Agatha Christie’s first ever murder mystery.
With impeccable timing Hercule Poirot, the renowned Belgian detective, makes his dramatic entrance on to the English crime stage.
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.
A shattered coffee cup, a splash of candle grease, a bed of begonias… all Poirot required to display his now legendary powers of detection.
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date (this kindle edition): 14/10/2010
Genre: Murder Mystery
My Chosen Format: Kindle
My Rating of ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’: 4 out of 5
Purchase: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Audible UK, Audible US
This is the start of my Poirot series re-read. I own the first 15 and thought this would be an excellent way of getting back into the swing of it.
The Mysterious Affair At The Styles was the first Poirot novel published by Christie and, for fans of Sherlock Holmes, the characters of Hercule Poirot and his friend Captain Hastings will seem somewhat familiar. An excellent detective, leagues ahead of anyone else in the field, partnered with an ex-servicemen.
Christie even name drops Sherlock Holmes very early on in the book, so it’s easy to see where the inspiration comes from.
With that being said, this series is not a cheap Holmes knock-off. This book is a wonderfully addictive, if a little slow to start, murder mystery novel that keeps you guessing throughout.
When I say addictive, it’s not only page-turning stuff, it’s easy reading and genuinely intriguing.
Obviously, as any level-headed reader will appreciate, it was written during a time of different social norms. So if you plan on looking at historical fiction through a 2020 lens, do yourself a favour and read something else. If you want to be genuinely sucked into the time period then pick up this book. As far as historical novels go, you can’t beat ones written by authors living in the time period as it gives a genuine snapshot of how life was at the time, how potential crimes were committed, how the law acts towards it etc …
My only negatives would be that, as mentioned earlier, it was a tad slow to start. That and Poirot’s habit of keeping everything to himself whilst behaving in outlandish ways do seem a bit forced. But, he is one of the more eccentric/quirky characters in literature so I suppose such things are to be expected. Annoying, but expected.
This series, if the first 15 or so are anything to go by, will give you countless hours of reading pleasure.