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Postern of Fate

(Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries #5)

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  9,933 ratings  ·  870 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

Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2001 by HarperCollins (first published October 1973)
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Joel It's not just you, the book is notoriously incoherent. However, the gist of it is that Mary Jordan was a British agent investigating a circle of enemy…moreIt's not just you, the book is notoriously incoherent. However, the gist of it is that Mary Jordan was a British agent investigating a circle of enemy spies in the village, and was killed by them when she got found out. However, she'd managed to leave some information about her investigation hidden (which was still important for some reason) and foreign agents were trying to kill Tuppence before she found it.

Or something.

The timeline makes no sense whatsoever. It's impossible to tell who was meant to be alive when or how old they were. Apparently the main Mary Jordan business happened shortly before WWI, but people in their 80s and 90s talk about it being in their own grandparent's time. Except for some points when it seems to have been just before WWII instead, and tied up with someone leading the cause for appeasement with Hitler.

By some accounts, Christie was beginning to suffer dementia when she wrote he last couple of books. It's sad, but I can well believe it. (less)

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Troy Blackford
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: christie
This was the last book written by Agatha Christie.(A couple of unpublished earlier books were published after her death).

I am a bit surprised by the negative reviews.I enjoyed it.It was written by a woman in her mid 80s and she didn't do a bad job.

Christie's early sleuths,Tommy and Tuppence Beresford,make their final appearance.Christie herself appears nostalgic for those days and there are lots of references to their earlier adventure,N or M.

Yes,the book rambles a bit but I didn't mind much.Tom
Sep 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: subscription, audio
1.5 stars -- Woof, this is pretty terrible. There are brief glimpses of the lovely Christie prose that we know and love (and the plot set up was promising), but overall, this is basically a mess that cannot deliver on the promise of the premise. My second to least favorite of the Christie oeuvre
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mary Jordan did not die naturally

Book #12 in my Agatha Christie Challenge saw me explore the author's 74th detective novel and my first full length Tommy and Tuppence(Prudence) Beresford story. This story was just an o.k experience as I tired of the characters and dialogue quickly.

The older couple have moved to a new lodging "The Laurels" and stumble upon a mysterious cipher that indicates a murder mystery from the early 1900's. As the couple investigate, a series of mishaps descends on thei
Dec 07, 2007 rated it did not like it
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...
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 100-pages
It is a historical crime story, taking us to the mysteries of a particular series of murders during WWII. The story began with Tom and Tuppence moving to a new place, organizing books and got to to discuss about the war.

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction and Agatha Christie is a big YES. This book wasn’t as superb as other works of her. But who cares, we love Agatha and that’s what strictly matters. The investigators or say the protagonist couple, were madly into each other and books.
Apr 10, 2010 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
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. ...more
Dr. Laurel Young
May 25, 2011 rated it liked it
"I like people who stick together and enjoy their marriage and go on enjoying it." So says one of the Beresfords' friends, and I agree. The chief charm of Postern of Fate is seeing dear Tommy and Tuppence once more. Unlike Miss Marple and Poirot, who start out elderly and retired (respectively) in the 1920/30s and age very little for the rest of Dame Agatha's career, Tommy and Tuppence age believably over the years. The "young adventurers" were introduced in Christie's second novel, The Secret A ...more
Oct 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Postern of Fate was Dame Agatha's last book. And knowing this, made reading the book rather sad. Not only because it is the last book she wrote but also because she seemed to have written it in a way to emphasize that this truly was Tommy and Tuppence Beresford's last hurrah.

So, we have Tommy and Tuppence in their seventies, moving into a new home in the country, and being reminded by their acquaintances of the great adventures they used to get into. As they start to get settled in their new ho
Dan Myatt
Okay it's not great! But I've honestly read worse things.

A good mystery with my favourite of Christie's detectives as the main characters.

Yes there's lots of dialogue, the plot gets a bit muddled and the clues are easy to spot and the mystery fairly easy to solve but still a fairly lighthearted read and again it proves murder and mystery is not just for the young!

Oh and any book that gives dialogue to a dog can't be that bad surely 😉
May 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
Sep 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Beth E
Dec 16, 2014 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
Vikas Singh
Feb 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
The last two novels written by Christie- Passenger to Frankfurt and Postern of Fate are the most boring of her works. She uses both the novels to advertise her world views and opinion about various periods in history. I could not make out abc of the plot in Postern of fate. The climax is so dull that you are left wondering how the queen of crime and mystery could have written such a thin plot. The entire novel could have been squeezed in fewer than fifty pages. For an author who made such a grea ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Terrible. I know that Christie was fond of recycling plot elements. I know many prolific authors forget what they said about a character (age etc) from one volume of a series to the next. But even for Christie this is hack-work. Ugh.

At first it was nice to see Tommy and Tuppence as characters that age and evolve like real people. After all, Christie wrote Poirot as a man nearing retirement age in the 1920s, and he continued to detect for about 50 years. Miss Marple never aged a day. Hastings ag
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 :) ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: uk, 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 it and re
Vanessa Panerosa
May 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was sad to reach the end of the Tommy and Tuppence series, especially after listening to excellent audio versions of all five books. This was Christie's last novel and critics thought it showed she was slipping. Certainly it was not as tightly written as the other 4 books in the series, but I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting one of my favorite literary couples. ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
My least favorite Agatha Christie book so far. Something felt missing from the ending, and I didn't think the characters were that interesting either. Lots of people probably enjoyed this book, but it just didn't click with me. half of it just felt like a documentary of an old couple's life at their new house. Wow. Exciting.
If you like fast-paced mysteries then this book is definitely not for you.
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
Dec 14, 2010 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
Oct 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
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... ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
It’s hard to say this, but I got to the last 25 pages of the book and I really didn’t care about the resolution. A perfectly dreadful book, one of Christie’s last. I still don’t know what the point of this book was. Everything was so secret that I’m not sure we ever got a final solution.
Manuel Alfonseca
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
ENGLISH: Last of the five books that tell the adventures of Tommy and Tuppence. This is the first time I've read this one. The first in the series ("The Secret Adversary)" I really liked. The third ("N or M") I simply liked . The other two ("Partners in crime" and "By the pricking of my thumbs") much less, although they are OK.

I'm afraid this fifth installment in the series is at the level of the second and fourth, rather than the first or third. I found it slow and sluggish. The dialogues betwe
"All those clues," said Andrew. "You could make a story of them -even a book-"
"Too many names, too complicated," said Deborah. "Who'd read a book like that?"
"You'd be surprise," said Tommy, "what people will read -and enjoy."
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dame Agatha lays a very good trap early, along with also a very good red herring. Then, the big twist comes halfway through the book. And therein lies the problem: the rest of the book doesn't build to a solution, but simply, slowly, winds down. Christie is my most-read author (40+ books) and I taught myself to read, very early, utilizing her books. And by the time this was published, Christie had been writing for over 50 years and had produced almost 80 novels. That's a stupendously admirable o ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Not a Kindle edition 5 224 Aug 21, 2019 09:22AM  
Agatha Christie L...: April 2017 - Postern of Fate 5 39 Apr 30, 2017 11:56AM  
The Agatha Christ...: June 2016: Postern of Fate 5 13 Jun 23, 2016 07:50AM  
Postern of Fate vs Elephants Can Remember 4 28 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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

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

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“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.” 4 likes
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