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The Mysterious Affair at Styles Hardcover – Aug 1975


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Dodd Mead; 6th Printing edition (August 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0396071910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0396071914
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 18.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

'First rate Christie: fast, complicated, wryly funny' Time 'Superb, vintage Christie' Sunday Express

From the Back Cover

The crime-fighting careers of Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have come full circle—they are back once again in the rambling country house in which they solved their first murder together.

Both Poirot and Great Styles have seen better days—but, despite being crippled with arthritis, there is nothing wrong with the great detective and his “little gray cells.” However, when Poirot brands one of the seemingly harmless guests a five-time murderer, some people have their doubts. But Poirot alone knows he must prevent a sixth murder beforethe curtain falls. . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geert Daelemans on May 11 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read Poirot books for thing and one thing alone: the rapport he has with Captain Arthur Hastings. Sure, the plots are brilliant, and it's fun to try and match wits with the bad guys, but I've never seen the point in even attemoting to keep up with the self-described "greatest brain in Europe." It's better to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
But yeah, the repartee and really, deep friendship between Hastings and Poirot has, in my mind, always been a subtle, minimalist delight. It takes back seat to the detection, which may lead some to criticize the characters as shallow, but that never was really the point...
In 'Curtain,' at least, this relationship is highlighted beautifully. This story is darker in tone than other Christie novels-- though really the Poirot series on the whole is not as lighthearted as some seem to remember it. Hastings and Poirot are still funny, but there's also real emotion, and a shocking, twisted plot with an ending that rips your heart out.
'Curtain' was a depressing end to the series, certainly...but it was, in its own way, realistic. How can we honestly expect Hercule Poirot to be unaffected by all he has seen and the life he has led?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Christie herself regarded the character with a mixture of bemused affection and frustration, and frequently expressed the wish that she had never created such an eccentric character--but of all her creations, Hercule Poroit was the most popular with the reading public. Indeed, such was the public's devotion that in the 1940s or 1950s Christie became concerned that others might attempt to "franchise" the character after her death, resurrecting him for other novels for the sake of a fast buck.
Determined to thwart this, in the 1950s Christie wrote CURTAIN. Once more Poroit and his faithful Captain Hastings return to the great country estate of Styles, the location of Christie's first novel and Poroit's first appearance, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES. But time has wrought many changes. Styles has been sold and converted to a second-rate guest house. Captain Hastings is in mourning for his much loved and recently deceased wife. And Poroit... is dying.
But although his body is failing, Poroit's little gray cells remain as sharp as ever, and he is once more on the trail of a killer--indeed, the perfect killer, one completely unlike any he has pursued before. A killer who now resides at Styles and who is coiled to strike again. But can Poroit defeat this killer before mortality rings down the curtian on his fabulous career? Stylistically, CURTAIN belongs to the great Christie novels of the 1940s and 1950s, and in terms of plot it is easily among her most remarkable achievements, easily ranking with such celebrated twists as those found in THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD and A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. The writing is strong, the characterizations are vivid, and when the solution unfolds one is left with a startled gasp.
I do not recommend CURTAIN for those new to Christie's novels.
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Format: Hardcover
Curtain: Poirot's last case
Poirot's last case was written by Agatha Christie (1891-1976) in the 1940's. She's one of the worlds most read criminal authors, known as the queen of crime. She's written lots of detective stories and she's also used another name Mary Westmacott, under which she wrote six romantic novels.
Poirot's last case takeS place at a small hotel called Styles, out In the countryside of England not too far away from London among people from the upper middle-class. Captain Hastings receives a letter from an old friend Hercules Poirot, a detective who has worked together with Hastings many times earlier. In the letter he urges Hasting to come to the hotel where they once met for the first time the Styles, because there is to be a murder. Lot's of things happen during the time when they try to solve the murder.
All the people living at the hotel for the moment are somewhat involved in the matter of the murder. Hercules Poirot is a person that you never really get hold of during the story. He's described as a crippled old man and, even though he's old and can not walk, he still has his brain working. He's much more on the ball then you first think.
Captain Hasting is a man that really appreciates seeing his old friend again but gets really confused sometimes and also he does believe in what every person says. I never get the feeling that he dislikes people, only one because he dislikes that mans manors. He seems to be quite naive and very trusting as his friend describes him.
Other people are The Franklins, The Luttrells who are the owners of the hotel, Mr. Norton, Judith the captain's daughter, Boyd Carrington and Miss Cole. All are living at the hotel for one or another reason.
The story is well written.
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