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The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  92,965 ratings  ·  2,194 reviews
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.
Mass Market Paperback, 182 pages
Published September 1970 by Bantam Books (first published 1920)
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Juree Chakma The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)
by Agatha Christie


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

You are Captain Arthur Hastings, and you are slowly falling in love with a Belgian. The feelings are embarrassing at first; you find the Belgian himself to be quite an embarrassment. But there is just something about him. Could it be his suave, continental sense of humor... his keen sense of justice... his shapely, rubenesque figure? Or is it simply his hypnotic mustache, perhaps? The passion develops in fits and starts. You don’t want to love him, you really don’t. You
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j
"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 86 more times, depending ...more
Kirsty
How did I go for so long without reading an Agatha Christie?! I wish I'd picked one up sooner! I figured my first read should be the first book published (I have an OCDish need to read books in order) and I have to say that this is a fantastic debut novel. Most authors' work gets better with time - if Christie gets better than this then I have some treats in store!

Long story cut short:- Mrs Inglethorp, the old lady owner of Styles Court, suffers a violent fit early one morning and dies. It appea
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Sean
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was a fun quick read. This book is Agatha Christie’s first published novel and the first to feature the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Beloved by many for being a completely pompous prig, this character launched Christie’s career and ultimately resulted in her books being the most widely read in history selling millions of copies. This author, perhaps being outsold only by Shakespeare or the Bible, has to have been doing something right.

In this debut no
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Dina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
I had never read the introduction of the character of Hercule Poirot before. I was actually quite engrossed for a very brief period, as the book was short enough, but my love of Inspector Poirot shall continue to the day I die....and hopefully, if I am murdered, someone equally as interesting will solve it!
Steve
Classic closed-room murder mystery with a large number of suspects, twists to the narrative of each, and, of course, Belgian master-detective Hercule Poirot bring the mystery to a grand conclusion with all of the suspects in attendance, revealing all of the clues, however miniscule, that were in the story all along.

I listened to the Audible version of this book, narrated by David Thorn. Normally, I listen to Audible books at 2x speed, but Mr. Thorn's accents made it nearly impossible to follow,
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Ashley
This was fun! I was in the perfect mood when I checked this out of the library, and my library participates with one of those digital audiobook lenders, so I was able to carry it everywhere with me. I listened to it in the car, while I was cooking, doing chores, checking my emails, cleaning my fish tank, getting ready in the morning, etc. The library is enabling me. I'm not sure I've ever read an audiobook so fast before (of course, I usually only listen to them in my car, so it's really not tha ...more
Carmen
Nov 17, 2013 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The first Hercule Poirot mystery. Agatha Christie is stunning, as usual. This time, the Belgian detective must solve the murder of an elderly matriarch.

The story is narrated by Hastings, a good friend of Poirot. I found myself a bit frustrated with him – he comes off as rather dense. He and Poirot have the same clues, but his misses obvious meanings and insinuations given by the clues. Now, don't get me wrong, I (as the reader) had all the clues and couldn't solve the mystery either, but at lea
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Kasia S.
I have read many Agatha Christie novels since I was a teenager, there is something charming and intelligent and witty about them, with this novel I finally got to read the one that started it all. Book one was actually quite good, I was entranced the whole time I was reading it, the story appears to be quite simple and the obvious is suddenly questioned, the suspect count rises and the real murderer slithers unnoticed, that is until the little Belgian super hero, Hercule Poirot gets involved. In ...more
Cristina T.
BR with Marco and Kayl on February 11th :)

This is Agatha Christie's debut novel and frankly, that boggles my mind, because it's so clever! I mean, she did get entitled Queen of Crime for a reason. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was a delight to read, and while the clues were there all along, I wouldn't have guessed the murderer in a million years. On the contrary, I dismissed the person in question from the start, and I think that speaks volumes for how masterfully Christie crafted the plot. Fo
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Denae
Given how many of Agatha Christie's works I read as an adolescent, I was somewhat astounded to realize as I read that I had not read The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Written in 1916 and set during the first World War, it introduces us to both Hastings and Hercule Poirot. Like the first Miss Marple book, it is primarily fascinating because of the "origin story" aspect. Both characters became more fascinating over time as Christie developed them. That being said, this was a delightful read filled ...more
Anirudh
Ah.. The beginning. There is a saying that legends are not born, they are made. With the introduction of HP in this book, the genre of mystery changed forever. AC has imitated Sherlock quite a bit in her earlier novels, this included.

