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

by Agatha Christie

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4,789152972 (3.74)396
Member:fist
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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Tags:crime

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (1920)

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles was Agatha Christie's debut novel and as such the first one to feature her famous and hugely popular detective Hercule Poirot. Narrated by his friend Captain Hastings, the scene is set before Poirot appears in the story. Hastings is invited by his old friend John Cavendish to stay with his family and is most surprised to find the matriarch - John's widowed step-mother Emily - has remarried to a man some 20 years younger than herself. It is safe to say that her new husband Alfred has not exactly endeared himself to the other members of the household.

When Emily is murdered by poisoning a couple of days later, Poirot is called in to investigate and through Hastings' eyes, we see his methods as the famous Belgian detective pieces together seemingly unconnected clues and sifts through various red herrings to finally reveal the murderer.

I really enjoyed this book, and loved that it kept me guessing right up until the moment that the killer was revealed at the end. Although I could never dream of putting together such a complex story (and let's not forget that Agatha Christie wrote a huge amount of mystery stories), I do think there were clues that this was an early novel, but if this is Christie at her most raw, then I can hardly wait to read her other books!

Poirot himself is an infuriatingly pompous and self-satisfied character who despite this is impossible not to like. The plot itself, with all of its twists and turns was still easy to follow and led to a satisfying and surprising conclusion.

Highly recommended to fans of the mystery genre. I have more Poirot stories on my to-be-read mountain and am looking forward to reading them. ( )
  Ruth72 | Nov 27, 2016 |
I actually had to buy this book twice. The Kindle Chios/Perennial Press edition was missing the illustrations. The Kindle "Fully Restored Edition" included them and helped the mystery make sense.

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. I thought it played fair with the reader. I loved Hercule Poirot. I cannot believe I hadn't read this before and have missed out on this classic series. I'm going to work others into my reading schedule (already overloaded!) for next year.

If you enjoy classic mysteries, try this. If you've read it long ago, I think you might enjoy revisiting it. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Nov 22, 2016 |
I actually had to buy this book twice. The Kindle Chios/Perennial Press edition was missing the illustrations. The Kindle "Fully Restored Edition" included them and helped the mystery make sense.

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. I thought it played fair with the reader. I loved Hercule Poirot. I cannot believe I hadn't read this before and have missed out on this classic series. I'm going to work others into my reading schedule (already overloaded!) for next year.

If you enjoy classic mysteries, try this. If you've read it long ago, I think you might enjoy revisiting it. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Nov 22, 2016 |
I was curious to read Agatha Christie’s first Poirot novel, which was published in 1920. And I was not disappointed. Midway through the book I was surprised to remember that this was one of her first novels… I think Mrs. Christie was born a writer: there is nothing in this book that betrays the novice. She worked as a dispenser in a hospital during WWI, hence, I believe, her knowledge of poisons and the presence of the young nurse’s character in the book. Here you will find the first description of Hercule Poirot, the “little man” with a gigantic intellect and an even larger (if possible!) ego. Inspector James Japp is also first presented to the reader, “a little sharp, dark, ferret-faced man”—physically different from Philip Jackson of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, Japp also does not present any of the irritating and almost unintelligible cockney accent the Jackson of the movies sported. Most definitely this is a must read for any Agatha Christie fan. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
I believe this was Christie's first book and it created Hercule Peroit. He has met Captain Hastings in the past and they meet again after Hastings is invited to the country house of an old friend whose step-mother is then murdered. I listened to this book on my way back from a wedding in Tennessee. A good book but I like Christie.
  taurus27 | Nov 9, 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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The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as "The Styles Case" has now somewhat subsided.
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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 3 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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13 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102715, 1400109191

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