The Classic Corner Review: The Mysterious Affair At Styles – Agatha Christie

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1453757430
ISBN-13: 978-1453757437
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Hercule Poirot – A belgian detective.
Lieutenant Hastings – A friend of Poirot’s, he serves as the narrator.


Emily Cavendish is found thrashing around in her bed one night. She dies. The initial cause of death is strychnine poisoning. Lieutenant Hastings happens to be a guest of the family at the time. He invites his friend Hercule Poirot, a belgian Detective, to take a look at things. Poirot just happens to be staying nearby.


There are many parallels between the Poirot stories and those of Sherlock Holmes. You have Poirot in the Holmes role, you have Lieutenant Hastings filling in the role of Dr. Watson. Through the story there are many possible suspects, there are red herrings, and the reader is left trying to solve the puzzle before Poirot does.

I love this type of mystery. It’s classic in the whodunit sense, and leaves enough unknowns so that the reader can try to solve the mystery on their own. It seems many mysteries written today lack that puzzle solving aspect, and tend to lean more towards the thriller genre than an authentic mystery.

The language used in this may be a little difficult for some readers, since it is early 20th century British English. There are adults situations, as one would expect from a mystery, so I’d definitely suggest teens or older.

Agatha Christie is the queen of Mystery, and you can’t go wrong by starting here with one of her most famous characters. Pick it up, give it a read, and be sure to drop by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920).

She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

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