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Postern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence #5)

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  5,634 Ratings  ·  396 Reviews
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books. While rustling through a copy of The Black Arrow, Tuppence comes upon a series of apparently random underlinings.

However, when she writes down the letters, th

Paperback, 276 pages
Published November 1980 by Bantam (first published October 1st 1973)
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This book was okay... the mystery was a little confusing and though T&T were still cute they didn't interact much (if I'm recalling correctly) which is the best part about the books. While I'd *highly* recommened the first three T&T books, I'd not really recommened the last two...
A very tedious, dull and disappointing finale for the Tommy and Tuppence series. Not even sure why she wrote it--and I rather wish I had not wasted my time reading it...
Jul 20, 2008 Gavin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
The last of the Tommy and Tuppence books from Ms. Christie and I have to say the worst. It's all a bit wishy washy and there's no clear resolution, which is odd for Christie. Until the end I had been expecting a lot more, but it was a bit of a damp squib, sad though I am to say that about one of the Queen of Crime's works.
Dec 19, 2008 Katharine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read Postern of Fate because it was on the free shelf at the library and I was looking for something light to read. After a quick flip-through I determined I hadn't read it before, so I brought it home. After I started it I realized why I haven't read it before. It's one of Christie's last novels, written in 1973 or something like that. I've found that the quality of Agatha Christie's writing really deteriorates with any of her later stuff, written after 1965 or so. This is a Tommy and Tuppe ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Dhuaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I usually don't review volumes from huge series of similar novels, but I feel I should warn people against this one book. It's atrocious. Everything happens in dialogues, which could be interesting, if only something was really happening. Unfortunately, the dialogues repeat the same things all and over (sometimes even characters themselves realize that they've spoken of something already), revelations are revealed several times, all information is repeated, and all this is mixed with tons of dig ...more
Dec 17, 2013 Philip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Forewarned is forearmed: POSTERN OF FATE was the last book Christie wrote, and is and generally conceded to be her worst (actually, she was dictating into a tape recorder at this time, and had been doing so since the late 1960s, which accounts for the rather conversational tone of the later novels). She was still at the height of her powers with 1967's ENDLESS NIGHT (quite a departure for her), but her subsequent decline was marked and swift (it's now believed that an undetected early senility m ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Meave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't give it two stars because it's Tommy and Tuppence, and I am very fond of them. However, this is another embarrassing example of old Aggie attempting to combine her classic detective style with her later-in-life obsession with New World Order and conspiracy theories, and it's awful. There's no proper resolution, minor characters are picked up and dropped at random, and she bangs on about Mr. Robinson being "yellow-faced" in a really ugly way. Lady, you can't call people "yellow" unless th ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Sammy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
In which a retired pair of amateur detectives discover an age-old mystery right under their noses.

So it has come to this. "Postern of Fate" was Agatha Christie’s final written work, and it is undoubtedly her worst. Yes, worse than those tawdry thrillers she churned out in the 1920s, or the spurious supernatural short story collections of the ’40s. In her defence, the octogenarian Dame Agatha was probably suffering from early onset dementia, but her editors should’ve seen sense in not damaging he
Dec 14, 2010 Clint rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This was my first Agatha Christie book, read because my girlfriend really likes her and wanted me to read it, and man, it beats Madam Bovary as a book that I finished but was left forever scarred by due to its awfulness. It wasn't even a mystery, just a couple of old farts saying the same things over and over again, "So something happened here, you know, you here some things, something happened then, a long time ago, and people say things, and some things some people don't want other people lear ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Jan 20, 2016 Nandakishore Varma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An odd, confused book. A large chunk of information from her autobiography is repeated here, applying it to the world of Tommy and Tuppence. No trace of any logical reasoning. Totally unlike the Dame Agatha I know and love!

I understand that this is the last book written by her, just before her death. In Malayalam we have a saying: "One should stop singing when one's voice is still good." Applies perfectly here.

Enough said.
Mar 30, 2016 Peter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The last novel Agatha Christie wrote (published 1973), and it can best be described as out-of-focus. The whole thing reads like a first draft. Where were her editors? (Perhaps her reputation didn't allow serious editing to occur.) Tommy and Tuppence are back, having just moved into a new house, and they unearth a cold case mystery dating back 60 years of the murder of a beautiful pre-WWI spy.

