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40 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid read
My Thoughts:

1. What stands out most to me about this book was Poirot's character. I love how much comic relief and humour he brings to the plot. Without his quirky and unique personality, I probably wouldn't have continued reading the book.

2. For a murder mystery novel, I thought it lacked the suspense and anticipation that's characteristic of most...
Published 2 months ago by Sandra L

versus
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 22 months ago by Carolyn


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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid read, May 17 2014
By 
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My Thoughts:

1. What stands out most to me about this book was Poirot's character. I love how much comic relief and humour he brings to the plot. Without his quirky and unique personality, I probably wouldn't have continued reading the book.

2. For a murder mystery novel, I thought it lacked the suspense and anticipation that's characteristic of most books in this genre. The plot was very fast-paced which hardly gave me any time to figure out what was going on before conclusions were already drawn and people were suspected.

3. To be honest, I was very unsure of how I would like this book because it started off very rocky. The storyline is mostly plot driven; Christie doesn't spend much time on character development which explains why the book is fairly short.

4. Halfway through the book, the whole mystery surrounding the murder got way too confusing; it felt like everyone was a suspect at one point and kind of ruined the thrill of searching for the killer.

5. You might be wondering why I gave it 4 stars if there were so many things I didn't like, what I LOVED about this book was all the twists and surprising discoveries that were written in the plot. Even though there wasn't much suspense as I thought there was, I was motivated enough to keep reading because it will haunt me forever if I never found out who did it.

6. I'm really happy that in the end everything was explained for and all loose ends were neatly tied up. (It always gets on my nerves when an author never explains for the smallest detail)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Christie's first, Aug. 2 2013
By 
Rose (Saint John, NB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book, July 20 2013
By 
Duchess "Duchess" (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Experiencing Ms. Christie at long last!, Sept. 26 2012
By 
Carolyn (Manitoba) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Opens the Golden Age of Detective Fiction., Sept. 24 2003
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Thirty-year old Mrs Agatha Christie turned a nice little profit with this, her first book, in 1920. It introduced Hercule Poirot. Wisely, she gave him many flamboyant, eccentric characteristics to leaven the depiction of detection work, but unwisely she created a character of advanced age that she subsequently needed to preserve for a further fifty years.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an intro to the quirky little Belgian, June 30 2004
By 
Roger Long "longrush" (Port Clinton, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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I've always preferred Agatha Christie's early mysteries to those published late in her life. Somehow the most recent works feel cranked out rather than thought out.
"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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie's 1st Book!!!, June 14 2004
By A Customer
This is Agatha Christie's first book it is very interesting from the start.Just incase you have not read the book I will not tell you all about but, I will say this it is a very,very good book and I recomend it to any Agatha Christie fan and even if you have never read any of her books at least read this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hercule and Hastings begin their adventures, Jan. 23 2004
By 
Jeanne Tassotto (Trapped in the Midwest) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the first Christie and the first Hercule Poirot novel. The action opens with Hastings describing his first adventure with Poirot. They become involved in solving a death in a locked room with the most obvious suspect being the husband. Many twists and turns later Poirot prevails and justice is served.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC DEBUT FROM A CLASSIC AUTHOR!!!, Dec 9 2003
By 
prospero72 (Cox's Creek, Kentucky) - See all my reviews
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).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot's first book, Oct. 29 2003
By 
Karen Potts (Lake Jackson, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's long-running character, is introduced to the world in this book. He is a Belgian detective who is living near Styles, a large home owned by Mrs. Inglethorpe. When Mrs. Inglethorpe is killed, Poirot is asked to help solve her murder. The detective works with his friend Hastings, who is staying at Styles, and he methodically interviews each person in the house to ascertain the identity of the killer. Poirot pays fastidious attention to every detail and painstakingly pieces together a solution, much to the consternation of Hastings, who is more impulsive and emotional when trying to solve a crime. This book marks the beginning of a long-running series which has attracted fans for many decades and is a good example of Christie's wonderful "whodunits".
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Paperback - Jan. 1 2005)
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