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The Mysterious Affair at Styles: With linked Table of Contents

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles: With linked Table of Contents

évaluations:
3/5 (1,688 évaluations)
Longueur:
279 pages
3 heures
Sortie:
Jun 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781633845343
Format:
Livre

Description

This is the book that introduced the world to Hercule Poirot. This intricate novel revolutionized the mystery form and helped launch Agatha Christie's illustrious career.
Sortie:
Jun 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781633845343
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in over 70 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels written under the name of Mary Westmacott.

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  • (4/5)
    Although this novel is a Hurcule Poirot, it is told through the viewpoint of a friend of Poirot, Mr. Hastings. The viewpoint character is effective, since he basically has no detective instincts whatsoever, therefore not giving away what Poirot is thinking, which would ruin the mystery. The novel starts off with the death of Emily Cavendish. There are a handful of characters who are in the house at the time, and like with most good mysteries, there are various clues lying about. Half the time, I felt like Hastings, not being able to figure out who did what and always playing catch up with Poirot. About two thirds of the way through, I had a guess as to who committed the murder, and it turns out I was half right.I like Christie’s story telling style, but there were some problematic elements of the way the story unfolded, and a couple of elements that defied logic. Poirot comes off as enigmatic and charming. Because of the gap in time from when the story was written until now, some of the aspects of the plot were a bit hard to grasp, but for the most part the plot was strong, and the reveal was logical. This was a strong mystery novel that I would recommend.Carl Alves – author of Conjesero
  • (4/5)
    Agatha Christie's first Poirot mystery. What else is there to say?
  • (4/5)
    Apparently, Agatha Christie - who had never written a book before - wrote this book in response to a complaint that there were no crime novels where all the facts were known to the reader, as well as the detective, before the denouement which weren't solvable in the first few chapters. This is the book, narrated by Hastings, that introduces us to Hercule Poirot.Hastings has been invalided out of the war, and while convalescing, is invited back to Styles, the country home of an old acquaintance, John Cavendish. While there, a crime occurs, and on wishing out loud that a great detective he met in Europe was here to help them, Hastings discovers that Poirot is, in fact, living in the nearby village, as a Belgian refugee from the war. And so Poirot gets involved in the case, and finally brings the criminal to justice.I've read many books by Christie in the past, but I can't remember if I've read this one before. So earnest was I (previously) in reading the clues to solve the crime (which I never did) that I hadn't realised before that Christie is quite funny; written at the same period as P.G. Wodehouse was writing, while not being as uproariously funny, it has a similar sense of humour.Poirot (speaking of the criminal) : "... We must be so intelligent that he does not suspect us of being intelligent at all."I acquiesced."There, mon ami, you will be of great assistance to me."I was pleased with the compliment. There had been times when I hardly thought that Poirot appreciated me at my true worth."Yes," he continued, staring at me thoughtfully, "you will be invaluable."This was naturally gratifying, ...Poor old Hastings would like to think of himself as the romantic lead, or at least the great detective (since he often thinks that Poirot is no longer on his game), but is usually seen by the other cast members as a sympathetic shoulder to lean on.Christie (and occasionally Poirot) misdirects us gaily until the last moment, when Poirot explains all. There are, of course, the odd coincidence, and a few instances of great good luck. I might have docked stars for my not being able to solve the crime (*sour grapes*), but I'll give them back for the unexpected humour. And the hint of romance doesn't hurt; there's nothing so sweet as requited love.I must say that, while reading Poirot's dialogue, I kept thinking of David Suchet playing the part (though admittedly his eyes aren't green). Kudos to him for getting the part down.
  • (4/5)
    A poisoning at Styles brings in the clueless Cpt. Hastings and HP to solve the murder.
  • (4/5)
    The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930) (Harley Quin) by Agatha Christie. This character, Harley Quin, is reported to have been Dame Agatha’s favorite as she only had to write about him when she wished to. Quin, along with his puppet, the good Mr. Satterthwaite, set out to right wrongs, solve vexing problems of the heart, and occasionally solve a murder.Satterthwaite is in his sixties, an English gentleman who has no wish for sport or romance or business. He is from that class of people Christie liked to populate her books with, the idle rich who know everyone of importance and in hand, are known to all, and beloved by them in return. He has an interest in people and they seem to trust and open up to this benign older gent. But it is Mr. Quin who is the driving force here. He appears and disappears like a spector, arriving in a time of need, appearing to Mr. Satterthwaite when there is a problem, merely talking with the kind gentleman, asking questions that Mr. Satterthwaite is surprised to find he knows the answers to, and helping the latter solve the puzzle.This book contains an even dozen tales of the pair, each a tie plum of deliciousness ready to be devoted. Help yourself.
  • (4/5)
    Very enjoyable debut of both Christie and Poirot.
  • (4/5)
    Another of the great early Christie offerings.
  • (4/5)
    This is the first Hercule Poirot novel. A childhood friend of Hastings, John Cavendish, invites him to re-coup from a recent war injury at his step-mother's estate, Styles. The wealthy Mrs. Inglethorp is soon found murdered in her locked bedroom. Suspicion is thrown everwhere. An expected ending achieved in a crazy twist. I realized, in thumbing back through the book that the "clues" were present throughout the story but I still found the ending surprising.
  • (5/5)
    I was curious to read Agatha Christie’s first Poirot novel, which was published in 1920. And I was not disappointed. Midway through the book I was surprised to remember that this was one of her first novels… I think Mrs. Christie was born a writer: there is nothing in this book that betrays the novice. She worked as a dispenser in a hospital during WWI, hence, I believe, her knowledge of poisons and the presence of the young nurse’s character in the book. Here you will find the first description of Hercule Poirot, the “little man” with a gigantic intellect and an even larger (if possible!) ego. Inspector James Japp is also first presented to the reader, “a little sharp, dark, ferret-faced man”—physically different from Philip Jackson of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, Japp also does not present any of the irritating and almost unintelligible cockney accent the Jackson of the movies sported. Most definitely this is a must read for any Agatha Christie fan.
  • (4/5)
    I have loved Agatha Christie's mysteries for as long as I can remember. It's good to know that her books were excellent from the beginning. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was her first published work.

