The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at StylesThis is Agatha Christie s debut novel, published in 1920, and the first featuring her detective, Hercule Poirot By any standards it is an assured and well written debut novel and, considering the period it was written, it is also remarkably undated Apparently, Agatha Christie was challenged by her sister to write a detective story, for which I am eternally grateful, as this was her offering Like one of the characters in this novel, Agatha worked in the dispensary of a local hospital and gained a knowledge of poisons, which she used in her novel She also saw the arrival of Belgian refugees during WWI, which gave her detective his background Our narrator, Hastings, writes an account of the Affair at Styles He has been invalided home from the Front, when he is invited to stay at Styles with an old friend, John Cavendish John lives at Styles with his wife, Mary, his brother, Laurence, his step mother, her companion, Evie Howard and his mother s ward, Cynthia Recently, there has been another addition to the household too, as his step mother has remarried the much younger Alfred Inglethorp Alfred has caused an air of constraint to the household and, when Mrs Inglethorp is murdered, he is the natural suspect.Nearby, M Poirot has been staying in a house provided by Mrs Inglethorp, along with other Belgian refugees Hastings knew Poirot well and, when the murder occurs, he asks him to investigate This book contains many of the characters that Poirot fans will come to know well not only Hastings but Detective Inspector James Japp of Scotland Yard Interestingly, this edition also includes the original, unpublished ending, in which Poirot explains the crime in the courtroom before this was re written at the request of the publisher to take place in the drawing room setting that lovers of Golden Age mysteries are very familiar with A wonderful beginning to my favourite detective series of all time. To celebrate completing my 1000th book of the decade, I chose Agatha Christie s first Hercule Poirot mystery novel for this reading slot I am especially proud of this milestone because earlier in the decade when I was working full time there was one month September 2014 where I only read one book and two months where I only read two books May and June 2012 Agatha Christie wrote this novel in 1916, and it was first published in the United States by John Lane for 2.00 per copy in October 1920 It was first published in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head in January 1921 and could be purchased for seven shillings and sixpence Another historically significant fact is that when Penguin Books first began publishing in 1935, this novel was one of the first 10 books they published.Agatha Christie did not start out as a Master of the mystery genre, but she persisted and went on to solve some difficult literary problems with the genre via her books literary problems that had even stumped the illustrious Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Specifically, the problem with introducing too many clues that end up canceling each other out.And, she knows her Shakespeare The line from 1602 s Hamlet is,Though this be madness yet there is method in itIn this novel, one of the residents of the Styles estate asks in reference to Hercule Poirot,Is he quite mad, Mr Hastingsand Hastings replies,I honestly don t know Sometimes, I feel sure he is as mad as a hatter and then, just as he is at his maddest, I find there is method in his madness For a debut novel, this one is excellent It is well thought through, the writing is clear and the pace is brisk and entertaining The characters are all interesting, too At first I thought I might have to write them all down, but instead I just highlighted their first reference in case I needed to look back I never had to before the story is even a couple of chapters in, I knew exactly who all the characters were and what their relationships were to each other.I really had to pay attention while reading this novel There are, indeed, a plethora of clues Although Hercule Poirot s busy mind is sifting them out as they appear, sorting them into mental cubbyholes, and weighing and measuring them, it is true that many of them cancel each other out Poirot and Hastings the narrator are working together, yet Poirot doesn t disclose all of his deductions to his friend he tries to prod him into discovering his own deductions So we have Hastings coming to certain conclusions and Poirot coming to other conclusions There s an entire ship load of red herrings in this story I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and although I did guess the actual culprit at least once, I got there via a different route altogether and it didn t stop me from suspecting all the other people in the household of murder either Agatha Christie, if you did in fact write this novel as a challenge to present a murder mystery that leaves one guessing until Hercule Poirot points his finger, you succeeded with me One last note while Agatha Christie and her contemporaries helped to open doors for many of today s mystery writers especially women , there were also earlier female mystery writers who opened those doors for Ms Christie and her colleagues I hope to take this journey with Agatha Christie from novice to master and learnabout how she accomplished that feat. Who Poisoned The Wealthy Emily Inglethorpe, And How Did The Murderer Penetrate