Have you checked out SantaThing, LibraryThing's gift-giving tradition?
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,4632171,086 (3.74)492
Set in the summer of 1917, the story follows the war-wounded Hastings to the Styles St. Mary estate of his friend John Cavendish. The Cavendish household is wrought with tension due to the marriage of John's widowed mother to a suspicious younger man. In the village, Hastings runs into his old friend Hercule Poirot and, when the estate's trouble turns deadly, the friends unite to solve a most baffling case.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 492 mentions

English (202)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
Great mystery by one of the masters. Lots of twists and unexpected turns. I love Ms. Christie's writing! ( )
  Stacy_Krout | Nov 24, 2020 |
In which a lieutenant, an inspector and a Belgian emigré solve murder during the War.

Let the flaying begin. Well, actually, don’t. Coming 39th on the Agatha Christie rankings isn’t that bad. "Styles" is a seminal novel in 20th century detective fiction: Christie’s first published work, and Hercule Poirot’s first appearance in literature, as well as the introduction of then-Lieutenant Arthur Hastings, and Inspector Japp. Poirot’s methodology is relayed to us by Hastings in a manner very similar to Watson’s introduction of Sherlock Holmes in "A Study in Scarlet". This novel, I rush to point out, is a damn sight better than Holmes’ introductory one, with Poirot emerging almost fully formed, and the country house of Styles a suitably atmospheric host for murder.

The David Suchet adaptation – coming very early on before the series had established a darker visual style – is satisfactory, largely due to Suchet’s ability to create a younger, more ‘foreign’ Poirot. But it doesn’t have the raw power of the later adaptations in the series.

I do have to be honest, though, and confess this is not one of my favourite Poirots. Christie hadn’t yet ironed out her style yet (she had another sixty years of writing to go, so I’ll cut her some slack), and – aside from Poirot – none of the characters really jump off the page. Still, this is an impressively easy read, and all fans should check out where Poirot began his British career (in the same place he would end it sixty years later). If you’re new to the series, keep in mind that Christie will – with experience – challenge her own style in the years to come.

Poirot ranking: 24th out of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Ahh, Agatha Christie's debut novel and Hercule Poirot's first appearance! Lieutenant Hastings tells the story of what happened at a country estate near Styles, were a wealthy heiress is poisoned and local authorities are baffled. Hercule Poirot is on the case.

Since I've been reading the Poirot books out of order I can see how Christie will grow as an author and how she's fleshed Poirot out as a character in future novels. The mystery is rather convoluted which everyone's favorite eccentric Belgian solves it after making many deductive leaps that are shared in a big reveal at the end.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Richard Armitage. It took me a few minutes to adjust to a new voice for Poirot having listened to Kenneth Branagh's narration fairly recently. Once I made the switch, Armitage was a joy to listen to. This is currently available on Audible Plus and free for Audible members. ( )
  Narilka | Nov 1, 2020 |
The book where Hastings and Parriot solve their first case together. Hastings, recovering from a war injury, is invited to Styles by and old friend. Of course a murder takes place and it's up to the duo to put things right. Fun and breezy with just a hint of the menace that is WWI in the background. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
This being the month of the 100 year celebration of Agatha Christie, I decided to read the first Hercule Poirot mystery!
In this, Mrs. Inglethorp has died, and everyone is a suspect, including her new husband and her two stepsons! A Mr. Hastings, who is telling this story, enlists Poirot to find out who done it! And the the fussy Belgian goes about doing just that!
A very tight, well paced mystery! I didn't understand all the poison science, but it didn't take away from the story itself! I really like when Poirot gathers everyone in the same room to discuss his ideas about "who done it?"! And Poirot himself is a delightful character! I could see right away how this man became such a fan favorite!

“If the fact will not fit the theory - let the theory go.” ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Oct 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curran, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fonticoli, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keilhau, WollertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, WillCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehtonen, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suchet, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation


You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my Mother
First words
The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as "The Styles Case" has now somewhat subsided.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Set in the summer of 1917, the story follows the war-wounded Hastings to the Styles St. Mary estate of his friend John Cavendish. The Cavendish household is wrought with tension due to the marriage of John's widowed mother to a suspicious younger man. In the village, Hastings runs into his old friend Hercule Poirot and, when the estate's trouble turns deadly, the friends unite to solve a most baffling case.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Set in the summer of 1917 in an Essex country estate, the story follows the war-wounded Captain Arthur Hastings to the Styles St. Mary manor of his friend John Cavendish. The Cavendish household is wrought with tension due to the marriage of John's widowed old aunt Emily, she of a sizeable fortune, to a suspicious younger man, Alfred Inglethorp, twenty years her junior. Emily's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as John's wife Mary and several other people, also live at Styles. Late one night, the residents of Styles wake to find Emily Inglethorp dying. When Emily's sudden heart attack is found to be attributable to strychnine, Hastings, who had runs into his old friend, the Belgian Hercule Poirot, he recruits him to aid in the local investigation. With impeccable timing, Hercule Poirot, the insightful retired detective, makes his dramatic entrance to solve a most baffling case.

Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorpe, and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary--from the heiress's fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary. On the day she was killed, Emily Inglethorp was overheard arguing with someone, most likely her husband, Alfred, or her stepson, John. Afterwards, she seemed quite distressed and, apparently, made a new will--which no one can find. Nobody can explain how or when the strychnine was administered to Mrs. Inglethorp. High on Poirot's list of suspects are: John Cavendish, the elder stepson; Mary Cavendish, his wife; Lawrence Cavendish, the younger stepson; Evelyn Howard, Mrs. Inglethorpe's companion; Cynthia Murdoch, her protegee; and Dr. Bauerstein, a mysterious stranger who lives in Essex. All have motive and opportunity but only Poirot can discover the truth.
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.74)
1 13
1.5 2
2 60
2.5 28
3 509
3.5 139
4 731
4.5 36
5 296

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102715, 1400109191

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 152,607,937 books! | Top bar: Always visible