The Mysterious Affair at Styles
A Detective Story
The novel is set in England during World War I at Styles, an Essex country manor. The manor is owned by the wealthy widow Emily Inglethorp, who has recently remarried to a much younger man, Alfred Inglethorp. Emily's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as John's wife Mary and several other people, also live at Styles. Late one night, the residents of Styles wake to find Emily Inglethorp dying of what proves to be strychnine poisoning. Captain Hastings, a house guest, enlists the help of his friend Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the nearby village, Styles St. Mary to piece together events surrounding the murder. On the day she was killed, Emily Inglethorp was overheard arguing with someone, most likely her husband, Alfred, or her stepson, John. Afterwards, she seemed quite distressed and, apparently, made a new will--which no one can find. Nobody can explain how or when the strychnine was administered to Mrs. Inglethorp. High on Poirot's list of suspects are: John Cavendish, the elder stepson; Mary Cavendish, his wife; Lawrence Cavendish, the younger stepson; Evelyn Howard, Mrs. Inglethorpe's companion; Cynthia Murdoch, her protegee; and Dr. Bauerstein, a mysterious stranger who lives in Essex. All have motive and opportunity but only Poirot can discover the truth.
New York : Modern Library, 2003
Modern Library pbk. ed
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