And Escape From Her Locked Bedroom Suspects Abound In The Quaint Village Of Styles St Mary From The Heiress S Fawning New Husband To Her Two Stepsons, Her Volatile Housekeeper, And A Pretty Nurse Who Works In A Hospital Dispensary Making His Unforgettable Debut, The Brilliant Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot Is On The Case The Key To The Success Of This Style Of Detective Novel, Writes Elizabeth George In Her Introduction, Lies In How The Author Deals With Both The Clues And The Red Herrings, And It Has To Be Said That No One Bettered Agatha Christie At This Game February has been a tough month for me this time around I can t pinpoint it but there have been too many gray days even without the snow on the ground Spring is mercifully around the corner and with it sun and happier reading times ahead I tend to read mysteries as palette cleansers in between denser reads but at count I have read four mysteries this month and perhaps I can squeeze in another In fact, February should be mystery month On that note, what better way to spend the lingering winter days with the Queen of Crime, Dame Agatha Christie herself The Mysterious Affair at Styles is her first case that introduced Hercule Poirot to the world, and, as usual, Dame Christie did not disappoint Colonel Hastings has been called to Styles Arms at the request of his friend John Cavendish It is the war years and Hastings is appreciative to take leave of the army At Styles, Hastings encounters arguments between the various inhabitants of the manor There is fighting between Mr and Mrs Alfred and Emily Inglethorpe, between Mr Inglethorpe and his cousin Evelyn Howard, between John and Mary Cavendish, and between John and his brother Lawrence Either the Great War has made the extended Inglethorpe Cavendish clan tense, or things are not as rosy on the inside of the manor as they appear on the outside It is in this tense environment that within two nights of Hastings arrival that Mrs Emily Inglethorpe is found dying in her bed A doctor is summoned and rules Mrs Inglethorpe s death to be murder by strychnine poisoning Hastings is asked to lead the investigative team but with his narrow mind, he is clueless as to who would want to murder and elderly lady By chance, a group of Belgians is staying at a cottage close to Styles Arms, and among them is Hastings old friend, the one and only Hercule Poirot Already highly regarded as a premier detective in his home country, Poirot is summoned by Hastings to assist him in solving this dreadful case Christie first published The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1921 and the book has stood the test of time Poirot mentions that Hastings should use his gray cells, and he seems a step ahead of both Hastings and Scotland Yard Inspector Japp Inspector Japp almost immediately accuses John Cavendish of murdering his mother and places her on trial, yet Poirot by thoroughly examining each and every clue tells his counterparts to have patience because perhaps a key piece is missing and perhaps the wrong person has been implicated Yes, John Cavendish can stand to gain in his mother s will from her death but does it make him a murderer Only Poirot seems to attest to the truth and leads Hastings, the inhabitants of Styles Arms, and Christie s readers on a fact finding mission to unravel the case As Styles gained in popularity, Christie found that she had a formula that worked with cases starring her famous Belgian detective As with many of Christie s future cases featuring Poirot, he has all the principal players gather as he explains to them the crime, motive, and guilty party in an easy to follow step by step manner And as with many cases, Poirot introduces a new piece of evidence toward the end that plays a significant role in the case Christie s cases are always fun to read even if it is tricky to guess whodunit based on the lack of this key clue Yet I keep reading her cases and other mysteries to sharpen my mind and keep my little gray cells in order It is a good thing that February does not last too much longer or I would probably be reading a case featuring the famous Belgian detective before the calendar turns to spring 4 stars With the exception of a racial slur so egregious I could hardly breathe when I read it, it is difficult to believe this book was written almost exactly 100 years ago.It s still a great story today and it introduced us to Christie s best known protagonist, Hercule Poirot.During the first World War, Mr Hastings is visiting a family friend, John Cavendish, when John s step mother, Emily, is poisoned Someone in the family did itand I didn t guess who Ok Let s get down to business This is an old fashioned British mystery novel So much information Trying to keep it all straight in my head was extremely difficult My brain was all over the place but that s what makes a good mystery, in my opinion This is the first book starring the world famous Hercule Poirot and his friend Hastings Poirot is an eccentric detective from Belgium who fled to England during WWI Hastings is a little on the dramatic side, always jumps to the wrong conclusions, and never catches on to the hints that Poirot throws his way It definitely helps inject some humor into what would normally be very dour subject matter The first part of this book other than the murder of course is a little slow due to character building, so for about the first 100 pages After that, Scotland Yard gets involved and that s