    If you use the Wake County public library, you can borrow this recording from the Download library - I've just returned it :) The narration was excellent, the story and the characters delightful.
  • (3/5)
    First outing for Hercule Poirot narrated by Hastings, his side-kick. This has all the classic Christie characters with taut plotting but the unpalatable nature of class and race relations did not leave me wanting to pick up another Agatha Christie in a hurry.
  • (4/5)
    This is the novel that introduces Poirot to the world. he's called in to investigate the poisoning of the lady of Styles Hall. And there are a host of suspects to wade through. We also meet Hastings, who's convalescing after a war wound of some description. This is one of the few Poirot books that i can think of that is set in a particular time period. Most of them seem to be set in some fuzzy period between the two wars, whereas this is clearly set during WW1. It has its twists & turns and at times Poirot is more concerned with playing the role of Cupid than detective, but it's non the worse for that. Not a book I've read before (I always preferred Miss Marple as a teenager), but there's not much wrong with it.
  • (3/5)
    I downloaded this onto my Kindle from Project Gutenberg free of charge. Set in Essex in WW1, this is Christie’s first published novel – it introduces the famous Belgium detective Hercule Poirot and also features Inspector Japp and Captain Hastings, who narrates the story.

    Mrs. Inglethorpe is found early in the morning suffering convulsions and dies from suspected poisoning. She was alone in her room and the doors opening onto her room are all locked from the inside. Suspects include her much younger and universally disliked, second husband and her two step-sons who stand to benefit from her will in the event of her death. Her ward, a nurse and her daughter-in-law and even the doctor are also under suspicion.

    Using his ‘little grey cells’ and clues in the form of a fake beard, a crushed cup and the remains of a will found burned in the fireplace, Poirot investigates and despite the seemingly impossible nature of the crime (the famous locked door syndrome) it isn’t long before he has the answer.

