The Mysterious Affair at Styles

A Detective Story

Christie, Agatha

eBook - 2003
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
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.

Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2003
Edition: Modern Library pbk. ed
Branch Call Number: OverDrive downloadable ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

"In my quest to become more familiar with genres I normally don't read, this month, I am trying out some classic mystery fare. So far, I have no idea whodunnit! " - Seana

Hercule Poirot is called upon to solve the murder at Styles Court, a magnificent English manor house where everyone has a motive. Poirot's first case.

Set in the summer of 1917, the story follows the war-wounded Hastings to the Styles St. Mary estate of his friend John Cavendish. The Cavendish household is wrought with tension due to the marriage of John's widowed mother to a suspicious younger man. In the village, Hastings runs into his old fr... Read More »

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Jan 14, 2015
  • newfieshawn rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Excellent book really enjoy this book so glad to read it can so see why this book is a classic

Oct 20, 2013
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Apr 22, 2013
  • AmandaVollmershausen rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

Jan 15, 2013
  • amandarobinson rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Oct 25, 2011
  • cknightkc rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the wonderful debut novel by one of the foremost mystery writers ever, Agatha Christie. It introduces the reader to the clever and eccentric detective, Hercule Poirot.

Aug 13, 2009
  • DanniOcean rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Poirot's first appearance


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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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