when things start to get a bitinteresting The investigation heats up There are six suspects People start being cleared or becoming suspicious At this point it could be anyone Everyone in this book seems a little shady for one reason or another The servants seem to be the only ones you don t suspect Also this book has a lot of dialogue You have the suspects talking to each other, Poirot interviewing people for information, and Poirot explaining clues, and of course when he reveals everything at the end of the book.I might be a little biased because I love David Suchet as Poirot in the TV show but I really enjoyed this book It kept me guessing and it was intricate and interesting enough to keep my attention If you enjoy an old fashioned mystery but have never read Agatha Christie before, this one is a good place to start The Mysterious Affair at Styles Hercule Poirot 1 , original publication year 1920Characters Hercule Poirot, Inspector Japp, Arthur Hastings, John Cavendish, Emily Inglethorp, Alfred Inglethorp, Cynthia Murdoch, Mary Cavendish, Evie Howard, Lawrence Cavendish.Abstract The famous case that launched the career of Hercule Poirot When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe 1998 2004 1372 305 1377 9645977606 1372 333 1389 333 978 964 9915 13 5 1372 1373 248 1383 1386 248 1382 1386 248 1390 288 96436316991916 25 .1 1920 1887 1909 1920 1916,39 2017 Dear me, Poirot, I said with a sigh, I think you have explained everything And how wonderful of you to wait until page 230 to finally shed light on all your absurd behavior throughout the book, and to justify and the red herrings and narrative padding But of course, it could only be so in the classic style of a fiendish murder mystery Why, in fact, though this is but the first case we have solved together, I have no doubt we could do the exact same thing as many as 86times, depending on if you count the smaller cases Quite so, mon ami, Poirot chuckled You make such a reliably dim witted Watson I looked at Poirot in silent amazement The colossal cheek of the little man Then we drank some tea and he kissed me passionately, on the mouth. If you ve read my reviews before, you know I love mystery fiction, and in particular, the classics Agatha Christie died in 1976, and I was born the following year Two things come to mind 1 It s a good thing I wasn t alive when she died because I would have been so miserable to be around 2 Since I was born just about a year later, I m wondering if maybe a small part of her lives on as I love her genius and her works of literature and I can re read her books over and over again without ever getting bored.There are tons of reviews of all her major works, and I don t need to be repetitive in my review What I d really try to get across is why you need to read ANY of her works, and then why I d suggest this one 1 This was one of her first books, and I believe the first published one, in 1920, which means she was probably writing it exactly 100 years ago And though some of the language is a little different, and it takes place with a different cultural atmosphere, the crux of the story its plot, is appropriate at any point in time People don t love Christie for her beautiful language or her great ideas yeah, she had some of those but it s her plots and characters that stand out And those transcend time 2 Who else can create such a puzzle that you are constantly trying to guess what s going on True, tons of writers today, but not 100 years ago And even with modern writers, it s often in a suspense and thriller type of novel, where it s all about the chase Christie was all about the calm approach to solving a murder She didn t try to end each chapter with a big WOW and heart wrenching scare tactic It s simple evolution of a timeline, collections of clues, conversations with people and then you start to see the puzzle come together But at the last minute, you get the unexpected twist.3 With this first book, you meet Hercule Poirot, one of her two popular detectives Poirot is annoying He s painful He will make you angry while you are laughing And that s the cool part Columbo is the best comparison I can come up with And I m certain Columbo was based on large part by Christie s Poirot.So why this book It s the first in the series It s a prime example of why her stories work It s the ultimate tale a family with secrets It takes place in the UK the best place to visit and perhaps live I don t live there, only visited it But it s really the slow build up of the clues that will have your mind working overtime So if you need a Christie stand alone book, go to And Then There Were None If you like female investigators, choose a Miss Marple If you like a Belgian male detective, flip a coin and pick between Murder on the Orient Express or The Mysterious Affair at Styles Both will be a great read But if you need to start at the beginning, go with this one to see what an author s first book looks like Because if I didn t have my Christie I d be likeAbout MeFor those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by polldaddy poll 9729544 polldaddy poll 9719251

Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name

✅ [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Mysterious Affair at Styles By Agatha Christie ⚣ –
  • Paperback
  • 121 pages
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • Agatha Christie
  • English
  • 21 October 2018
  • 9780646418438

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