The Mysterious Affair at Styles is Agatha Christie’s debut novel published in 1920, introducing the legendary detective Hercule Poirot. The story unfolds in Styles Court, an English mansion, where Emily Inglethorp, the wealthy owner of the estate, mysteriously dies due to strychnine poisoning. Detective Poirot, with the aid of his friend Hastings, is in charge of unraveling the case filled with unexpected turns and various suspicions.
This book is considered a milestone in mystery literature, as it kicked off Agatha Christie’s successful career, allowing the author to showcase her skill in plotting a complex mystery with precision and detail. Through her main character, Poirot, Christie redefines the detective figure, giving a fresh approach to detective narratives of the time.
In ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’, Emily Inglethorp, owner of Styles Court, is found dead after an apparent poisoning. Suspicion falls on her much younger husband Alfred, and her family circle, all beneficiaries of her death. Hercule Poirot, who has retired nearby, is invited by his friend Hastings to investigate the case. With his sharp intellect and meticulous analysis of evidence, Poirot traces the truth through a maze of red herrings and suspicious characters.
Hercule Poirot: Famous Belgian detective, renowned for his method of ‘thinking’ cases through, rather than seeking physical evidence.
Captain Hastings: Poirot’s friend and the narrator of the story. He often serves as the detective’s assistant.
Emily Inglethorp: Owner of Styles Court, whose sudden death triggers the mystery.
Alfred Inglethorp: Emily’s husband, much younger than her and one of the prime suspects.
John and Lawrence Cavendish: Emily’s stepsons, who are also under suspicion due to financial conflicts.
‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ is a classic work that incorporates fundamental elements of the mystery genre: a suspicious death, a range of possible suspects, each with a motive for murder, and the presence of a detective with extraordinary skills. Christie adeptly establishes an atmosphere of tension, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the case resolution. Poirot’s character, with his peculiarity and his method of ‘thinking’ cases, sets a new standard for detective characters.
Acquire book, The Mysterious Case of Styles
Opinions about the book
Laura Martinez (January 22, 2023): “An essential classic. Christie has the ability to immerse you in the plot from the first page.”
Santiago Mendoza (March 5, 2023): “Excellent start to the Poirot series. Christie keeps you guessing until the end.”
Julia Torres (May 18, 2023): “The Mysterious Affair at Styles is an intriguing read, full of unexpected twists and memorable characters.”
David Sanchez (June 30, 2023): “My first Christie book and definitely not the last. The plot grips you and Poirot is a fascinating character.”