Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles


The Mysterious Affair at Styles is Agatha Christie's first published novel and introduces readers to her famous hero, Hercules Poirot, along with a couple of his stalwart sidekicks, Detective Chief Inspector James Japp and Captain Arthur Hastings, who narrates.

Hastings – who fancies himself an amateur sleuth – happens to be visiting friends at Styles Court, their English country manor, when a mysterious death occurs. His friend Poirot, a WWI refugee from Belgium, happens to be billeted in the local village, et voilà, the two join forces to unravel the complicated mystery. With a dead matriarch, her shady younger husband, two step-sons, various dependants and family retainers, the enticing wife of a neighboring farmer, and assorted villagers, there are plenty of possible suspects.

At times, the long story gets a little too complicated, with red herrings swimming all over the place and clues overlapping every which way. But there are a few very good twists, some clever scenes, and many funny bits. The book proves Christie a master of the genre from the get go.


dog eared copy

If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


This was the first book I read for the 2012 Vintage Mystery Challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block.


  1. Great little review of a classic. I love your new header and the colors. Enjoying your unusual snow or is it gone already?

  2. Barbara: Thanks for noticing the makeover! I am excited about it because the tabs work and the main column is wider.

    The snow lasted about 3 hours. Then it was back to 50 degrees and raining. It was exciting for half a day. :)

  3. I posted a Q&A discussion about the audio book edition of The Mysterious Affair at Styles as part of The Murder Monsters & Mayhem feature hosted by Jennifer L./ @jennsbookshelf at Jenn's Book Shelves.There's also a mini-review of the TV-on-DVD episode starring David Suchet and Hugh Fraser. Technically, it's not a review; but if you'd like to include it, you're more than welcome to link to it. No hard feelings if it's not what you had in mind and decide not to use it.

  4. Yes, you've got a great new look!

    Love seeing reviews of Dame Agatha. I like going back to her when I need a comfort read.

    Nice entry for the challenge!


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