Monday, February 5, 2024

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

 Title:  The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Author:  Agatha Christie

Narrated by:  Hugh Fraser

Publisher: HarperAudio

Length: Approximately 5 hours and 57 minutes 

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Do you participate in any reading challenges?  I discovered the Read Christie Challenge a few years ago and I have been having a wonderful time discovering all of Christie’s works for the first time.  #ReadChristie2024 has a theme this year of through the decades.  (See Challenge Card Below).  January – March are books written by Agatha Christie in the 1920’s.  

If you’d like to join this challenge, you can do the following:

1. Go to to see the reads for each month of 2024.

2. Print a Challenge Postcard, pick out your book for the month, and start reading.

3. If you post on social media, use #ReadChristie2024 on Instagram for your chance to be featured in monthly reading round-ups.  

4. You can also join an end of the month book club at the link above.

5. Have fun reading and seeing what others are reading for this challenge.

For January, I read The Mysterious Affair at Styles which was published in 1920.  This novel introduced her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot.  Captain Arthur Hastings has just returned from the Great War and is recuperating at Styles Court as the guest of the Cavendish family. While there, the family matriarch and owner of the estate, Emily Inglethorpe, mysteriously dies.  She appears to have been poisoned, but by who and why?  Hastings enlists his old friend Hercule Poirot to help solve the case.

This was an excellent first novel by Agatha Christie.  I love that Hercule Poirot was introduced as a Belgian refugee from World War I who is also a retired famous detective.  Series regulars Inspector Japp and Hastings first appear.  Hastings is still not great at putting clues together without Poirot’s help.  He is also helpless when it comes to a pretty face, just like he is in the follow-up novel, Murder on the Links.  Poirot uses his little grey cells and many of his mannerisms and characteristics first appear here that will continue over the many novels in which he is featured.  I find it interesting that he is already retired and supposedly old in this first novel.  

The mystery was good with lots of red herrings that fooled me as usual.  I liked the conclusion of the novel.  I also loved that Christie used her job experiences during World War I in a hospital dispensary to write about poison.  She even had a character in this novel that had the same job she did during World War I.  

Hugh Fraser is a good narrator of Agatha Christie’s novels.  I was very entertained by this audiobook.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!