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The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule…

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot) (original 1920; edition 2001)

by Agatha Christie

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4,5901461,046 (3.73)377
Title:The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot)
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Harper (2001), Edition: Masterpiece Ed, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (1920)


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The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie

4 stars
This is the historic introduction of the famous Hercule Poirot. The “retired” Belgian detective is a WWI refugee being housed in the British countryside. He encounters his good friend, Hastings, also staying in the country while recovering from war wounds. There’s a spy, strychnine, a murder and numerous red herrings. Poirot untangles the evidence and uncovers the culprit while taking a fatherly interest in young love.

I can only hope that I will have as long and as productive a ‘retirement’ as Poirot.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This is the first book in the Poirot series, written on a bet with Christie's sister Madge. It introduces the characters of Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Inspector Japp. Christie tries the elements that will become the foundation of her enormous success; a wealthy family, a mystery set at a country house, a non-violent murder, and a bit of romance.

The mystery begins during WWI. Emily Inglethorpe has made a second marriage to a younger man. Her first husband left her a country house, money and two grown stepsons who also live at the estate, called Styles. Arthur Hastings is friends with one of them, John, and has gone to the country home to recover from a war injury. During Hastings' visit Emily Inglethorpe dies in a mysterious manner. Poirot happens to be a Belgian refugee staying in the nearby village, is known to Hastings and is brought to the country house to help solve the mystery.

Of course this is not the best of the Poirots, characters will be furthered developed in subsequent novels. I liked it because it was the first, not because it was the best. The Styles estate will also become the setting for the last in the Poirot series. ( )
  clue | May 18, 2016 |
As usual, Hercule solves the crime! I adore all things Agatha and Hercule is my favorite sleuth. ( )
  weisser4 | May 3, 2016 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

While Mister Hastings is visiting his old friend, John Cavendish, things go horribly wrong. The reigning matron, Mrs. Cavendish, dies violently in the early morning hours. With everyone so set against Alfred Inglethrop, the newly married husband turned widow, will Hercule Poirot be able to prove who did it?

As anyone who is a fan of mysteries knows, Agatha Christie is the queen of the cozy mystery. Her characters have spawned television series, movies, and countless homages in novels and media. Honestly, I want to be a big fan of her. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of her style of story telling.

Her writing is great. She masters the first person narrative in this book, and I have rarely seen that pulled off successfully in modern novels. Somehow she manages to make Poirot a main character without actually using his viewpoint to tell the story. As great as that is in style, it does make it a pain to read. The problem is that, in order to tell the reader what is happening, Poirot has to talk. A lot. I would say the majority of the book is dialogue and the last bit is pulling the rug out under the reader to give us information that was, without giving anything away, mainly kept secret from the reader. Maybe I just didn’t see it, but it seems like she didn’t want us to know until the very end.

The mystery itself was interesting. There are red herrings, and some are easy to spot, while others are harder. I personally had a red herring in the end, but I don’t want to give too much away by discussing it. My biggest gripe would be with the number and similarity of characters. I felt like there were too many and not all of them had enough of a role in my mind to necessitate their presence.

My personal issues with that style of mystery aside, it was a good book. I would still recommend it to readers who have a few Agatha Christie novels under their belt already, or someone who insists on going in order. Most of the novels I have read by Agatha Christie appear to be completely standalone, as even in this first novel in the series, Poirot refers to prior events that are nonessential to the plot.

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
While I am not a huge fan of the character Poirot this is still an excellent little crime caper and more impressive that it was Christie's First published book. While I did think the plot was overly clever / complicated that is what you want in a who-dun-it, isn't it? ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (115 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
Suchet, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online ...

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0646418432, Paperback)

The heiress of Styles has been murdered, dying in agony from strychnine slipped into her coffee. And there are plenty who would gain from her death: the financially strapped stepson, the gold digging younger husband, and an embittered daughter-in-law.

Agatha Christie's eccentric and hugely popular detective, Hercule Poirot, was introduced to the world in this book, which launched her career as the most famous and best loved of all mystery writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Recently, there had been some strange goings on at Styles St Mary. Evelyn, constant companion to old Mrs. Inglethorp, had stormed out of the house muttering something about 'a lot of sharks'. And with her, something indefinable had gone from the atmosphere. Her presence had spelt security; now the air seemed rife with suspicion and impending evil.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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