Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curtain by Agatha Christie

Published: 1975
Pages: 284
Genre: Mystery
Returning to the place where he solved his first murder, Captain Hastings is asked to join Hercule Poirot with his final case. Poirot, old and suffering from arthritis, tells Hastings that there's a murderer among their fellow guests that will soon strike again. While Hastings feels lost and confused, Poirot alone knows he must stop the murderer before it's too late.

You simply can't go wrong with an Agatha Christie murder mystery. The Curtain proved to be a dramatic and expertly put together story with an ending that I wasn't expecting at all! I know that's a common thing to say regarding this genre of book, but there was more than one surprise at the end. One of which nearly brought me to tears, amazingly enough.

The Curtain delivers exactly what you'd expect from a Christie book - a smart, simple and solid plot that is both entertaining and actually makes sense! In comparison to her other books, The Curtain isn't bursting with originality. But for some reason it feels special and important. That could be due to the fact that it is subtitled "Poirot's last case", and that's exactly what it is. Veteran Christie readers might feel a tinge of sadness while reading, because Poirot is portrayed as an old, frail and sick man. Do not fear, however! He's still a genius and has lost none of his lovable personality; the Poirot you know and love hasn't whithered away.

Even though I said the plot isn't extremely original, it's still engaging and leads you to believe that everyone could be the murderer. That's what I love about the book - you aren't sure who to trust, you aren't sure who is genuine. Enough clues are subtly given to you at regular intervals, but the rest is obviously up to you. If you decide to read The Curtain and think you've figured it out, I can almost guarantee that you're wrong in your assumption! The ending came as a huge surprise to me, and I think it's a wonderful yet shocking way to end Poirot's career. Curious yet?

As for Christie's writing style, I love it. She's not big on imagery or metaphors, but you truly get the feeling of English charm. Her writing is so proper and dainty - I can't get enough of it! It fits with the atmosphere perfectly.

Recommendation: I recommend this to experienced Christie readers simply because it's indeed "Poirot's last case". That brings along certain implications, so you should be familiar with her books before reading The Curtain. Other than that, have fun with it! I promise you'll enjoy every page.


Juju at Tales of said...

Fantastic review. Bravo bravo! I am so happy you liked it. I love how solid her mysteries are. I am off to add this one to my TBR list :)

Aths said...

Glad you recommend this! I can't really call myself an experienced Christie reader, since I've only read a couple of Agatha Christie books! But even then I enjoyed the always fascinating endings of these books.

Emidy said...

Juju - They're always fit together so well! Glad you want to read it.

Aths - They're such good books! The only reason I recommend this to "experienced readers" is because something happens at the end that might ruin it for you if you've just started reading Christie.

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

It's been so long since I sat down and read an Agatha Christie mystery. I used to love them! I think I should get back into reading these.

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I love Agatha Christie but I have never read this one. I will be sure to look out for it. I bought a biography of Agatha Christie a little while ago and I can't wait to read it.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing,

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

The Book Mole said...

I read Curtain a few years ago, and your review is spot on! I was almost reduced to tears too at the frail Poirot and just knowing that we won't get to see him again.

Nymeth said...

It doesn't sound like this would be the best book to start with for a Christie newcomer, but I'll keep it in mind for after I've read some more of her stuff.

Anonymous said...

I've read several books by Christie. I find her style to be dry, but still enjoyable.

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

I'd love to read some Agatha Christie sometime - I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any! :) Great review!

E.J. Stevens said...

Let's do the Hop!

My Hop is here.