4.0 out of 5 stars Christie's first
This was my first exposure to the great Agatha Christie. This was a really good book and the reason I didn't give it an additional star is in no way the fault of the author. It was written almost a century ago and the English language has changed considerably since then. Enough so that it took away from my experience. I assume for others out there, it would add to their...
Published 4 months ago by Rose
3.0 out of 5 stars Experiencing Ms. Christie at long last!
I've loved mystery all my life and experience at last, the great Agatha Christie! No repertoire is complete without the genre's queen, who earns her title unequivocally. I'm breathless! I record three-stars to allow for more extraordinary settings, surely contained in other titles. I've begun with Agatha's inaugural release "The Mysterious Affair At Styles", in 1920...
Published 14 months ago by Carolyn
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4.0 out of 5 stars Christie's first,
This review is from: The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Hercule Poirot Series, Book 1 (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)This was my first exposure to the great Agatha Christie. This was a really good book and the reason I didn't give it an additional star is in no way the fault of the author. It was written almost a century ago and the English language has changed considerably since then. Enough so that it took away from my experience. I assume for others out there, it would add to their experience. That said, I look forward to whichever Agatha Christie novel I read next as I'm certain it will be good.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book,
This review is from: The Mysterious Affair At Styles (Paperback)This is another good book of Agatha Christie's. I also think, that if you've seen the movie that is out for this book of hers, you won't be TOO disappointed (especially if you have not FIRST read the book).
The book was very well written, and also, that if you have only seen the movie of it that is out, and not read the book FIRST, I think that when you read it, you won't be TOO disappointed. I have to admit though, that the ending to this book has her "expected" type of endings and the book ending is not as "overdone" as what the movie makers do these days. If you prefer though, to see the movie 'before' reading or 'instead' of reading this book, as I said, I think you won't be TOO disappointed in the outcome!
3.0 out of 5 stars Experiencing Ms. Christie at long last!,
This review is from: Mysterious Affair At Styles (Paperback)I've loved mystery all my life and experience at last, the great Agatha Christie! No repertoire is complete without the genre's queen, who earns her title unequivocally. I'm breathless! I record three-stars to allow for more extraordinary settings, surely contained in other titles. I've begun with Agatha's inaugural release "The Mysterious Affair At Styles", in 1920! Told by 'Mr. Hastings', he visits a friend's mansion. Residing with 'John Cavendish' are his wife, brother, stepmother 'Emily', her new husband, and the adult daughter of her friend.
There was no attachment to the cast, likely because it's large and we don't know them until the end. By the time we feel their kind personalities and an urge to acquaint them further; the tale concludes. There's much to rave about: the timelessness of a group reacting to tragedy, bewildered about its cause. The distinct dialogue and customs, such as tea time, could be attributed to England or their social class.
The author's eloquence is second to none, downgrading words for no one and explaining whatever is required, with a literary precision worthy of framing on a wall. The plotting astounds me. That it is humanly possible to contrive the scope of clues found in these pages, match them with such an array of scenarios, and transfer suspicion seamlessly to each member of the household; I can only attribute to a genius mind. I'm convinced the adjective is not reserved for scientists in the least. Upon reading the conclusion alone, with every detail revealed; I truly felt my brain cells buzzing as if from rigorous exercise!
I've heard of `Hercule Poirot' for years but had an image similar to `Sherlock Holmes': prim and businesslike. I like him more than I expected! A keen professional truly can go hand in hand with humour and warmth.
4.0 out of 5 stars Opens the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.,
What became the regular Christie recipe for a whodunit is found here. Perhaps there is a tad more reliance on the dispensing of medicines, reflecting the author's occupation during World War One. A formula that she later discarded was the use of a narrator - Hastings - who presents one of the "cases" of his friend Poirot. 1920 and the publication of this book marked the opening of the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction". Expect that there are plenty of servants, plenty of drinks at bedtime, much making and re-making of wills, and characters - including Poirot - who walk everywhere.
This rates highly in the Christie collection for classic charm, readability and ingenuity. Few of her books from the 1920s excel it.
5.0 out of 5 stars What an intro to the quirky little Belgian,
"Styles" reeks with atmosphere, and the characters, stock though they may be, are quite good. The English country house, locked room murder tale has been overdone a bit (I eschew hyperbole), but it seems fresh-born here. Perhaps it is because this is the author's first-born mystery novel and she cared about what she was doing.
Other reviewers have described the actual plot, so I will not repeat that. Suffice it to say that the plot works, and the surprises are indeed unexpected. The logic and denouement are fair to the reader. The plot doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to..."work," for lack of a better verb. Mystery readers, often without knowing it, read this genre not for the ingenious plot but for the feel of place and for the characters. If feel and characters are your thing, you can't go wrong with this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie's 1st Book!!!,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Hercule and Hastings begin their adventures,
Hastings circumstances (invalid army officer alone in the world) are very like Dr. Watson. The relationship between Hastings and Poirot is similiar to Watson and Holmes in that Hastings is the bumbler, always leaping to the wrong conclusion while Poirot, like Holmes, drops little hints but by in large keeps his companion in the dark until the last minute.
Christie began her pattern here of going against established mystery conventions (most obvious suspect being innocent) while playing fair, (all clues are fairly laid out for the reader). The trademark Christie twists and turns are here as well.
This novel was originally published in 1920 and many of the details show its age. There are references to things that the modern reader will not be familiar and some comments are absolutely not politically correct but these do not detract from the story and in fact enforce the WWI English country house setting.
This is a 'must read' for any Christie fan, and highly recommended for any fan of 'cozy' mysteries.
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC DEBUT FROM A CLASSIC AUTHOR!!!,
This review is from: The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Paperback)Dame Agatha's career as a writer began on a dare: a taunt by her older sister Madge to write a detective story in which no one would be able to guess the murderer's identity. "The Mysterious Affair At Styles" was written in 1915 (when she was only 24-years-old) and without a doubt Christie won the bet. It took five more years before it was accepted and released for publication. But no matter, this is the first in a long line of masterpieces from her pen, and the first to feature one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time: Hercule Poirot (pronounced Pwah-row). The story itself centers upon the Ingelthorpe family, and the various sinister undercurrents which culminates in the poisoning murder of its matriarch. Luckily M. Poirot is situated in a nearby village as a refugee from the war. He sifts through the mounting evidence and motives, hones in on the truth about the tragedy at Styles, and prevents an innocent man from being hanged (HARSH LANGUAGE: about 5 words, VIOLENCE: 1 scene, SEXUAL REFERENCES: none).
4.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot's first book,
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Affair requires a Scorecard,
This is a standard issue murder case with the ancient mansion dweller as the victim. She is recently remarried and has also recently broken with a long-time friend and companion. Filling out the list of suspects are two step-sons who would benefit financially from her demise and several house guests, including a young pharmacist and a German spy. Poirot is called in the day of the murder and follows his standard practice. He sends cryptic messages to suspects to gauge their response, tracks suspects across the county, and even does primitive forensic studies. The book is written by a resident wounded veteran who was a long-time friend of both Poirot and the family at Styles.
There are two features here to recommend this book. The first is the mystery within the mystery structure in which the obvious suspect ultimately turns out to be the guilty one, albeit with an unexpected accomplice. The second is the deliberately researched poisoning mechanism employed. Dame Christie received a positive review in the 1920's from a leading British pharmacology journal for her efforts. For those who enjoy the complex, this book is wracked with it. It is nearly impossible to keep track of all the characters and their myriad interactions with Poirot and each other. Reading it the second time brought out a lot of foreshadowing and important facts, dropped into the text as minor details.
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Paperback - Jan. 1 2005)
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