Postern of Fate (Agatha Christie)

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford make their last appearance in this 1973 novel, which was also the last Christie novel to be written.

Read the short version of this review on

The Beresfords, now in their seventies, buy a house in the country and as usually happens in Christie novels, find a mystery to uncover. The events relating to the mystery, however, happened decades ago when they were still babies.

I love reading Agatha Christie mysteries, and I usually overlook the Christie cliches and try to enjoy the novel. The victims in Christie's novels more or less always are poisoned. The dialogue usually drags a trifle longer than it should. And in her later novels, including this one, there are far too many references to novels of the past, as if trying to relive the past glory.

Postern of Fate, however, is the worst in term of all the negative qualities I mentioned.

The tone of the novel is almost that of a children's novel. And I don't mean that in a good way. Most of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven novels sound a lot more mature than this one.

The most irritating part of the book was the constant references to earlier books by their titles. I really wouldn't mind a few references to previous books in a series, but common sense dictates that the references not use the title of the books. How many people actually say in real life, "didn't you solve the N or M case?". The characters of a series usually don't get to read the prequels of the books, they live through them... or get poisoned, if you're a character in an Agatha Christie novel.

The poisoning of the victims happens way too often in Agatha Christie novels. In keeping with that tradition, here too the victim is poisoned. There is a gunshot thrown in sometime late in the book, but by that time I didn't care if Christie had -- finally -- found a new way to kill her characters.

I normally enjoy the mysteries of Agatha Christie, I really do. But this is unfortunately not one that I will think of with fondness. Christie has completely lost the plot with this one. There's nothing left to do but try and forget this books and enjoy the earlier works of the author.

Rating : 1.5/5

BTT: Influence

Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?

I usually choose books myself because there aren't many people around me who read a lot. I love it when someone suggests a good book, and I'm always open to suggestions from friends, but I mostly have to rely on the internet and book bloggers for good book suggestions.

In recent days I've been looking at as another source of reading suggestions. Since I created the website a couple of months ago, quite a few of my friends have registered, and I can easily see what they're reading and that way I've been getting some great suggestions. Do take a few minutes to check out the site.

(Disclaimer: I am the developer of bukluv, so this actually is shameless self-promotion. *wink* But the site is free to use and I'm not making money out of it, so I suppose I shouldn't feel too guilty.)

How do you choose the books you read? Fellow bloggers? Friends suggestions? Or do you read whatever you like without paying much attention to others suggestions?

BTT: Which end?

It's been almost a year since my last post here, and work has kept me from reading much in recent months. Answering this week's BTT question will be a nice way to get things rolling again. :) This week's question on Booking Through Thrusday:

In general, do you prefer the beginnings of stories? Or the ends?

I guess the whole story matters to me, not just the beginning or the end. Some stories have a great beginning and then falter midway, and some start weakly and then end beautifully. Yet others may not be so good at the beginning or the end, but you can't put them down in the middle. So it all depends on the book.

If I really had to choose, I'd prefer a book with a great ending, because I wouldn't want to go through an entire book with high expectations only to be let down in the final pages.

I really must apologize for this bit of shameless self promotion here. ;-) But I guess the readers of this blog won't mind since it is about books anyway. :)

I've been working on developing a website where book lovers can write opinions in 250 characters or less. I would encourage you to go ahead and sign up for it and give it a try. The website is called bukluv and it only takes a minute to register. Also, we're working on making it easy for bloggers to share the reviews they've written on their blogs through bukluv, but that feature isn't ready yet.

Again, here's the link: Bukluv.

Once again, I apologize for bringing this up in a post about something else, but I thought some of you might like it. :)