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2.8 out of 5 stars41
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2007
As a die hard Christie fan, and loving the previous four T&T books, I felt I had to slog through and finish this one, and although the whodunnit is answered after a fashion, I still don't know whydunnit. Christie wrote this one as an aged writer and it shows, with the main characters, themselves in their seventies, prattling on about nothing interesting or germane, and "witness" characters sounding like a visit with aged relatives who talk about people you have never met and they can't seem to quite remember. Although in the end we do find out who did the actual dastardly deed(s), it doesn't seem to matter; I won't type out a spoiler here as far as motive, suffice it to say it was very unsatisfying and confusing. Perhaps an English reader would get more out of it as there are references to what I think are actual historical events that happened in England, but I can only guess. If you are a fan of T&T by all means read this one as it is the last, but for all other Christie readers I say skip it.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2007
If you are a diehard Christie fan who has already devoured most of her work, go out and buy this book, you know you'll have to read it sooner or later! If on the other hand you're new to Christie, avoid this one like the plague, it could put you off for life. The last book she wrote is, in a word, dreadful. No plot, no mystery, reams of trivial and inconsequential conversations which go nowhere and have no relevance - it's like eavesdropping on a couple of senile old biddies sat behind you on the bus! How it ever got published in this form is the biggest mystery. I guess by this time her publishers realised that anything bearing the name 'Agatha Christie' would sell by the shedload, no matter how bad. And it's still selling today, so it seems they were right! And you thought 'Passenger To Frankfurt' was bad...............
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on 29 June 1999
The only reason I kept reading this book after the few initial chapters was that its written by Agatha Christie. I have always enjoyed her mysteries but this one was extremely boring and repetitive, wasn't much of a mystery anyway. I love the way Agatha Christie shapes her characters in other books but if one wants to keep admiring her genius, avoid Postern Of Fate.
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on 28 October 2007
...and remember this is her last book. She uses her characters Tommy and Tuppence to say goodbye, and to go back to her early youth. The house they buy is the house she grew up in on the outskirts of Torquay (since demolished and built over with villas). In her mind, though, it still exists, and it still contains all her old toys and books. It also contains the past, always a Christie obsession. She loved to note how things changed and got forgotten - and how other things, like megalomaniac plans for running the world, were always coming back in different forms. T&T reminisce about all their old cases, and meet a couple of characters from previous books (Mr Robinson and Colonel Pikeaway). By delving in the distant past through the misty memories of old-age pensioners and the legends that have been handed down to the latest generation, our heroes find the "papers" various factions have been seeking for decades. A missing mastermind? A worldwide association recruiting vulnerable young people to commit deeds of violence? Is that so unlikely? After this novel, like Prospero, Christie put her toys back in their box.
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on 22 March 2007
This is a very late Christie. She revisits her old childhood home, long since demolished, by having her characters Tommy and Tuppence buy it. They find it is full of her old childhood toys. They also find a clue to a long-ago mystery and she repeats her adage that time will bring the truth to light. By revisiting her own distant past, she seems to be making peace with life and saying farewell to it.
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on 26 June 2001
The last book published before Christie's death turns out to be a big let down. The Beresfords have become tedious and the endless conversations about dogs are a huge turn off - more at home in one of the children's books with which this story abounds. Unlike the previous Tommy and Tuppence books, the action is minimal and it is a real struggle to finish this book. The end is predictable and the one moment of excitement not even that excitement. Also, the old enemies in the past idead is dredged up again from the vastly superior 'The Secret Adversary' and we are left with a tired old book which doesn't deliver. Avoid.
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on 15 September 2013
This is the only Tommy and Tuppence book that I've read that I've enjoyed as much as the Poirot and the Marple books, and the only one in which their personalities aren't overpoweringly underwhelming. It's also the last book that Christie ever wrote, although not the last to be published - interesting, as Tommy and Tuppence were her only characters who aged in real-time, in their seventies at the time of the novel's creation.

Weirdly though, the reviews for the book are terrible, with many critics complaining that Christie is losing her grip and that conversations are repeated several times or that the ageing main characters take several chapters to solve simple riddles. I didn't really see that, but then I read on the bus on my way to and from work, and so I can quite happily recap between sessions without even realising it.

Still, I wouldn't say it's one of Christie's best works, and it's only worth reading if you're a hardcore fan of the great crime writer. Better titles include Death On the Nile and And Then There Were None, so be sure to read those and to investigate more of her work before digging in this deep.
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on 31 December 2015
Not her best. In fact, probably her worst, and I write this as someone who has read and loved all of Christie's novels. Tommy and Tuppence are old now; Agatha Christie is old, and boy does it show. We get endless, rambling, circular discussions about dogs and gardens and electricians and children's books, and how The Laurels is a silly name for a house, which are all quite inconsequential to the plot. Tommy and Tuppence go and see a lot of other old people and have the same endless, rambling, circular conversations over and over, with very little information forthcoming. At one point they find a pocketbook and spend a page and a half speculating and free associating about what could be in it, instead of just opening the damn thing. This rather sums up the book in its entirety.

The premise has great potential: our heroes must solve a generations-old murder with just two sentences to go on, which only the very oldest inhabitants can remember first-hand, beset by decades of rumour and misinformation; but unfortunately the plot that Christie cooked up just bumbles blindly about, occasionally walking the dog, not actually discovering any useful information or clues, and the (rather weak) solution is then summarily disclosed in the final chapter by a supporting character who had apparently forgotten to mention earlier that he knew the whole story. For diehards and completists only.
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on 17 January 2013
I am an avid Christie fan and particularly like her Tommy & Tuppence characters. This does book, which I believe was her last published story, doesn't disappoint. I recommend you all to purchase this book, it's a great read from a great ladyPostern of Fate. I also recommend you to read N or M and The Secret Adversary - both featuring T & T.
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on 29 December 2015
I am an enormous Agatha Christie fan and have read many of her works. I absolutely loved "The Secret Adversary", also featuring Tommy and Tuppence, so I was excited about kicking back and getting lost in "Postern of Fate".

The book is absolutely awful. There is, in short, absolutely no plot. The first chapter is quite intriguing with the hidden message in the book - but believe me when I say that the plot, in the whole of the rest of the novel, doesn't go any further than that. Tommy and Tuppence have endless, pointless discussions about who this Mary Jordan might be, and how might she have been murdered. They never get further than speculating, in between endless discussions about useless and irrelevant information (plants, dogs etc). There is no suspect list, no information about the victim herself, no investigation - just endless speculation about nothing.

It's a shame, but I really had to force myself to read it to the end, it was so boring.
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