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by Agatha Christie
HarperCollins, January 2007
Unabridged audiobook pages
15.99 GBP
ISBN: 0007212569

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Harper Collins has released the entire Tommy and Tuppence series on audiobook, as read by Hugh Fraser. As POSTERN OF FATE begins, the Beresfords have purchased an old country home for their retirement. Tuppence is delighted to discover that among the things left behind by the previous owner are several books that were childhood favorites of hers. While nostalgically re-reading them, she finds one with certain letters picked out in red – letters that spell out “Mary Jordan did not die naturally.”

Tuppence is unable to resist investigating and starts asking questions. Mary Jordan had been an au pair who died from accidental poisoning 60 years previously, although the local old-timers remember rumors that she had been accused of being a German spy. Tommy thinks the whole thing is a wild goose chase, but the more Tuppence digs, the more odd accidents start happening, and soon those accidents are turning fatal.

It’s probably blasphemy to say this about Agatha Christie, but I didn’t think much of this mystery. Too many plot lines are left flapping loose, from the question of why a young boy would use such a public and tortuous code to how, after six decades of professional searches, anything could possibly be left to be randomly stumbled over. The clues are equally strained.

Adding in Hugh Fraser’s verbal ticks just makes things worse. His voice is mostly very clear and understandable, but he mashes the words “he” and “she” into a neutral “ee” and doesn’t make much of a vocal distinction between Tommy and Tuppence. I’m not familiar with the series and for a short period I couldn’t tell who of the two was the wife!

There are other, better audiobooks in this series. POSTERN OF FATE is for Christie completists only.

Reviewed by Linnea Dodson, December 2000

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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