Quite an interesting first book, which would serve as a corner stone for a career that earned her the title the Queen of Crime. This is a book where Mr. Poirot solves the case due to one of his distinct characteristics.

A book that made a legend.
jzhunagev
My First Affair with Hercule Poirot
(A Book Review of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affairs at Styles)


Written as an outcome of a bet in which “the reader would not be able to spot the criminal”, Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair of Styles, published in 1921, is the first published work by the author that not only introduces what will become her trademark for ingenious plotting as well as the egg-shaped head, quirky and well-groomed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, one of the beloved sle
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Stela
To say that Doyle and Christie are mystery masters is almost a truism, since you find in their novels all ingredients to sustain this affirmation: perfect plot, charming weird detective, exquisite writing, interesting characters.
So it's no wonder that for me, a successful detective story has somehow to fall into a pattern they established a long time ago: clues gathered by a sharp mind, apparent contradictions and /or mistakes, dramatic turn of events and of course the big finale: the last reun
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Tatiana
Jan 11, 2010 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who just have to read EVERYTHING written by Agatha Christie
"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" is the first published book of Agatha Christie's and the first book where she introduces her well-known private detective Hercule Poirot.

The fact that the book is Christie's first effort is apparent. It definitely lacks the finesse of her later works. The main thing that drags down this otherwise standard Christie story is the trial proceedings. It would have been wiser to edit out that part of the book altogether as it added very little to the investigation.

How
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Laurel Young
Thus begins My Year of Agatha! Over the course of 2010, I'll be reading all of Dame Agatha Christie's canon, more or less in order of publication. I've read most if not all of them before, but in some cases it has been many years. I'm most familiar with her Golden Age work (1920-1939), because the study of it formed the second chapter of my doctoral dissertation. The chapter has already been published, and so my Year of Agatha is purely for personal pleasure. She is my favorite of all mystery au ...more
Carol
When I picked up this book, I was pleased to find out it was Agatha Christie's very first novel written in 1920. I had always wanted to read one of her Detective Hercule Poirot murder mysteries, and this one did not disappoint (once I got into it). Poirot, with his diminutive stance, egg shaped head and mustache is quite a peculiar and entertaining character and his young friend Captain Arthur Hasting's (who narrates the story) is honest to a fault with his naïveté. While Ten Little Indians or b ...more
Arun Divakar
3/16/2013

After a long long period of deliberation and procrastination, I did manage to chance upon Mr. Poirot. It must be said that I found in him a remarkable gentleman of impeccable intellect. He charms with his old-school chivalry and his peculiar if not instinctive behavior while pursuing his intellectual pastime. It is also worth mentioning how this little Belgian man never trades rational thought for prejudice or hearsay. In this very first occurence of being acquainted with him, he has de
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PSmith
This is not one of my favorite Christies. I liked the initial half, but the latter half was too concocted and drab. Too many falsehoods, too many red herrings.. and the final explanation by Poirot was dramatic. I am also a bit peeved because I guessed the killer wrong. The gist of the mystery is the death by poisoning of a rich old lady who speaks out her mind, and doles out largess,only to never let the receivers forget it. She is surrounded by her much younger second husband, her secretary, 2 ...more
Đorđe Bajić
Prvi roman Krstijeve o Poarou svakako nije najbolji u serijalu, ali jeste PRVI. Zbog toga svakako zaslužuje da bude pročitan. Iz današnje perspektive, Tajanstveni događaj u Stajlsu deluje pomalo retro - ali to nije čudno imajući u vidu da je napisan pre gotovo 100 godina. U ovo izdanje uvršteni su uvodni tekst Džona Karena i alternativno poglavlje. 3.5/5
Stephen
When a war wearied Captain Hastings is furloughed for a rest cure he accepts an invitation from an old friend to spend some time convalescing at Styles. He's all too happy to accept and is surprised to learn that an old acquaintance, a retired Belgian police inspector is a war refugee staying nearby. But when Hastings finds that his hostess has been murdered he enlists the aid of his old acquaintance Hurcule Poirot to investigate.

