Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
(Hercule Poirot #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Published 1920 by Various Publishers

This was my very first venture into the world of Agatha Christie. I decided to read all of her books in the order they were published, instead of starting with the most known ones.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles introduces recurring characters Mr Hastings and Monsieur Poirot. Mr Hastings is staying with a friend of his at Styles, where during his stay suddenly the elderly step-mother gets murdered. He turns to retired detective Poirot for help. One in the household is a murderer, but who?

Agata Christie's book is very accessible. Books that are written more than fifty years ago can be sometimes hard to read, filled with archaic words that are hard to decipher for a foreigner like me. I was glad to find out this wasn't the case - The Mysterious Affair at Styles was an easy and quick read.

With its historical setting this is a cozy read. There are no gruesome details, there is no explicit violence. The murderer doesn't get chased but is unmasked by sheer intelligence. Not only does this make it readable for a younger audience, but sometimes for adults it's nice to have a break from all the violence and sex of contemporary books. This would be a perfect read for a gloomy winter's day.

I had no idea who the murderer was until everything got revealed. At some point in the story I kind of suspected everyone. I love how Ms Christie makes sure you don't exclude anyone from suspicion. Poirot was a slightly arrogant but funny little Belgian fellow, that made me think of Sherlock Holmes with a strange moustache.

I'm looking forward to read more Agatha Christie books. I very much enjoyed this one!


The famous case that launched the career of Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe.

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kit said...

Poirot is definitely my favourite Christie detective. I haven't read The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it sounds like a good one! I always try and guess the murderer, and I'm nearly always wrong when it comes to Agatha Christie, she's just too good at those red herrings... :)

Celine said...

She really is! I love it when you have absolutely no idea.. You know it's one of the characters you are reading about, but it's still impossible to guess which one the killer is. I really liked her book, I'm looking forward to reading another one from her (:

Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea said...

I agree! Christie's books are perfect for a rainy (or snowy) afternoon with a mugga tea or hot chocolate. And Poirot's intelligence is definitely something that makes them even better. I'm glad you enjoyed it!! :) I can't wait to pick up the next one - I'm a bit worried since I think it's a Tommy & Tuppence one but.. well, we'll see how we like it. 

Malvina Beatrice said...

I really enjoy reading her books feels like I'm going on adventure and solving mysteries.

Taylor Lynn said...

I've never read any Agatha Christie books, but I've heard a lot about them! Now I may have to check them out. I did always love Nancy Drew growing up, after all... ;) Thanks for the review!

Darknessandmist said...

I've read nearly all Agatha Christie novels, and I'm reading this one today!

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