Customer Reviews for

The Mysterious Affair At Styles (Large Print Edition)

Average Rating 4
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(82)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Entertaining and full of surprises

I'm embarrassed to admit that, prior to reading this book, I had never read anything by Agatha Christie. Last week, PBS featured one of her books on their Masterpiece Mystery show, and I thought it was very well done. My interest was piqued as to whether the books were ...
I'm embarrassed to admit that, prior to reading this book, I had never read anything by Agatha Christie. Last week, PBS featured one of her books on their Masterpiece Mystery show, and I thought it was very well done. My interest was piqued as to whether the books were as good as the show. I decided to start with her very first book published, rather than start with a later book and run the risk of encountering spoilers. So, I requested The Mysterious Affair at Styles from my library, and hoped for the best.

I was not disappointed! One big plus to The Mysterious Affair at Styles is that the culprit is not obvious. At the end of the book, I was just as surprised as the characters to learn who the murderer was, and what had happened. It was refreshing not to have it be predictable. I also like that the reader is given lots of clues along the way, to try and piece things together. The book moves quick enough that you don't get bored, yet provides plenty of details and complex characters. I definitely plan on reading more by Christie, if this book is any indication to what the rest of her mysteries are like.

posted by kren250 on July 28, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Muder Strikes Poirot Again

This Novel is one of many. The way she has written her characters in this book is just amazing!!! The Mystery is one that you cant take your eyes away from the page!!

posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2002

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining and full of surprises

    I'm embarrassed to admit that, prior to reading this book, I had never read anything by Agatha Christie. Last week, PBS featured one of her books on their Masterpiece Mystery show, and I thought it was very well done. My interest was piqued as to whether the books were as good as the show. I decided to start with her very first book published, rather than start with a later book and run the risk of encountering spoilers. So, I requested The Mysterious Affair at Styles from my library, and hoped for the best.

    I was not disappointed! One big plus to The Mysterious Affair at Styles is that the culprit is not obvious. At the end of the book, I was just as surprised as the characters to learn who the murderer was, and what had happened. It was refreshing not to have it be predictable. I also like that the reader is given lots of clues along the way, to try and piece things together. The book moves quick enough that you don't get bored, yet provides plenty of details and complex characters. I definitely plan on reading more by Christie, if this book is any indication to what the rest of her mysteries are like.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    the mysterious affair at styles

    I enjoyed reading this book it was very intriging. If you enjoy mysteries you will like this book

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A brilliant first novel

    This was Christies first published novel and the introduction of Poirot to the world. While it suffers from the fact that Poirot is not the calm and methodical detective he would later become it soars in the plotting and intricacy of the mystery. What would seem to be a straightforward murder mystery becomes a tangled web of clues - a Christie trait that she establishes from the very beginning. And, just as she would later make her trademark, all the clues are there in front of the reader... it just takes the mind of Poirot to put them together. It's hard to say much more without giving spoilers away so I will stop now... I will just say that this is a "Must read."

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Don't Be Decieved

    Very good book! Agatha's first Hercule Poirot novel. Wasn't sure what to expect since the book was written in 1920, but found it as enjoyable as all the other Poirot novels! My only clue to the solution? : If you listen to people you will be in for a gigantic surprise at the end of the book! Very good Highly reccomended!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2004

    what a book!!!

    This was such an exciting book. i read it in one day. i couldn't put it down. it always kept me guessing and i didn't even think the killer was gonna be who it was. the only thing that bugged me was the fact that poirot kept not telling hastings his ideas. i wanted to know too, so it bothered me. other than that, the book was fantastic.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    I love anything Agatha Christie.

    I really enjoyed reading the background of Hercule Poirot..I would have loved this book more if it was a little longer..but that said, I loved it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Indulging

    I simply love Poirot. He is clever, highly intellegent and the most polite detective ever. Agatha Christie is a natural story teller and mistery writer. You will enjoy trying to figure out who the killer is before Poirot reveals it to you. Enjoy

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    A Must for Christie/Mystery Fans

    This is where it started. Originally published in 1920, this is Christie's first novel and featured the debut of Hercule Poirot and friend Hastings. A harbinger of things to come, this is an intiguing blend of characters and plot that keep you guessing and reading. Any fan of the genre and author will love it. Sure this will lead the reader to Christie's other novels, many of which I have now read. Highly recommended reading.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    In her usual flair Agatha Christie does it again, this one is one of Poirot's finest mysteries. An absolute worthy read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is how the great mystery writer started