However, Agatha was preoccupied with navel-gazing and recollections of childhood, and the central myster
Vanessa Panerosa
May 15, 2012 Vanessa Panerosa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off very strongly. The premise is exciting, eerie and provocative. However, I must say it's the worst Christie novel I've ever read. I finished it yesterday and am still so utterly confused by the ending. There's a whole list Tuppence makes full of "clues" and many of them are never answered or even touched upon. There are no real suspects or even solidified characters. The ending is lackluster with no twist or even resolution and a great deal of the novel is long dialogues that ...more
Dec 24, 2012 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Agatha Christie. Adore her, even. I read her on practically every vacation, because she's brilliant and fun. Which is why I hated this book so much. It was dreadful for anyone to have written, but especially Christie. Postern of Fate is a mystery with no suspects, no action, no clues, no climax. Did she even have an editor for this? The second to last chapter was a random family reunion that had nothing to do with the story. Perhaps it would've been a good epilogue, but you just don't sti ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This was horribly written, much to my dismay. Most of the dialogue was rambling and irrelevant, so I skimmed. I do not skim! The resolution was out-of-the-blue and practically meaningless. Little plot, few characters...shocking from Agatha Christie! Our main duo was boring, and I'd adored them in all the earlier books.
I'd heard a lot, mainly here on Goodreads, about this being Christie's last novel, but it's also one of the most confusing of her novels. There's lots of talking, and when I say lots of talking, I mean that it could probably do with being about 100 pages shorter. The idea behind the mystery is intriguing, but so much time is spent getting to it and then lots of time wasted investigating the past that I found myself flicking forward to see how many pages I had left before it was all over. The mos ...more
Troy Blackford
Aug 22, 2013 Troy Blackford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People seem to really dislike this one, but if you go into it understanding it is the last of the books she wrote during the period where her mental faculties were failing, when she was writing things like 'Elephants Can Remember,' it really isn't completely horrible. Tommy and Tuppence are elderly in this story, and much of the banter centers around not being able to remember things - you can tell this was a preoccupation with Christie. Interesting enough as a story though it links a little wit ...more
I slogged through 4 (out of 6) discs in this audio and finally it defeated me. I cannot believe this was written by the queen of crime as it plodded along since the beginning of the story.

Not only that, she wrote the Beresfords as doddering seniors who seemed to ramble on about the smallest, inconsequential things. Tuppence more so than Tommy. For all intents and purposes, I could have been having tea with the dear and I would get the same story. There was alot of irrelevant stuff going on.

Jun 28, 2016 Jonathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
With the current trend in unearthing cold case crimes I thought I might enjoy this delving into a mysterious death from 60 years ago (well 60 years from 1973 or so) a bit more than I did. Added to the fact that it is a Tommy and Tuppence story, I was raring to go, but alas, it suffered from a few of the problems I have found with later Christies. The plot was a bit loose; there was an awful lot of dialogue that didn't move the story along - and after I had got quite annoyed by people saying to e ...more
Jul 22, 2014 Darius rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha Christie wrote many great books, but unfortunately this one is the worst I have read. Maybe because it was her last book, written when she was 82. The plot was confusing with all those unnecessary politics, so many meaningless dialogues, some chapters in the beginning can be excluded and actually nothing will change. There was no mystery or that feeling when you are rushing through the book to reach the end to find out who is the murder. To be mentioned the ending by itself was more than ...more
2.5/5. Probably my least favourite Christie I've read yet (and I've read/listened to almost all of them). Christie's old age (she was over 80 when she wrote this) really shows in this book as some things don't really add up in the end. Tommy and Tuppence were great as always though.
Sep 17, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, leituras-2014
Tommy e Tuppence não são, de todo, os meus investigadores preferidos dos romances policiais de Agatha Christie, mas este A Porta do Destino conseguiu mesmo surpreender-me. Tanto que o li em pouquíssimo tempo.