    I found this rather slow. I’m glad I didn’t start my reading of Christie’s novels with this one as I’m certain I wouldn’t want to read any more had I not already read the far superior The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
  • (3/5)
    Hastings is an idiot.

    Other than that, this was a pretty good book!
  • (5/5)
    As usual, Hercule solves the crime! I adore all things Agatha and Hercule is my favorite sleuth.
  • (5/5)
    There isn't much to say that hasn't been said about Christie or monsieur Poirot. Again, at Styles, the chance meeting of Poirot and a friend from the continent in England is a bit contrived, but there wouldn't be much of a story if he hadn't been invited to investigate the murder of Mrs. Inglethorp.
  • (2/5)
    I liked the book, but I made a serious mistake when I first approached it: I underestimated Agatha Christie. The last time I read Agatha Christie was in high school (The ABC Murders and Murder on the Orient Express) and now I had thought her dated and perhaps even less-than- sophisticated! I was struck by the density of the cast list, the plot, the motives and the subterfuges. I anticipate returning to this book again and being able to appreciate it more with each re-reading or re-telling.

    As much as I love Nadia May, she was miscast for this book. The narrator is a 45 year-old male Captain coming in from the Front. Despite Nadia May's versatility, there was no way to ignore that she wasn't a 45 year-old male Captain coming in from the Front! There is a scene early on wherein Captain Hastings looks out the window to see Lawrence Cavendish walking with Cynthia Murdoch. In my mind's eye, I saw Miss Marple peering out the window! Later, as Captain Hastings expresses his crush on Mary Cavendish or even later, proposes to Cynthia Murdoch, it took me aback.

