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Book Review--> Tommy and Tuppence #5- Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie

Title and Author: Postern of Fate
No. of Pages: 253 Pages
Publication Date: 1973
Language: English
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Detective Fiction, Classics

Book Review:
Postern of Fate is the last novel written by Agatha Christie which features the husband-wife detective duo, Tommy and Tuppence in their last adventure. I have to admit that I am an ardent fan of Agatha Christie and studiously read and re-read all her books. They are a class apart and able to wow the readers even today, decades after their publication when the times have changed along with the advancement of technology to solve crimes. Her stories are not about crimes as much as they are about the study of human character which is still something that keeps surprising us. Her protagonists solve crimes without the use of technology by only relying on their skills of observation, perception, experience and most importantly, through their knowledge of human nature.

Postern of Fate is a book that caught my attention the first time because of its unusual title. Later I came to know that the title is taken from the poem "Gates of Damascus" by James Elroy Flecker. The blurb was another factor that attracted me towards the book and combined with Christie's name behind it, the book got priority on my list when I read it the first time years ago. The cover has changed many times since its publication but every time it is something that succeeds in intriguing the readers.

Tommy and Tuppence are characters that are very dear to me. I loved them the first time they appeared together in The Secret Adversary. Spunky, daring and so cute together, these two complement each other and I have greatly enjoyed following their adventures. This is the last time they are featured and are now in their seventies. It is interesting to see how they have fared over the years and the adventures that they wanted to escape by retiring to a nondescript village in England has followed them here too. There troubles begin when Tuppence accidentally comes across a childish scrawl in an old book which reads "M a r y – J o r d a n – d i d – n o t – d i e – n a t u r a l l y…"

What does the scrawled message mean?
Who was Mary Jordan and what happened to her?

Soon, Tommy and Tuppence are neck deep in suspicious happenings from decades back and tales of secret spies from the World War 1 era. As if this is not enough, someone is trying to kill Tuppence!

Although the book's blurb was very intriguing and I enjoyed Tommy and Tuppence's bickering, I was conscious of the fact that book kept going in circles at many parts. Things just kept stretching and there seemed disjointed events happening together. However, the book did keep my interest and the mystery with its brilliant study of people which was very enlightening. I was amazed at how different people had different perceptions of the same person and events which led to so many theories. I loved meeting Tommy, Tuppence and Albert. They have aged now and it was interesting to see the changes that have occurred in their lives.

The scenes are vividly described and I could visualize the peaceful village with the old house with its sprawling gardens and the many mysteries that surround it! Although, Agatha Christie had gotten old when she wrote the book and many have criticized her work at this point but I still feel that the book still has her distinct flair. Later on in her life, Christie had started dictating her books on Dictaphone so maybe the reason why the book feels disjointed at some places is because it was not edited properly. Whatever be the reason, I enjoyed the book and loved feeling connected to an author who was so talented. 

I give 3 out of 5 to Postern of Fate and recommend it to ardent fans of Christie. If you haven't read Agatha Christie's books yet then I would not suggest you to start with this one. Start with other of her more crisply written books and I am sure you will be blown by her mysteries! :)

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