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The Mysterious Affair at Styles [Hardcover]

Agatha Christie
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1975 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
A CD edition of this popular Christie mystery. Read by Hugh Fraser, Captain Hastings in the popular TV series. 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?! / Requires internet-enabled mobile phone (3G recommended)

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'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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best obituary Poirot could have gotten 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving end to an incredible series... Jan. 26 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Poriot's Last Case Aug. 2 2003
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Curtain: Poirot's last case Dec 13 2002
By Ewa
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars agatha Christie is the ultimate
I have been an agatha christie fan for as long as I can remember . I have most of her works in one form or another. Mary westmacott works as well. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joan
5.0 out of 5 stars True Christie Form....excellent suspense!
Christie has once again outdone herself and eluded the reader as to the final outcome. In true form the reader is following along, a page turner, thinking you may have solved this... Read more
Published 9 months ago by jill forrester
5.0 out of 5 stars My fave yet
This is the first book by Agatha Christie that I had ever read, but it is still my favorite after reading countless others. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by "tessa_9876"
5.0 out of 5 stars Adieu to Poirot
This is Hercule Poirot's last case and is a fitting climax to the wonderful series by Agatha Christie. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by Karen Potts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!! but so sad!!
I love Agatha Chrisite's books (even though I'm only 11) and I checked this one out our school library. I got the double version (Curtain and The Mysterious Affair at Styles). Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars You know, you just know!
You must not read this book until you have read every M. Poirot tale, every one! It is a masterfully written and well thought out story. Christie at her finest! Read more
Published on March 15 2003 by V. J. Kulka
4.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or not; this is my FIRST Agatha Christie novel...
It's the 42nd and LAST of the Hercule Poirot cases! Needless to say, I simply must endeavor to read them all! Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2001 by Ruth A. Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Ring Down the Curtain on Christie's Master Detective
"Nothing is so sad, in my opinion," muses Captain Hastings, "as the devastation wrought by age. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2001 by Antoinette Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars too brilliant not to give five stars to, but problems...
take everything i say after this sentence with the following thought in mind: agathie christie is brilliant and talented, her work, for what it is, seamless. Read more
Published on July 4 2001 by Daniel Mackler
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