    Redacted from the original blog review at dog eared copy, Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1-4): Mini Op-Ed Reviews, 10/10/2011 and; The Msyterious Affair at Styles, 10/14/2011
  • (4/5)
    This is Agatha Christie's 1st novel, and the first Agatha Christie novel I have read. I've long been a viewer of the movies made from her books, and I can never decide who is my favourite detective, Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple. Not knowing this story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading and trying to solve this mystery. Being a 1st novel it has a slightly 'simple' feel to it, but I have no doubt that the next one I read, and I will definitely be reading more, will prove to me that Agatha Christie's skill as a mystery/crime writer will get better and better!
  • (4/5)
    It was interesting reading this again after my reread of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. This isn't just the first Hercule Poirot novel, it's Agatha Christie's first novel, and when it was published in 1920, Arthur Conan Doyle was still alive and still publishing Holmes stories (the last one was written in 1927). There are a lot of aspects of the plot and narrative of The Mysterious Affair at Styles that are strongly reminiscent of the Holmes stories--Sherlock Holmes is even mentioned early on. Given how Poirot went on to forge his own claim to be a great fictional detective, I felt here almost as if I was witnessing the passing of the baton, and that held a lot of fascination for me, even if I don't feel this first outing matches the best of Holmes--or of Christie. For one, the first person narrator through which we see Hercule Poirot is no Doctor Watson. In a lot of filmed adaptions and Holmes pastiches, Watson is depicted as dim--which I think unfair to the character. Watson for me stands in for the intelligent reader--if he seems dim, it's only in contrast to Holmes' dazzling brilliance, and I didn't often feel ahead of Watson. Captain Arthur Hastings, on the other hand, our narrator, is a complete dolt in this novel. And of the worst kind. Watson, as a bright and competent man, is capable of giving Holmes his due, and always speaks of him with obvious admiration. Hastings, however, often speaks of Poirot in a condescending way. From comments of Poirot, in contrast, he realizes Hastings isn't all that bright. Comments said right to Hastings' face that pass right over him. I don't know if Hastings continues in this vein in the other novels, fortunately the character appears in only eight of the thirty-three Poirot novels.Nevertheless, this is an entertaining novel--often witty and humorous. And Christie even in this first outing displays an extraordinary skill in plotting. This is one of those classic "locked room" mysteries set in an English country manor that is seen as the very epitome of the British mystery. The clues, the red herrings--all this Christie brings off like clockwork. And in Poirot you can already see the makings of a great character, the "Great Detective" in the Sherlock Holmes tradition to which he has no real successor. Oh, on the outside there can't be a bigger contrast to Holmes in this "funny little man, a great dandy," this Belgian with his diminutive stature and egg-shaped head and prissy manner. Ah, but those "little grey cells" of Poirot are pure Holmes. If I mark this novel down a couple of notches, well, this just isn't to my mind as impressive as other Christie mysteries and I don't think the cast of secondary characters are as sharp and memorable as you find in Christie at her best, and the resolution doesn't have my jaw dropping such as with Christie's And Then There Were None. Just to limit myself to the Poirot mysteries, I don't think The Mysterious Affair at Styles is as good as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, The ABC Murders, Death on the Nile or Five Little Pigs. But the good news is, if this is your introduction to Christie and you like this novel, well, even better awaits you!
  • (3/5)
    This was a passable mystery; it seems so very similar to Christie's other books, except that it has a very convoluted plot.
  • (4/5)
    First Agatha Christie in which a device she is to use frequently is introduced into the novel of unusual complexity for her usual plotting. See _Evil Under the Sun_, _Death on the Nile_, for other examples.
  • (4/5)
    Invalided home from the Great War, Arthur Hastings is pleased to bump into his old friend, John Cavendish, and be invited to spend time at Cavendish's family estate, Styles. In a happy coincidence, Hastings long acquaintance, Hercule Poirot, is also in the neighbourhood as he has refugeed from Belgium. Poirot's proximity is particularly advantageous as shortly after Hastings's arrival, John Cavendish's stepmother dies suddenly and from apparent poisoning. But with the astute Belgian detective about, no murderer is safe.It was fascinating to read Agatha Christie's first novel and see just how well her mystery crafting skills were already developed in this first foray. I found Hastings to be a bit pretentious but having a somewhat unlikeable narrator didn't diminish the joy of the book. It's interesting to see here that while there is some humour, it's not quite as pervasive as in some of Christie's other novels, which often leave me chorting. While I was not as misled as the narrator, I still was in the dark about whodunnit until the final reveal, always a bonus in a mystery novel.
  • (4/5)
    In this book, Christie introduces us to who is her arguably most memorable character - Hercule Poirot. Those familiar with Christie's books and their television and movie adaptations should be interested in reading the establishment of Poirot, Hastings, and Japp and discovering how their relationships evolved from their beginnings in this book to the much warmer friendships, especially between Poirot and Hastings, depicted in later books. The mystery itself is typical Christie, complete with red herrings and twists and turns.
  • (3/5)
    Audio book narrated by Penelope Delaporta3*** / 1.5* narrationThis is Agatha Christie’s debut mystery, in which she introduces the famous Hercule Poirot. It’s a traditional “locked room” mystery.Mrs. Inglethorpe is stricken in the early morning hours with horrific convulsions, clearly the result of strychnine poisoning. But who poisoned her and how was it done. She was alone in her room with all three doors leading into the room bolted from the inside. There is no shortage of suspects: her second husband (a much younger man everyone seems to dislike), her two step sons (who stand to inherit upon her death), her step-daughter-in-law, her young ward (a nurse in the local hospital, specializing in pharmaceutical compounds), even the mysterious doctor who just happens to be passing by, full dressed, at 4:30 a.m. on the morning she is stricken (and who pronounces her dead). And there are plenty of clues – including no less than 3 different supplies of strychnine, a fake beard, a fragment of a will found in the fireplace ashes, a crushed coffee cup, and mysterious crystals left on the tray holding the cocoa. The time frame is during WW I … so there are issues of rationing and espionage to contend with, which makes the story a bit dated. And, it’s also more slowly paced than contemporary mysteries, but you cannot fault Christie’s skill at plotting the set-up. Delaporta’s narration is not very good. Her voice is high (though the narrator of the story is a man), and her efforts at Poirot’s Belgian accent became annoying pretty quickly. But the story itself kept me listening.
  • (4/5)
    The Mysterious Affair at Styles - (FREE Audiobook Included!)-Included TOC for Reader.-Included biography the author.-Free Audiobook link for download.The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in 1916 and was first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head (John Lane's UK company) on 21 January 1921. The U.S. edition retailed at US$2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).[citation needed]Styles was Christie's first published novel, introducing Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Arthur Hastings (Lieutenant and later, Captain).[2] Poirot is described as "a dear little man", "an extraordinary looking little man" and a "quaint dandyfied little man".The story is told in first person by Hastings and features many of the elements that have become icons of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, largely due to Christie's influence. It is set in a large, isolated country manor. There are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves. The book includes maps of the house, the murder scene, and a drawing of a fragment of a will, as well as a number of red herrings
  • (4/5)
    This is the first of Christie’s books featuring Hercule Poirot. The plot is about a family living in a country home, with guests invited - including the narrator, Hastings.

