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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY THE BEST
After reading many of Agatha's books before, i was expecting this to be just as enthralling. But as the first book she ever wrote, i found it to be the best i have ever read. Meticulous Hercule Poirot is at his finest along with sidekick Hastings and the plots and twists of the book are simply brilliant; Christie is a genius. The only downside to the book is the...
Published on 16 Dec 2002 by t_w_quartz

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Poirot
Any Poirot fan will love this if only because it's the world's first glimpse of the Belgian hero. I was quite surprised at how 'complete' he is - I expected to find him rather different from the character he grew into but, no, he's pretty much all there, right from the start. Hastings is here too and it's nice to see how their partnership came about. Poirot is a refugee...
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by daisyrock


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot's first case, 15 Dec 2012
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first of Agatha Christie's popular Poirot novels. Set during the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings is sent home while recovering from an injury at the front and accepts an invitiation from an old friend to spend his leave at their country house. While there he meets up with a friend from Belgium who is in exile in Britain, a certain Monsiuer Poirot, and when the matriarch of the family is murdered, he enlists his old friend's help to solve the case.
This audio CD is read by Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings) who has a wonderfully rich and smooth voice. He makes an excellent narrator, capable of delivering a multitiude of different voices and accents, including a credible version of Poirot himself.
I found this a highly enjoyable listen, and recommend it. The product and delivery were both up to Amazon's usual high standard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling start to the Poirot series, 4 Oct 2012
By 
Aaron (MELTON MOWBRAY, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is the first of Poirot's major cases and the first I read (reading them all in order due to having finished every Sherlock Holmes tale put out by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and needing a good substitute). As one would expect from a debut novel, the author had to set the scene and introduce characters. After the opening chapter, which is understandably slow due to the aforementioned scene-setting, the book is a non-stop page turner. I can honestly say I was hooked until the very end.

I only hope the rest of them will turn out to be so good.

If you are debating whether or not to buy it, just take a dive into the pool that is Agatha Christie's Poirot and be thankful you took the leap.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 9 July 2012
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What can I say. This, the first of Ms. Christie's many books starring her little Belgian detective, is full of twists and turns, which keep the reader guessing virtually to the end of the book. The author (and this book)is a class act.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic detective novel, 2 July 2012
"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" is the first novel from Christie and, to put it succinctly, it is a fantastic read. It introduces Poirot, Hastings and Japp and it is hard to believe that this was written as long as ago as 1916.

It follows Poirot and his friend Hastings as they investigate the death of Mrs Inglethorp, a rich elderly lady, in suspicious circumstances. There is an array of potential murderers (from Mrs Inglethorp's two step-sons to her daughter in law to her new, much younger, husband) presented and numerous vague, yet strangely significant clues that Poirot uses to deduce the real perpetrator.

"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" really shows how influential Christie has been in crime fiction. The devices that she employs (innocuous clues that are actually vitally important or the quirky yet insightful detective character) are used in almost every modern detective story. It is easy to forget that she really did create many of the themes and motifs that we see today. It is fantastic to read where it all began and see how accomplished Christie was, even from her first published novel.

Her characterisation of Poirot is first class. He feels like a a protagonist that you already comfortable with. His idiosyncrasies feel natural and well-rounded. Forget about any dramatic interpretation of Poirot on television - this is where you really get to know the true Mr Poirot!

The development of the plot is gripping and I could hardly put it down - Christie certainly knew how to leave the reader wanting more. Due to the subtle complexity and weaving of the storyline, I never assumed I knew who the murderer was. Christie teases and almost goads you into a guessing game that is only ever resolved at the last moment.

I feel that Christie has been sidelined or looked upon as "comfortable Sunday afternoon" fare - maybe this is because of Poirot and Marpe being associated with numerous television dramas. However, I think this is unfair to Christie's work - "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" is a cleverly crafted, well written and elegant piece of fiction. I would recommend to all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of Poirot and Hastings' partnership, 23 Feb 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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In this first of the Poirot/Hastings series we meet Poirot as a refugee from Belgium during the first world war. Hastings is staying at the 'big house' and the two are drawn into the mystery of a death by poisoning.

