist, and then basically just check what spilled out for spelling errors – even if this is a myth, it doesn’t seem unlikely!).

The murder mystery is nonsensical, and our heroes have stopped being characters, instead becoming mouthpieces for an outdated generation. I’m a big fan of Dame Agatha, so one day I will buy a copy of this for the sake of completion. But for now, I’m quite happy not to have this cluttering up my shelf.

Tommy and Tuppence ranking: 5th out of 5 ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
I read pretty much every Agatha Christie mystery I could find when I was young. I have come across a few now that I am older so looked forward to reading this one. I didn't remember it but I probably did read it before.

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford are retired, but they can't keep their curiosity down. In WWII they performed admirably as spy catchers, and they seem quite capable of continuing in that vein, however much they may protest.

So when the two move to a little village by the sea and find themselves trying to cope with an overload of books left behind by previous occupants, it is only natural that Tuppence will be intrigued by anything other than the parade of electricians and builders who have invaded their home. She takes down a children's book and finds letters underlined in it by a boy named Alexander. The first sentence she reads from these underlinings is "Mary Jordan did not die naturally.". Well.

Little by little the couple is drawn in by this sentence and by one or two other finds, and before you know it they are pursuing some lost articles that may be of importance even now, seventy years or so after Mary Jordan died.

It's a "cozy mystery". Christie pretty much invented the form, and nobody does it better. In fact, I won't read any other "cozys", just hers. Others get too cute while she explores the idiosyncrasies of her characters and makes them believable. I enjoyed getting caught up in the days of the vanishing upper middle class in England as well, the families with their steadfast servants and their amazing gardens. Thus I enjoyed this one all the way through. It was altogether too quick a read. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
A very late Christie book. If she hadn't become the Queen of Mystery by the time this was written I don't think the book could have been published. They obviously felt anything with her name on it would sell, which was probably true. Tedious retelling of details, no characters developed as the bad guys, no real case. I had apparently read this in 2015 but I hadn't commented on it and couldn't remember it, so the re-read. Blimey, it was awful. ( )
  mysterymax | Aug 10, 2020 |
This is another Tommy and Tuppance book. It was a good mystery, but less exciting the other Christie books. ( )
  DrApple | Aug 2, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crepax, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacono, CarloCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Four great gates has the city of Damascus...
Postern of Fate, the Desert Gate, Disaster's Cavern, Fort of Fear...
Pass not beneath, O Caravan, or pass not singing. Have you heard
That silence where the birds are dead yet something pipeth like a bird?...

James Elroy Flecker
From "Gates of Damascus"
Dedication
For Hannibal and his master
First words
"Books!" said Tuppence.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books. While rustling through a copy of "The Black Arrow", Tuppence comes upon a series of apparently random underlinings. However, when she writes down the letters, they spell out a very disturbing message: Mary-Jordan-did-not-die-naturally.

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