Curtain Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Curtain

Captain Hastings, recently widowed, has recived a letter from his friend Hercule Poirot. Oddly enough, the postmark is from Styles! (The place where Poirot solved his first case in England.) Hastings goes at once. Not only is Poirot there, but his daughter, Judith, as well. Styles was sold by the Cavendishes, and is now a guest house. Hastings meets his old friend, and is saddened to see him in a wheelchair, crippled by arthritis and a weak heart. Hastings finds that Poirot got him there to help him solve a case: five seemingly unrelated deaths are actually cleverly concealed murders, and the killer is at Styles. Poirot says he knows who the murderer is, but he will not tell Hastings. Hastings is rather annoyed by this, and wonders who it is. He decides on a man called Major Allerton, who is something of a drug addict. Poirot tells Hastings to try and find the next victim of the murderer, who he has decided to call,"X." An attempt is made on the hostess, Mrs. Lutteral, who has just quarreled with her husband, Colonel Lutteral. The Colonel himself shot her, but it was put down as an accident, due to the fact that there was bad light and the grass was high. He was very shocked and scared, but the bullet missed any vital organs, and she survived. Hastings and Poirot know that she was the intended victim, and they knew the husband might've been convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Meanwhile, Hastings is having trouble with his daughter. She is associating with Major Allerton, which is something Hastings deeply disapproves of. Eventually, the stress and anger at Allerton build up, until Hastings actually tries to poison Allerton! Fortunatly, he falls asleep before he can administer the poison, and when he wakes up he is shocked at what he nearly did. X had tried to kill Hastings by sort of insinuating things about his daughter and Major Allerton so he would kill him (Allerton), and then be hanged for it. The third attempt is Mrs. Franklin, a chronic invalid who frequently complains that she is,"A millstone hung around his neck," (She is refering to her husband, Dr. Franklin.) She dies one night, poisoned, and she had apparently commited suicide, but of course, it was murder. Hastings is very confused by now, but is relieved to see his daughter isn't hanging around with Major Allerton much anymore. Then poor Captain Hastings learns that his friend Poirot's time is short, and he still has no clue as to the identity of the murderer...         
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The review of this Book prepared by Danielle

Chapter Analysis of Curtain

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   depressing/sad How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Kind of investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   farmer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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