This is vintage Christie, complete with thwarted love affairs, red herrings galore and Poirot's 'little ideas'. Inspector Japp also gets a walk-on role. It's fun to see the start of what become such iconic figures: certainly Hastings' blindness and clumsy feelings for the female sex are the source of much amusement in this book, but become tempered as the series progresses.

This is a wonderfully nostalgic read, and I still don't think anyone does the classic murder mystery puzzle better than Christie. With its wit, unconscious social commentary and plotting that could teach quite a few contemporary authors how to do it, this may not be Christie's best, but it's very good indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good first work!, 8 Nov 2011
As a huge Christie fan, I was surprised at myself that all of the books, I never read the very first case of Poirot. The plot is ingenious and I don't agree with some people saying that there are some flaws in the storyline. Only thing I was annoyed at was the fact that Hastings proposed to a girl he barely knows just to make her happy, typical Hastings and his women lol! Overall, I think this is a good first case to encounter with Poirot and his genious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original Styles, 1 Oct 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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Agatha Christie's first published novel also introduces her most famous creation, Hercule Poirot, who appears in nearly forty of her books. What I found especially interesting was how she portrayed him at the beginning of her career, given that new characters tend not to be fully developed. Poirot, it turns out, is almost the finished article. There is one odd moment when, having learned something which helps his investigation, he takes to skipping with excitement down the road. This is out of character, not so much because he is supposed to be rather elderly as because it does not fit in with his usual conceit. As far as I am aware, he never behaves like that again.

As for the story, it establishes Christie's stock in trade: a country house murder in which the main protagonists are drawn from the upper classes. The solution is also typical, being tidy and ingenious, although there is one aspect of it which I feel lacks credibility. Naturally, I will not reveal what it is.

Christie is often attacked, with some justification, for samey characterisation. There is evidence in her early novels, however, that she worked harder on this area, probably because she was not established. In this novel, as well as the memorable Poirot and his incurably romantic companion, Hastings, Christie defines her main characters markedly with gestures and speech patterns. I think this is a sturdy, largely satisfying first novel, although many better ones were to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The red herrings go a touch too far, 3 Dec 2009
By 
J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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The very first novel in Christie's Poirot series serves as an excellent introduction to the Belgian detective and his extraordinary investigative skills. A suspicious death occurs in the family with whom narrator Captain Hastings is staying, and by happy coincidence his old detective friend is also staying in the village and able to investigate.

Like usual, coincidence plays a big part in the set up - getting the detective in place, but the rest of the story unfolds with genius. Poirot carefully peels back the layers of mystery, remarkably leading Hastings and the reader through every step. Each discovery that Poirot makes the reader think Aha! but still Christie leaves you unable to work it ot until the very end.

It does however follow the traditional Christie formula of upper class toffery, set mainly in the family mansion, with an over abundance of characters, any of whom could be the killer. But when Poirot finally explains all, it is clear that he is correct - all of the clues have been there to see all along.

My one major gripe with this novel is that in one case the red herrings went too far, to the point where the reader is absolutely convinced that one suspect is guilty, only to have it all turned on its head - I found this a little annoying, and would have preferred to have been left with an open mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good for a first novel, 27 April 2014
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Although this was the first Poirot book, I had never read it until now. Considering it was Christie's first novel it is very well done but she definitely went on to better things as she honed her skills later on.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 28 April 2008
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
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Never having read an Agatha Christie novel before I thought I had best start with her debut, and 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles' turned out to be a good choice.

There are certainly a number of genre cliches present, with an upper class family (complete with servants) providing the cast of potential murders, twists and double twists regarding the identity of the real murderer, and a drawing room denoument in which the amateur detective unmasks the killer - however, the whodunnit is sufficiently complex to make this a constant page-turner, while Poirot himself is so eccentric as to be a compulsive figure.

The novel's tortuously comlex plot is both it's strongest and weakest feature, as the ins and outs can become wearying at length, but this is still an enjoyable whodunnit,and stands up well over 80 years after first publication.
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Paperback - 8 July 1996)
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