Just finished this and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than
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Barry Pierce
Another great Poirot novel. This is my third foray into the world of Hercule Poirot and it of course did not disappoint. Poirot is by far my favourite fictional detective just because of his sheer brilliance and his acid tongue. The plot of this one follows the classic "locked door" mystery trope but is fresh and exciting, like most Christie novels. It is written in incredibly simple and easy prose that really won't challenge anyone mentally. I never guessed the solution to this mystery (as alwa ...more
Dylan
This was a good book. It's Agatha Christie's first novel if I'm not mistaken. It tells the story of a murder that takes place at the Style's house, and inspector Hercule Poirot investigates the matter.

This book caught me off gaurd. I thought I knew who the murderer was, but I was mistaken. Agatha's good at leading you one way, then BAM! Another door opens and you're stumped.

Again, good read. Looking forward to reading more of her books.
Emjay
ZEH PLOT TWISTS. ZHEY ARE EVERYWHERE. WHAT EVEN. I THOUGHT I HAD PREPARED MYSELF.

Apparemment pas! Yes, I have used Google Translate in the past 120 seconds.

Poirot is a dear, and cleverer than I took him for at first! I think I shall like him very much. Can't wait to read more and check out the show too :D
Marts  (Thinker)
Hastings was enjoying quite a lovely stay at Styles Court until Lady Emily mysteriously dies. She went up to her room and was assumed to be alone so no one has the slightest clue as to what could have happened. Fortunately Hercule Poirot steps in to assist...
Steven
Christie's first, and also the first of Poirot. A classic for sure, but not my favorite of her works.

Can't wait to reread more of these... It's been a decade!!!
Mark
Jan 24, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical detectives
Recommended to Mark by: The reading group of Agatha Christie
This is Agatha Christie her first novel in which we do get introduced to the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who would become one of her most well known characters, even if she seemed to dislike him in her later writings were he was made to look ridicolous and annoying. In this book that was written and situated in the middle of WO1, which is kind of current of great newsvalue with the centenary remembrance of the great war this year.
The book is written from the viewpoint of one of Poirots com
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Nancy Oakes
First introduced in this novel in 1920, Hercule Poirot (who I can never picture as anyone but David Suchet anymore!!) is a retired Belgian detective who has settled in the English village of Styles St. Mary. Poirot is brought into the case because a woman who had done a great favor to a few of his fellow countrymen after WWI is killed. It is here that he rekindles his friendship with one Arthur Hastings, who will go on to become Poirot's number one sidekick friend as the later books appear.

The d
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Célia
Depois de já ter lido vários livros da Agatha Christie, ao partir para uma nova história de sua autoria já sei mais ou menos o que esperar. E é precisamente por isso que estas leituras me agradam: são rápidas, interessantes e bem escritas. Gosto bastante do Hercule Poirot e neste novo mistério, é ele o detective, numa história narrada pelo seu companheiro Hastings (à semelhança dos contos que já tinha lido em As Investigações de Poirot). Foi o primeiro livro publicado por Agatha Christie e o pri ...more
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
...more
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
  • Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot, #11)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4) Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)

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“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.” 333 likes
“You gave too much rein to your imagination. Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.” 333 likes
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