The Mysterious Affair At Styles


Wealthy Emily Inglethorp dies late one night, and the cause of death is found to be strychnine. Lieutenant Arthur Hastings asks his friend Hercule Poirot to help with the investigation.  Poirot pieces together the events leading up to Mrs. Inglethorp’s murder and figures out who killed her.

This book is enjoyable.  Agatha Christie does a good job of keeping the reader guessing.  Poirot is an engaging character, and I like the interaction between him and the other characters.  There are a number of people who would have a motive for killing Emily Inglethorp, particularly her considerably younger second husband Alfred Inglethorp and her stepson John Cavendish.  The way Poirot gets the information he needs to find out who committed the murder and why is interesting.  I also like the setting, England during WWI.  The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920, and is written in the style of detective stories at the time.  The story is told in the first person, the events take place in a large, isolated country manor, there are a half dozen suspects hiding things about themselves, and there are plot twists and red herrings.

I watched some of the Miss Marple mysteries that were on the Masterpiece Mystery! TV show a long time ago, but this is the first Agatha Christie book I’ve had the opportunity to read.  I want to read more of her books as I’m able.