The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

A Detective Story

eBook - 2003
Average Rating:
10
2
1
Rate this:
The novel is set in England during World War I at Styles, an Essex country manor. The manor is owned by the wealthy widow Emily Inglethorp, who has recently remarried to a much younger man, Alfred Inglethorp. Emily's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as John's wife Mary and several other people, also live at Styles. Late one night, the residents of Styles wake to find Emily Inglethorp dying of what proves to be strychnine poisoning. Captain Hastings, a house guest, enlists the help of his friend Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the nearby village, Styles St. Mary to piece together events surrounding the murder. On the day she was killed, Emily Inglethorp was overheard arguing with someone, most likely her husband, Alfred, or her stepson, John. Afterwards, she seemed quite distressed and, apparently, made a new will--which no one can find. Nobody can explain how or when the strychnine was administered to Mrs. Inglethorp. High on Poirot's list of suspects are: John Cavendish, the elder stepson; Mary Cavendish, his wife; Lawrence Cavendish, the younger stepson; Evelyn Howard, Mrs. Inglethorpe's companion; Cynthia Murdoch, her protegee; and Dr. Bauerstein, a mysterious stranger who lives in Essex. All have motive and opportunity but only Poirot can discover the truth.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2003.
Edition: Modern Library pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9781588363947
1588363945
Characteristics: xxiv, 203 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive

Opinion

From Library Staff

Comment
amandarobinson Jan 15, 2013

A great book, I really enjoyed it. Agatha Christie never ceases to amaze me with her brilliant plots. Definitely worth a look! Also, if you're not familiar with David Suchet's Poirot on BBC, check it out! He is an outstanding Poirot on screen.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

AL_LESLEY Nov 16, 2016

A good mystery with delightful characters. Poirot is beyond absurd and Hastings is as stuffy as can be. It made me smile.

p
pattypi
Oct 20, 2016

Remarkable work for a novice writer. Was very curious to read the two endings and see the difference between thrm.

r
readfox
Mar 28, 2016

This is my second Christie novel, and I really enjoyed it. With many plot twists, new discoveries, and an unsuspected reveal at the end, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. The detective, Hercule Poirot, is a quirky, charming, and immensely likable character that provides a much needed change to the monotonous english detectives that I so often find in other mystery novels. Truly a great book!

FederalWayEdna Jun 19, 2015

This story introduces Poirot and it's no disappointment with its full characterizations and a complicated plot entailing surprises and a twist ending. Having picked up random copies of Christie, it was fun to recognize how much Poirot has evolved in later novels.

p
puzumaki
May 14, 2015

The great aspects of this book are that it's a fast read and keeps you guessing until the end. The problem is it bumbles a lot, and knowing the answer to the mystery makes Poirot seem incredibly erratic. If his actions fit a lot better with the explanation later, I could have accepted it more. That said, it's not a bad debut book. Some of the cultural references were lost on me (and likely most modern readers, since it was written almost a century ago), but it didn't hold me up.

EuSei Oct 20, 2013

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 realize 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 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 Jackson sported. Most definitely this is a must read for any Agatha Christie fan.

AmandaVollmershausen Apr 22, 2013

Although not a mystery fiction fan, I felt that my reading palette could not be complete without delving into the classics of the genre. My honest reaction was to roll my eyes periodically throughout the novel at the overstated obliviousness of the secondary protagonist (also the narrator) and his failure to grasp the clues given by Poirot, the hero of the story. It all felt very artificial and unoriginal. I didn't find the book to 'pull me in' at all, but it was easy enough to read that I didn't need a lot of motivation to continue. The ending is somewhat satisfying, but I wouldn't read another Agatha Christie novel. I must give credit to the unexpected ending (much more unexpected than I expected, even) that made me appreciate the cleverness of the plot.

amandarobinson Jan 15, 2013

A great book, I really enjoyed it. Agatha Christie never ceases to amaze me with her brilliant plots. Definitely worth a look! Also, if you're not familiar with David Suchet's Poirot on BBC, check it out! He is an outstanding Poirot on screen.

c
cknightkc
Oct 25, 2011

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the wonderful debut novel by one of the foremost mystery writers ever, Agatha Christie. It introduces the reader to the clever and eccentric detective, Hercule Poirot.

DanniOcean Aug 13, 2009

Poirot's first appearance

Notices

Add Notices

a
alysonlee
Mar 13, 2014

Violence: Well, it is a murder mystery.. This one is not very violent, but you should still look out for some unnecessary details perhaps.

a
alysonlee
Mar 13, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: When the victim is dying!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

a
alysonlee
Mar 13, 2014

alysonlee thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Related Authors

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top