Contrariamente a Poirot e Miss Marple que nos são dado a conhecer quando já se encontram na terceira idade, Tommy e Tuppence são introduzidos por Agatha Christie como um jovem casal que se interessa por resolver mistérios, sejam em forma de assassinatos ou não. Neste A Porta do Destino, o úl
Beth E
Dec 18, 2014 Beth E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Tommy and Tuppence may be doddering old people, but they are still as cute as ever, and they still have "it"- they can still solve a mystery with the weirdest clues you ever saw.

I love how Tuppence wants to re-read all the books of her childhood, and this leads her to a mystery. She's my kind of woman. I also appreciate that despite their flaws and their age, Tommy and Tuppence continue to be great together and to possess marvelous skills.

What confuses me terribly though, is th
Adam Hyatt
May 07, 2015 Adam Hyatt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thank God that's over!

I've had trouble with other Christie titles but this one was definitely the hardest for me to get through. I thought nothing could be worse than Passenger to Frankfurt. I was mistaken. Repetitive, vague, meandering and ultimately pointless. Nothing is ever definite and everything is always contradictory.

Early Christie novels always had a tacked on element of romance that I found irritating and lessened what I otherwise felt were well plotted stories. Later Christie books s
Lee Miley
Aug 10, 2015 Lee Miley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 16, 2015 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This rambling, pointless exploration of memory is the worst thing I have read by Agatha Christie. By far. It has it's moments... memories of childhood, scenes written from the perspective of the dog that are quite funny. The mystery isn't a bad setup. The detectives find a clue in a book pointing at a murder long ago. A boy encoded a bit of information about the murder in one of his children's books. He died soon after, at age 14, possibly of cancer or possibly murdered, and everyone seems to th ...more
Panda Incognito
I went into this book with rock-bottom expectations, since I had read people's Goodreads reviews and previously decided to skip this, the last book Agatha Christie ever wrote. I changed my mind when I realized how close I was to reading all of her works, and I'm glad I gave this book a chance, because it was not as bad as I expected: when you read this understanding that an elderly lady struggling with dementia wrote this near the end of her life, an otherwise dull book becomes impressive. Even ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Kavita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I had good memories of this book when I read it years ago. I wonder now what I liked. Must have been just Tommy & Tuppence and the village setting. At any rate, this is not a good book. There is no way I can twist this novel to claim it is a good, or even coherent, book.

Tommy & Tuppence are now grown old and have retired to a village and purchased an old house. In the process of redoing the place, Tuppence comes across a book in which the book owner had inscribed a code. She deciphers i
Smashing! I could hardly put it down; this was my very first Tommy and Tuppence mystery, besides the one I flipped through.
"Mary Jordan did not die a natural death." The dark message is found in a Robert Louis Stevenson book in the new house Tommy and Tuppence have just moved into, along with buying leftover books that had been there ages. The messenger, 14 year old Alexander Parkington, has left this cryptic clue with a few others, that throw Tuppence and Tommy onto discovering just how and w
Brooklyn Tayla
I've read all of the Tommy and Tuppence books now *cries* . They'll always be my favourite married sleuths. I just adore Tommy's tender and caring nature to Tuppence (and how he worries) and Tuppence is just so sassy. This is an amazing, fabulous read that had me engrossed at every page :)
Sahar keshmiri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The Agatha Christ...: June 2016: Postern of Fate 7 11 Jun 23, 2016 07:50AM  
Agatha Christie L...: April 2017 - Postern of Fate 1 6 Aug 15, 2014 08:57PM  
Postern of Fate vs Elephants Can Remember 4 20 Jan 08, 2014 07:32AM  
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence (5 books)
  • The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1)
  • Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence #2)
  • N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence, #3)
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence, #4)

Share This Book

“You don't appreciate a faithful husband when you've got one,' said Tommy.
'All my friends tell me you never know with husbands,' said Tuppance.
'You have the wrong kind of friends,' said Tommy.”
“I suppose without curiosity a man would be a tortoise. Very comfortable life, a tortoise has. Goes to sleep all winter and doesn't eat anything more than grass as far as I know, to live all the summer. Not an interesting life perhaps, but a very peaceful one.” 2 likes
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