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Finished! The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Author: Agatha Christie
Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Published: 1921
ISBN: 978-0-425-12961-6



I just finished "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", which I could have sworn I'd read before, but I must have been mistaken. I can only think that I've seen the wonderful ITV production with David Suchet so many times that I was sure I'd read it as well. But now I have and I am very glad to have done so!

The back cover blurb:
"Introducing Hercule Poirot, the brilliant - and eccentric - detective who, at a friend's request, steps out of retirement - and into the shadows of a classic mystery on the outskirts of Essex. The victim is the wealthy mistress of Styles Court, found in her locked bedroom with the name of her late husband on her dying lips. Poirot has a few questions for her fortune-hunting new spouse, her aimless stepsons, her private doctor, and her hired companion. The answers are positively poisonous. Who's responsible, and why, can only be revealed by the master detective himself."

I loved this book. An excellent way to start off the new year and my reading challenges. Poirot is strong and clear and his interactions with Hastings are glorious. To wit:
"Some one with a good deal of intelligence," remarked Poirot drily. "You realize that he chose the one place in the house to hide it where its presence would not be remarked? Yes, he is intelligent. But we must be more intelligent. We must be so intelligent that he does not suspect us of being intelligent at all."
I acquiesced.
"There, mon ami, you will be of great assistance to me."
I was pleased with the compliment. There had been times when I hardly thought that Poirot appreciated me at my true worth.
"Yes," he continued, staring at me thoughtfully, "you will be invaluable."
Hastings makes an excellent narrator for this tale and he really pulls you along for the ride.

Now, I know this story. I knew the plot going in. I knew who committed the murder. I knew how. I knew how Poirot finally figured it out. I knew all of this and still I was jumping around in my head. Thinking perhaps I was misremembering and it was really so-and-so. Or this other character.

And that's one major reason I love Agatha Christie so much. Even in re-reads, she still takes me on such a rollercoaster. Although, that might be just me and my horrid memory. But I prefer to credit her immense skill as a storyteller.

5 out 5
Highly recommended.
Turn off the computer and go read this book right now.

Reading this book satisfied part of the Agatha Christie Carnival Challenge, the Cruisin' Through the Cozies challenge, and the Vintage Mysteries challenge.
2011 Book Count:
1 - The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie

 
Tags: agatha christie, poirot, reading challenges
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