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Postern of Fate

(Tommy & Tuppence #5)

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  7,830 ratings  ·  634 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

...more
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published 2001 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 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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3.23  · 
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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
Pooja
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 100-pages
It is a historical crime story, taking us to the mysteries of a particular series of murders in world war 2.

The book started with Tom and Tuppence moving to a new place. When they were organizing their books, and started talking about it.

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. Who cares, we love Agatha and that's what matters
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The investigators or say the protagonist couple, were madly into each other and b
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Erin
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
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Kathryn
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...
Lotte
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.
Philip
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
BrokenTune
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 hou
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Gavin
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.
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
Peter
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
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Nandakishore Varma
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.
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
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Tara
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
Vikas Singh
Feb 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 :)
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
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Kavita
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 i
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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
Ann
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...
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
Meave
Aug 15, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Clint
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
Anna
Dec 31, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: T&T series
"Elderly ladies can sometimes give you useful information. Elderly ladies and children five years old. All the unlikely people come out sometimes with a truth nobody ever dreamed of."


"England was in a funny state, a different state from what it had been. Or was it really always in the same state? Always underneath the smooth surface there was some black mud. "

It all begins after a house move during a session of sorting and shelving books. Tuppence notices an inscription and a cryptic message in
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Rachel
Mar 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
Greg
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
Learnin Curve
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
None of the dates and ages made the remotest sense, dragged and dragged, she'd really lost it by this one.
Damaskcat
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am not so keen on Christie's Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories but this one caught my attention and I did enjoy it though not perhaps as much as a novel featuring Poirot or Miss Marple. Tommy and Tuppence have moved house and have taken on a run down mansion which needs some loving care. They are hoping for a peaceful retirement after their spy hunting working lives.

But their hope for peace dies a quick death when Tuppence discovers an ingenious message in a book consisting of underl
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Dhuaine
Apr 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Katharine
Dec 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Susan
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.

Tomm
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Agatha Christie L...: April 2017 - Postern of Fate 5 37 Apr 30, 2017 11:56AM  
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Postern of Fate vs Elephants Can Remember 4 24 Jan 08, 2014 07:32AM  

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35,833 followers
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
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Other books in the series

Tommy & 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)
“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.”
7 likes
“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.” 3 likes
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