Mysterious Affair at Styles

Christie, Agatha. The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Duke Classics, 2012. Epub 2015.

Reason read: September is Christie’s birth month.

Told from the point of view of Hastings, a guest at Styles, The Mysterious Affair at Styles tells the tale of a woman poisoned for her inheritance. Desperate for answers, Hastings introduces his friend, Inspector Hercule Poirot, to the dead woman’s son and to the crime in the hope the detective can solve the mystery. As with any mystery there is a revolving cast of characters, all suitable for the label “guilty.”
Having never seen film or television versions of Hercule Poirot, I picture him as a smug little man. His review of the crime scene is fascinating and I could picture his scrutiny perfectly. His relationship with Hastings is humorous, almost patronizing. The key to remember with this mystery is once a man is acquitted of a specific crime he can never be tried again for the same offense.

Lines worth mentioning: “Imagination is always a good servant and a bad master” (p 91) and “Who on earth but Poirot would have thought of a trial for murder as a restorer of conjugal happiness” (p 238).

Author fact: There is a lot of mystery surrounding Christie’s own life. At one point she herself became the center of a mystery as a missing person.

Book trivia: The Mysterious Affair at Styles is Inspector Hercule Poirot’s first appearance in an Agatha Christie mystery.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Tickle Your Funny Bone” (p 220).

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