Audiobook Mini-Review: Curtain

7 Jun

My husband and I haven’t listened to an audiobook together in some time — our road trips have been seriously curtailed during Covid. But on a recent trip that included multiple stops to see family we chose one of our favorite series — Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie. After listening to many narrated by Hugh Fraser, our choices were limited. Instead of doing a little research into which titles we have left, I chose the easy route and picked Curtain, the last of the Poirot mysteries. It was great, but sad in many ways. I heartily recommend it, but please wait to read or listen to it until you have exhausted the others.

The crime-fighting careers of Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have come full circle—they are back once again in the rambling country house in which they solved their first murder together.

Both Hercule Poirot and Great Styles have seen better days — but, despite being crippled with arthritis, there is nothing wrong with the great detective and his “little gray cells.” However, when Poirot brands one of the seemingly harmless guests a five-time murderer, some people have their doubts. But Poirot alone knows he must prevent a sixth murder before the curtain falls.

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

My Impressions:

Curtain, the last case for Hercule Poirot takes place at Styles, the manor where Agatha Christie first introduced the funny little Belgian detective who makes use of his little gray cells. With him is a widowed Captain Hastings who has returned to England from Argentina. I loved how Christie brought the series full circle giving Poirot a worthy send-off. This mystery also references other cases that Poirot solved during his career weaving the past and present into the twisting storyline. As always, the interactions between Hastings and Poirot are entertaining and induce a chuckle here and there. The narrative kept my husband and I engaged as we tried to figure out just whodunit. I agree with my husband that with Curtain, no more Poirot is sad. But I found the way Christie tied up the long-running series to be a fitting end for Poirot. As always, Hugh Fraser’s narration is delightful — there can never be another Poirot for us.

For diehard Poirot fans, Curtain is a must read. But if you are new to him or haven’t read many of the books in the series, please save this one for later. Give yourself many Poirot moments before the final curtain.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Genre: classic mystery.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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