Still mourning the untimely death of his wife, Bella, Hastings is summoned to Styles Court in Styles St. Mary by his old friend Poirot. It is the country manor where, thirty years previously, he and Poirot had first met in England and where they had also solved their first murder mystery together. Now, Styles has changed hands and is being run as a modest post-war guest house, and it is here that Hastings makes a gut-wrenching discovery: Poirot's health has taken a turn for the worse. The Belgian detective is now old, gaunt, arthritic, and confined to a wheelchair as he battles a weak heart. But his little gray cells are as active as ever, which is why Poirot has called him to Styles in the first place - a murderer is in their midst, and may be ready to strike again. He asks Hastings to be his eyes and ears about the place, for Poirot does not know who is likely to be the killer's next victim. Being as observant and vigilant as possible, Hastings takes stock of his fellow company, ... Written by
Although this is the last Hercule Poirot story published by Agatha Christie, it was actually the first from the final series to be filmed, as requested by David Suchet, the actor of Hercule Poirot, himself. See more »
It was quite immaterial. I take the sleeping tablets and have acquired a certain tolerance. The dose that would send Norton to sleep would have little effect on me. With the greatest of difficulty, I put him in my wheelchair, then, when the coast was clear, I wheeled him to his room. You will not have realized, Hastings, that recently I have taken to wearing a false moustache. Even George does not know that.
[flashback, showing Poirot in Norton's room, removing his false moustache]
[...] See more »
As a reader of Dame AC for 76 years I always found HP difficult. For me, Suchet's triumph - genius - is in constructing a reality from an impossibility. As for Curtain, it is no surprise that the author delayed publication for 30 years, almost until after her death. Poirot and Hastings have aged beyond recognition and several devices in the novel would appear to be stolen from other stories except that it is actually the other way round. Chandler would probably have called it a reverse cannibalization. The author appears to have taken a strong dislike for her creation and takes her revenge not only on him but on Hastings too who is treated with contempt by both the detective and the daughter. I suspected what my impression would be and should have avoided seeing the production but my curiosity as to how Alice Orr-Ewing would portray Judith was too strong. Curiosity killed the cat.
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