    The first time I read The Mysterious Affair At Styles... Well, I can't even remember the first time I read it so recently decided to re-read the book that was the beginning of Agatha Christie's wonderful career. It has a great reputation and it was probably completely amazing for its time (otherwise it wouldn't have been as successful as it was) but to me it was little more than Agatha Christie starting out, testing her pen, coming into her own. The writing isn't as precise and engaging and Poirot is more exuberance than method but this mystery already has the elements I've come to expect from her work: the detective's presence is more serendipity than anything else, there's a rather large cast of characters and if you dig deep enough every one of them has a motive but none of them actually had the opportunity to commit the crime (not at first glance anyway), and the culprit is not at all the person you've suspected.
    As different as Poirot may have been in this book from his later appearances he was ultimately my favorite part of this story. Because of his lack of reserve in his interactions with the English, his status of a refugee, even how stumped he was as for the identity of the murderer made him much more endearing than when he gradually transformed into an infallible force of intellect who always keeps his cards to his chest in the later books. I also liked his role in the human element of this story when he attended to the personal lives of some of the characters as a side project during his investigation. What can I say, the man cared and I like seeing that in fiction!
    All in all this is a good debut novel and although because of the writing I can't give it more than 3 stars I believe that if one decides to read all of Christie's novels the way I have one might as well start at the beginning and watch the master perfect her craft.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

    Agatha Christie fan

    I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie. I like mysteries and hers are not really deep, but do make you think a bit. Poirot is not my favorite character of hers. He's too fussy, but I do enjoy Miss Marple. So prim and proper.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Great Book!

    This was my first Agatha Christie book I read and I loved it!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Introdcution to Hercule Poirot

    When I had decided to read every Agatha Christie mystery I was just going to go about it willy-nilly, read them as I got them with no regard for publishing order. However, when I posted I was doing this on the Mystery board at the Barnes & Noble book club site it was suggested I go about it a little differently. Becke and Dulcinea both convinced me the only way to do this right was to read them in order because several of the reoccurring characters age throughout the books. I wisely bowed to their wisdom and changed up my game plane a bit.


    Now I had a slow start to my self challenge but I finally finished the first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Now this was a book I had read several times but this time I tried to read the book as if it was my first time through. This was a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. I believe I managed to do a OK job at it though and here are a few of my thoughts.


    This is not only the first mystery novel Agatha Christie published, it is also the first appearance of the famous Hercule Poirot. Monsieur Poirot and his "little gray cells" went on to star in over 30 novels and over 50 short stories. Leaving out everything else I have read with him in it I came away still liking this strange overly pompous, egotistical man. The man is cunning and so sure of himself he is willing to take risks with other peoples lives in order to produce the outcome he desires.


    I have always found myself fascinated by a man who is described in this book as "hardly more than five feet, four inches, but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible. I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound." This description was given by Arthur Hastings who is narrating the book. Colonel Hastings would appear regularly throughout Hercule Poirot's career as a Watson like character. Poirot's reasoning and skills of observation are wonderful to watch play out as he solves the case.


    This is also the first appearance of Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard. Not much is revealed about him in this book other than he had previously worked with Poirot and has full trust in him.


    I loved the book and recommend if to anyone who has never read a Agatha Christie book. This is a good taste of what she has to offer as a story teller. In this book as in her others, the clues are always there for you to spot and there are never any surprises. One of the characters from this book, Evelyn Howard, describes the way bad writing in mystery novels so often goes "Lots of nonsense written....criminal discovered in last chapter. Every one dumbfounded." This is not the case for Agatha Christie books, the killer is always there to spot if you are as clever as Hercule Poirot.


    This is the plot synopsis from the publisher of the edition I read (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)


    Set in Essex in the English countryside. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is one of the great classic murder mysteries. The victim, Mrs. Emily Inglethorp, is the wealthy mistress of Styles Court. After an evening of entertaining family and guest, she is found poisoned in her locked bedroom. The long list of suspects includes her gold-digging new husband, her stepsons, her best female friend, and a visiting doctor. As

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    An excellent book!!!

    This first poirot book finds poirot looking for the killer of an wealthy lady.The lady dies in her locked bedroom and in her last breath she says her husband's name.Was it her money loving spouse,her two sons,her doctor or her companion. And this book shows that the person who is the most helpful somtimes has the most to hide!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    Muder Strikes Poirot Again

    This Novel is one of many. The way she has written her characters in this book is just amazing!!! The Mystery is one that you cant take your eyes away from the page!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    POIROT IS BORN!!!

    This book shows the birth of Hercule Poirot as he advances in what he would do for the rest of his life, Private Investigating. This keeps you guessing more and more depending on how many times you have read the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Good story

    A little long, no one will figure out the ending. It's very complex.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    Great mystery

    Agatha is always a great read even in this day and age.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Hercule Poirot!

    Hercule Poirot ahhhhhh....!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2010

    Poirot is one of the best detectives in literature.

    The first of Agatha Christie's books and the first of the Hercule Poirot mysteries it is a beautifully written book that proves why she is the best selling author in history only next to the bible and Shakespeare. If you have read any of her books you know that they all have very similar story lines. A bunch of people come together there is a murder and then someone tries to solve it who knows much more about what's going on then anyone else in the story or the reader except of course the murderer. The characters are all incredibly well written and have a realness rarely seen in murder mysteries. The main character here is Hastings who is incredibly likable, We want him to prevail and to solve the murder before any one else does, including Poirot. When we meet Poirot we find him to be an old man past his prime who must be listened to but not necessarily believed. But as the story goes on we of course find that we should have believed him at every turn and that he was only trying to lead us in the right direction without tipping off the killer. Always a fun quick read I would recommend any of Dame Christie's books without any hesitation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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