Book Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles By Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie’s debut novel was also the first to feature Hercule Poirot, her famously eccentric Belgian detective.

A refugee of the Great War, Poirot has settled in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactor, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled, Poirot puts his prodigious sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s much younger husband, her resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.

All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists that contribute to Agatha Christie’s well-deserved reputation as the queen of mystery.

Librarian’s note: the first 5 Christie mysteries featuring Poirot are: 1) The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 1920; 2) The Murder on the Links, 1923; 3) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926; 4) The Big Four, 1927; and 5) The Mystery of the Blue Train, 1928. There are many short stories and a collection featuring Poirot in this period as well. Each novel and short story has its own entry on Goodreads.


Trying to keep all this information straight when you’re reading this can be difficult. This is the first novel with the world famous Hercule Poirot and his friend Hastings. Hastings from what I have gathered jumps to the wrong conclusion so many times.

The first section of the novel is a little slow which is to be expected in order to try to get to know all the characters even then it can be a bit confusing. It is as if everyone is being accused in this. I feel it drags out a bit longer. I had known who it was from the beginning because one of these movies had the exact same suspects. Yes I used a plural on purpose. You have to read hard enough to know what you are looking for. I did enjoy how he blamed everyone for it though even if it did drag.

4/5 Stars


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