Agatha Christie #1 The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot Series) by Agatha Christie: Book CoverFinished 4-22-11, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 224 pages, pub. 1920

Emily Inglethorp– wealthy mistress of Styles.  Murdered in front of her family.

Mr. Inglethorp– Gold digger and hated and suspected by all.

John Cavendish– Oldest member of the family and in need of money.

Mary Cavendish– Wife of John who is carrying on with another man.

Lawrence Cavendish– Younger brother without charm or influence.

Cynthia– Lives at the house at the invitation of the family.

Miss Howard– Companion to Mrs. Inglethorp.

Dr. Bauerstein– A little too familiar with certain memebers of the family.

Captain Hastings has been sent home to recover from sickness on the field of WWI, but has nowhere to go when he runs into his old friend, John Cavendish who invites him to stay at the family estate of Styles in Essex.  While there Hastings sees his old friend and ex-Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who is also familiar with the family.  When Emily is murdered in locked room (and yes, also in front of her family), Hastings and Poirot are on the case and find no shortage of suspects.

So, I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel (but I did listen to one on a car trip last year).  Yes, I know, why then sign up for a challenge to read ALL of her over 80 novels?  I have no good reason except that I kept reading Margot’s posts for the challenge, I like mysteries and I wanted to do it.  The challenge is to read them in order, so I started with this, her first, and confess that it was better than I thought it would be.  I was really impressed by how easy  and entertaining this book was.  Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot are both characters I look forward to seeing again in later books and am going to see if I can track down the movie for this one.  I loved the mystery and did not figure it out until I was told by Hercule.  Hopefully, I’ll get more adept at recognizing the clues as I continue.

I am happy I signed up for this challenge and recommend this book to all mystery lovers.  It does not feel as though it was written in 1920 and I think you’ll be impressed at Christie’s debut novel.

Fun Agatha Christie fact – Agatha Christie is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Bestselling Author. Her books have sold over 2 billion copies in 44 languages.

I checked this book out of the library.