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Curtain Poirot's last case by Agatha…
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Curtain Poirot's last case (original 1975; edition 2006)

by Agatha Christie

Series: Hercule Poirot (38)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,462412,641 (3.81)88
A wheelchair-bound Poirot returns to Styles, the venue of his first investigation, where he knows another murder is going to take place... The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara , Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. So Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot's declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the ageing detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him'...… (more)
Member:rickycatto
Title:Curtain Poirot's last case
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:[S.l.] : HarperCollins, 2006.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read, audiobooks

Work details

Curtain: Poirot's Last Case by Agatha Christie (1975)

Recently added byprivate library, Houhoulis, martafc, JuliW, therebelprince, Teaselbrush, PIBL
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    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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In which two old friends are reunited, to solve their last crime at the place they solved their first…

Like "Sleeping Murder" - the last Marple published, if not necessarily the chronological end to her tales – "Curtain" was written in World War II as a back-up, and finally published shortly before Dame Agatha’s death, when it was clear she would write no more novels. As such, it is one one level a welcome return to form after the previous books in the Poirot series – such as "Elephants Can Remember" - which fail to impress on any level. It’s also one of her most shocking twists, and a book that brings a powerful and definite end to the tales of Poirot and Hastings. By returning them to Styles – the site of their first case in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" fifty-four years earlier – Hastings and Poirot, the former a widower and the latter crippled, come full circle. The mystery is well put together, although the focus on our investigators means that there is less characterisation than usual for the suspects.

"Curtain" is a most unusual Christie novel, and an even more unusual Poirot one. At the same time, though, it follows logically from the maturation of both writer and character. (Poirot, that is. Hastings doesn’t seem to have evolved much in the last half-century.) The fact that Christie wrote this in the ’40s, before the developments of Poirot’s life, has both positive and negative traits. It’s surprisingly in keeping with the changing tone of Poirot’s later novels (and should make for a marvellous end to the Suchet series – God willing – given the direction they went with Series Twelve), but of course, there are questions of chronology, and the age of the characters, since thirty years’ worth of novels and the real world had intervened.

If we’re being technical, this is the best book of the 1970s (it seems a little unfair, but – if not – our choices are pretty dire). It’s a classic, but a pity about the vague depictions of some of the suspects. I'll give "Curtain" a generous 4 stars, but I would recommend new readers choose earlier volumes first!

Poirot ranking: 11th out of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Curtain is the last novel starring Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. This was a whirlwind year for me to actually read all of the Poirot books this year. There were definitely some books that were my favorites, and some that I ended up just outright disliking. This particular book felt like classic Christie. I think it was because Curtain was written by Agatha Christie thirty years before it was published in 1975. Because of this, though we have allusions to the second World War, Christie did not include a lot of references to clothes, cars, and other things that could put a definite time stamp on the novel.

Narrated by Hastings (Poirot's sidekick and friend) we have the duo returning to the place that first brought them together, Styles. You can read my review about that first book, here, Gone Fishing Day Six.

The last time we have Hastings and Poirot together was in Dumb Witness (you can read my review Dumb Witness Was a Below Average Poirot.) and since then Hastings has lived with his now dead wife in Argentina. Together they raised four children, though Hastings youngest child, Judith, is now living in England and assisting a scientist with his research. Through happenstance, Judith, the man she is working for and his wife are also at Styles along with an assorted list of people.

Poriot has summoned Hastings to him in order for them to investigate one last case together. Poirot now elderly and unable to walk is now wheelchair bound. He still is the same intelligent man who can match wits with anyone and tells Hastings about a mysterious "X" who Poirot has connected to five murders. Poirot believes that "X" is going to strike again and someone at Styles will be murdered. Since Poirot cannot interview and pick people's brains per usual, Hastings is to be his eyes, ears, and legs in this case.

What was interesting is that for once you actually have Hastings doing much of the investigating with very little input by Poirot. Poirot is still there, but in the shadows for the most part since he tires very easily and is often taken rests. What I loved though was that unlike in the last book that included Hastings, I could actually see the long standing affection between Hastings and Poirot. In fact throughout the story we have Hastings seemingly more upset about the impending loss of Poirot and what would he do without him.

The other characters are actually written very well and Christie manages to give life to them all. Though I correctly guessed "X" in this case, I can honestly say that Christie made it tough because initially you realize that it could be anyone at Styles just based on their behavior and how they acted throughout the book.

