The Mysterious Affair at Styles
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  82,230 ratings  ·  1,920 reviews
An aging heiress, fatally poisoned; the door to her room locked from the inside; and the charred remains of a will in her fireplace are some of the ingredients in this absorbing tale of murder, jealousy, and greed. Agatha Christie's classic introduced Hercule Poirot, the brilliant and amazing Belgian detective.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 22nd 1997 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1920)
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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...more
"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
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...more
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...more
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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!
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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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

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...more
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...more
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.

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...
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!!!
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...more
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...more
I hadn't read any Agatha Christie before, which seems odd as my parents were fans and I remember the books being around the house. However I've been a huge fan of the TV adaptations with David Suchet. The beginning seemed like the best place to start (it normally is with books). Both the first Christie novel and Hercule Poirot's first investigation, at least the first documented by Christie through the pen of the charming, if dim, Lieutenant Hastings. With the arrival of Inspector Japp as well,...more
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
It was about time I finally got around to reading Hercule Poirot's first public appearance. I've always enjoyed (or "crushed on" would be more appropriate) the Sherlock Holmes stories and figured I should someday branch out and see what other "classic" mystery writers do. I've seen a few movies based on Agatha Christie's books and have thoroughly enjoyed them, so it's about time I picked up an actual book.

Since I have no other Agatha Christie book to compare this to, I can say that while the sto...more
Clever! I'm reading a collection of all of Agatha Christie's mysteries, but this was the first one, so I thought I'd just set it down separately.

Hastings: that guy is a dick. I've heard his character compared favorably to Watson, but I never remember Watson doubting Holmes, or really ever behaving so insufferably. Hastings can shut it, permanently.

Poirot: an absolute delight. Of course I adored him; he is brilliant, manipulative, terribly dry-witted, and gentlemanly. The story was quite smart, w...more
After deciding to finally see what all the fuss was about..I was left to pleasantly agree with the hype. Agatha Christie is fantastic..I absolutely loved this book!

Although the characterisation is lacking in this book as opposed to some of the character developments you get in other books, its fine in this novel as their really isn't any room for character development. This is clearly a plot driven book..and isnt worse off for it!

Throughout the whole book, I contemplated various scenarios, vario...more
Harish Kumar Sarma Challapalli
It is Christie's first published novel, and
introduces Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later,
Chief Inspector) Japp and Lieutenant Hastings.

Even after these many decades also, this one is a page turner!! A wonderful book!! Earlier, I read Agatha Christie's "Evil Under the Sun" and was impressed by her writing skills. So again started reading all her novels in order.

Hercule Poirot is really more like sherlock holmes!! His approach of investigating a case is really mindblowing!! It will drive people cra...more
I would say I liked her other books more. This one was good but somewhat convoluted and I was not very much impressed with this. I have read a story of Holmes on a murder due to poisoning and I would say that was much better. I love Holmes and he is my most fav detective ever! She even mentions Sherlock Holmes in this book.


The TV series episode was much better. I actually liked the story and the plot after watching it :P
Agatha Christie is very good at what she does. My only problem is that I do not value a tale of ratiocination -- to use Poe's term -- carried to the nth degree. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was not so much written as diagrammed like a complex sentence a hundred thousand words long. I do not think, for instance, that the board game of Clue could have come into existence without Christie whose extreme permutations of places, weapons, times, and so on made her stories the ultimate in the whoduni...more
Hastings is recovering from a war wound when he encounters an old friend. John Cavendish invites him to stay with his family, an odd collection of barely-related people all hanging around the old and rich Mrs.Inglethorp. Hastings likes them (particularly the pretty and enigmatic Mrs.Cavendish) and stays on happily--until Mrs.Inglethorp dies of convulsions in the night. Horrified, Hastings summons his old friend Poirot to investigate her death.

The mystery itself was ok--(view spoiler)...more
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.
Carolyn F.
I think this will be my 4th time reading it, not including watching the wonderful series on PBS. I'm in the Agatha Christie Luvrs group and we're going through the entire series. I know, it will take us years, but why not.

Wonderful book, even though I've read it numerous times and have watched the TV series, I still enjoyed it. I love the way Hasting is so clueless although he thinks he's the opposite. I love Poirot. Fantastic book.
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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...
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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“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.” 297 likes
“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.” 286 likes
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