The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first book in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot Mystery series. Hercule Poirot is a famous Belgian detective who is now retired from the police force but still manages to get wrapped up in crime and mystery wherever he goes.
In the novel, Poirot is found in Styles St. Mary, Essex in England hiding away from the war that is tearing apart Europe (I believe it’s WW1). Just outside the village at the estate known as Styles, the wealthy owner Mrs. Emily Inglethorp has been poisoned in her bed. There is evidence against everyone in the house and clues both real and manufactured. Poirot must work hard to sort out this most complex of cases.
The story is narrated by Poirot’s friend Captain Arthur Hastings who was present at Styles while on injury leave from the military, He shares with the reader all of the clues and everything he sees and thinks regarding the death of Mrs. Ingelthorp.
I have read several Agatha Christie novels, she is one of my favourite authors and this book does not disappoint. As readers, we are given all of the clues and are free to deduce what happened for ourselves. However, we do not see Poirot’s “little ideas” or the work of his “little grey cells” leaving us in suspense until the very last. There is evidence against several characters and everyone is hiding something which makes for an interesting tale of “who done it”.
As a narrator, Hastings make for a very diligent observer and includes every last detail and thought of his own. Christie uses language that is both suitable for the period and easy to read making this a great choice for mystery fans of all ages. The suspense will draw you in and you won’t want to put this book down until find out who the murderer is. I would highly recommend this books to anyone of any age, especially is they like a good mystery.
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XOXO ~ Amber Rose Aiken