I thought the writing was top notch just because it reminded me a little bit of Murder on the Orient Express with the solution being cleverly done with enough clues being left by Christie that you could figure things out if you focused on what was being said and not said. The flow actually was really good too. I think that the book being written in Hastings voice with him being the primary narrator actually helped things along. The last few Christie books had multiple narrators and way too many things crammed in the story. It was refreshing to just read a story about Hastings and Poirot doing their best to figure out who "X" is and how to stop them before anyone else was hurt.

Moving the setting to Styles I thought was very brilliant. One of the characters asked Hastings was it a happy house before and I liked that he brought up the fact that he was not allowing himself to think about how unhappy the house and inhabitants actually were. I do believe that a house can take on an aura from those that lived there over time. Styles seemed to go from unhappiness to more unhappiness through the changing years so there is a considerable pall during Hastings and Poirot's stay at the home.

Now to the ending. It was brilliantly done. Though as I said in my updates, I think just a wee bit melodramatic. Though I had correctly guessed "X" I still got 'wrong' how this person did the murders. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
En Telón, la rueda ha completado una vuelta y el detective belga vuelve una vez más a la casa en que dio la campanada la primera novela policíaca de Agatha Christie: El misterioso caso de Styles. Styles es ahora una casa de huéspedes y Poirot uno de ellos, cuando invita a su viejo amigo Hastings a reunirse con él y le confía los motivos profesionales que piden este encuentro. Entre sus actuales moradores se halla el responsable de varios asesinatos, alguien a quién la justicia no puede alcanzar y que Poirot se resiste a nombrar. Pero pronto se produce una nueva muerte en Styles y, esta vez la hija de Hastings se encuentra entre los sospechosos. ¡A pesar de haber sido testigo presencial del crimen! Escrita hace ya treinta años, pero guardada hasta el presente inédita, esta novela es un continuo triunfo del "clímax", hasta la secuencia en la que Poirot resuelve el último caso de su vida literaria, con la brillante y poco ortodoxa forma característica.
  BdpHEE | Apr 6, 2020 |
This time out is Poirot's last case. We find that he is suffering badly from severe arthritis, a weak heart and some other ailments. His recent trip to Egypt on doctor's orders seems to have been very detrimental to his health instead of being a recuperative help. But his highly analytical mind is the same as it ever was, unfettered by his broken body.
Old friend Hastings is asked to be Poirot's eyes and ears as things seem to be going strangely at Styles, a place where Poirot and Hastings first met to begin their long and storied acquaintance. Of course Hastings is no match for the well tuned mind of Poirot and is easily put off the trail of the culprit of several murders that don't seem quite as they should. It really isn't until the last part of the book that Poirot lets Hastings in on a number of things that he had missed. It is in the form of a letter written just previously to Poirot dying, but was held back by Poirot's wishes until 4 months after his death.
Christie had grown to loathe the little Belgian detective and wanted to kill him off. With this book, it came to fruition. This was actually written in the 1940s and locked away for publication some 30 years later in 1975. Indeed, it was the last novel published before her death. ( )
  krgulick | Jun 19, 2019 |
The final Christie, with one last twist that I didn't see coming. I loved the way she went back to the setting of her first mystery, and brought back Hastings as a narrator. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Autiovuori, PekkaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barreto, MascarenhasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergvall, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruin, G.R. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Correy, Michael P.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dias, ManuelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fonticoli, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerra, SalvadorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kořínek, OtakarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liebe, Poul IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lispector, ClariceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llambrich, Ramon MargalefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacAfee, MaraCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margalef Llambrich, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffat, JohnReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pöhlmann, JanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rey, Jean-AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schultz, MonikaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szeryńska, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szeryńska, AnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Wie van hen is een moordenaar.....

Poirots laatste moordzaak.
Dedication
First words
Who is there who has not felt a sudden startled pang at reliving an old experience, or feeling an old emotion?
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
WorldCat has ISBN 0396071910 for BOTH the 2-in-1 Curtain & The Mysterious Affair at Styles AND just for Curtain.
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A wheelchair-bound Poirot returns to Styles, the venue of his first investigation, where he knows another murder is going to take place... The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara , Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. So Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot's declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the ageing detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him'...

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Poirot's final case
Murder waiting to happen
Heart wrenching choices
(hardboiled)

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