The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot)

December 20, 2016 - Comment

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916. Styles was Christie’s first published novel. It introduced Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916. Styles was Christie’s first published novel. It introduced Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery. This is also the setting of Curtain, Poirot’s last case. The book includes maps of the house, the murder scene, and a drawing of a fragment of a will. The true first publication of the novel was as a weekly serial in the The Times, including the maps of the house and other illustrations included in the book. This novel was one of the first ten books published by Penguin Books when it began in 1935. This first mystery novel by Agatha Christie was well received by reviewers. An analysis in 1990 was positive about the plot, considered the novel one of the few by Christie that is well-anchored in time and place, a story that knows it describes the end of an era, and mentions that the plot is clever. Christie had not mastered cleverness in her first novel, as “too many clues tend to cancel each other out”; this was judged a difficulty “which Conan Doyle never satisfactorily overcame, but which Christie would.”

Comments

El Solito says:

Agatha still shines, Kindle’s version not so much I have always loved Christie’s books for quick and fun entertainment. Although I used to own her entire published works in English, I lost my whole collection years ago to severe water damage. Recently, I was talked into buying a Kindle (reluctantly–I still like the heft, smell and feel of a paper book) and I was pleased to see this book was available at the best price ever: free. 

J. Sexton says:

Buy the Fully Restored Edition for the illustrations! 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. 

M. J. Mann says:

Intelligent and full of common sense. This is the second Hercule Poirot book that I have read, and-actually-the first that Agatha Christie wrote. I love Hercule Poirot’s thoughtful way of approaching “suspects” and the simple way that he seems to make hypothesis and prove and disprove his “little ideas” through questioning and common sense. In both stories I have read so far, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and The Halloween Party, there is another character trying to piece together the evidence and come up with a…

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