This is my first time venturing into the world of Agatha Christie. I am familiar with her name and her legacy in the literary world, penning some of the most famous mystery novels that are read far and wide to this day. Amazingly enough, I’ve never once picked up an Agatha Christie novel until earlier this month – the inaugural book chosen for a new book club I’ve formed with my cousin and her best friend.
This book is not a hefty one, only being a little under 300 pages of content to go through. The pace also moves relatively quickly, and I must admit that the desire to find out who ‘X’ was only served as fuel for myself to read even faster. The writing is not overly complex, and reads quite easily, but it’s in this simplicity that Christie’s plot is able to flow freely in the reader’s imagination, as they fly through the pages.
Having no sense of what Agatha Christie’s style is, I would like to emphasize that I am writing this review from a “newbie” perspective. I am a very easy woman to please, and my reading tastes – while I am naturally attracted to fantastical worlds or historical ones – are eclectic, to say the least. I read what I enjoy, and I tend to bounce from genre-to-genre every now and again. With that small preamble, I will say outright that I truly enjoyed Curtain, and was happily surprised to find that I had a taste for the classic “detective mystery”.
I was amused by Poirot’s character, and despite the story being told from Hastings’ perspective, I shared the same frustration with Hastings and his demeanor for most of the book. Provided, I picture Hastings as a friendly looking older gentleman, with whom I might share a polite conversation with in passing, but his general gait was not to my taste. He was likeable enough, but I found his character too judgmental and agreed with Poirot’s assessment of Hastings. As the story progressed, my annoyance at Hastings was not overbearing, but my fondness for Poirot grew and I was truly sad to read through his passing.
Poirot’s story is covered over many different adventures, published throughout Christie’s career, his saga having been developed into a television show for easier consumption by the masses. Funnily enough, it was because this was a TV show that my cousin watched that we decided to choose this book as our first book club read.
And I’m glad it was.
While I have briefly diverted from my string of fantasy series, with a foray into the world of historical romance and a toe-dip into non-fiction, this is the first time I’ve truly broken away from the fantasy gig and have now immersed myself into a new genre and, by extension, new adventures. I would like to circle back to what I had said about Christie’s writing style as simplistic in nature, because I feel that while that is the case, her plot and character development are impeccable. I was able to get to know the characters as if they were people I met on the street or – in this case – bumped into at an inn/hotel. From my annoyance at Hastings, admiration of Poirot, absolute dislike for Judith, and exasperation at Mrs. Franklin (just to name a few characters that evoked the strongest feelings in myself as I pressed on), I finished the book with a sense that I had parted ways with people I had gotten to know, as one does periodically throughout a lifetime.
Curtain was a welcome escape into Christie’s mystery world, and opened up doors for me to continue exploring this genre and more. It left me feeling satisfied, having satiated my appetite that I didn’t realize I was feeling. The hunger and desire for a new adventure pervaded and Curtain put those feelings to rest. To what can be described as the quintessential Agatha Christie novel, I say, trés bien!