    A murder happens, and nearly all the household come under suspicion for various good reasons. It’s really a very clever plot; even as the clues gradually unravelled I could not recall who the murderer was, despite having read the book about thirteen years previously, and I was taken in by several red herrings, even while realising that the narrator must inevitably be on the wrong track, one way or another.

    When the perpetrator was finally revealed, it all made sense, and the clues fell into place perfectly; Agatha Christie was brilliant at plotting, filling in all the details and leading her readers astray without ever making them feel cheated.

    While the characterisation isn’t great - it’s my one gripe about this author - I did appreciate good writing and tight plotting, a pleasant contrast to some of the more contemporary books I have been reading recently.
  • (3/5)
    I was occasionally impatient with the silliness of the narrator, but it kept me awake on a long drive home without a lot of boredom.
  • (4/5)
    When a family matriarch is poisoned, Hercule Poirot must discover who committed the crime.Again, a reread for me (I think I've read Christie's entire bibliography, but I may have missed one or two, as I was not scientific about keeping track of my reading at the time). This is the first Poirot novel, told from the point of view of Hastings. I was struck, on this reread, with just how stupid Hastings is. This never bothered me originally, so I'm not sure if it's because I'm older than I was on my initial readings, or if it's because of the audiobook narration, or if that aspect of Hastings' character was softened in later books (I always liked Hastings, so I was surprised to be so impatient with him during this reading). This was read by a different narrator than my last two Christie books, and I did not like him at all -- partly because he gave Poirot such a strong accent that I had a hard time understanding what he was saying at times. Also, the denouement of this story seemed to take forever. All in all, though I love Christie, and Poirot particularly, I don't think I'd recommend this as a starting point.
  • (3/5)
    Poirot's first case is a quick and entertaining read and it kept my interest. The clues were not obvious enough for me to solve the mystery before hand, and there were plenty of red herrings, but it was still a fun read. I would read more of this series if only for the challenge of exercising my deductive powers. The characters are believable and I enjoyed the relationship between Hastings and Poirot. It was not one of troubled genius and everyman simpleton (ala Holmes and Watson), but rather more dispassionate experienced Poirot and passionate young Hastings. It's more egalitarian. Also, as a side note, its also interesting to catch and observe some of the vocabulary used by Christie from the 1920's that you would never hear anyone using today. My favorite was the liberal use of the verb "ejaculate". Our book club had a good laugh about where we would be able to inject that word into modern conversations. Sadly, we couldn't find a acceptable example.
  • (4/5)
    Poirot and Hastings visit Styles St Mary, where Emily Inglethorpe has died horribly by poison. Although this is the very first of Agatha Christie's Poirot novels, it really isn't the place to start on this delightful series. Styles is charming and well-written, and Poirot and Hastings appear in the genesis of their glory, but the story itself is quite fussy, with many convoluted timelines and clues. This gives the novel a dated feel that Christie's later works don't suffer from.I would highly recommend every Christie fan read this book, but if you're new to reading her, start with a later work, i.e. from at least the 1930s.