The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Poirot's First Case

Large Print - 2014
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"Home from the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings finds himself in a convalescent home very much to his disliking. Thankfully his old friend John Cavendish invites him to spend the rest of his sick leave at his family home. The beautiful Styles Court, a British country manor, is home to John's stepmother Mrs. Inglethorp, and her new husband, Alfred. Despite the tranquil surroundings, Hastings begins to realize that all is not right. When Mrs. Inglethorp is found poisoned a murder investigation begins. Anybody, including her husband, her stepsons, her daughter-in-law, the young protegee or the mysterious doctor, could be the murderer." -- From back of book.
Publisher: Thorndike, ME : Center Point Large Print, 2014.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781611739541
Characteristics: 316 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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May 04, 2018

I made a commitment to read all of Christie's Poirot novels in chronological order. This being the first in the series, as well as the only Christie novel I have ever read, here is my takeaway:

--There is a very large and often times confusing cast of characters. While they are all given brief introductions in the beginning, I actually had to pull up a list of their names and descriptions online in order to keep them straight.
--The same could be said for the massive layout of the interior of Style as well as the town. Christie was kind enough to include a map of Styles, but I disliked having to constantly flip back several pages in order to understand a reference that was made later in the book.
--Poirot uses French words and phrases continually in his dialogue, and I constantly had to use Google Translate in order to discern what he meant.
--On top of the French language, several old, European, and medical terms are used throughout the entire novel, and I would not have been able to understand or enjoy the book as much without the help of the internet.
--Poirot's over observance and ability to deduce every minute detail comes off as ridiculous and unrealistic at times. While I understand that he is a fictional character, I wish that Christie had made him more human and relatable.
--The novel being told from the viewpoint of Hastings versus Poirot was frustrating at times, as I did not always understand Poirot's reasonings and reactions until the VERY end of the novel. Instead of being suspenseful, I found it drawn out and annoying to be left in the dark for so long.

--The overall storyline is fantastic and memorable. As a huge fan of murder mysteries, the many twists and turns did not disappoint.
--I learned several new French words and phrases.
--Poirot is thorough and explains in great detail every twist and turn. You are not left to wonder why certain characters could not have committed the crime or how every piece of evidence fits before moving onto another theory. When it is finally revealed whodunnit, no stone is left unturned.
--Usually when watching mystery TV Shows/Movies or reading suspense novels, I am able to deduce early on whom the culprit(s) is. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this novel, as I was completely off base--but overall satisfied and happier with Christie's ending.
--A quick read, one that I would enjoy reading again in the future and seeing live action adaptions.

Mar 16, 2018

Having read a few novels with Poirot I had recently decided to try and read all of them starting at the beginning. Poirot makes a delightful debut to the readers of the series. Although you may have your own suspicions as to the guilty party Agatha always leaves you wondering to the end if you are in fact correct. Very enjoyable whether you have read none of the series or if you have read a few. Very enjoyable.

ArapahoeLesley 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.

Oct 20, 2016

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

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.

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.

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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.

Mar 13, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: When the victim is dying!


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Mar 13, 2014

alysonlee thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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