Sunday, January 11, 2009

"The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as 'The Styles Case' has now somewhat subsided."

Agatha Christie's first Hercule Poirot mystery was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written in 1920. Not only are we introduced to Poirot but also to his friend and sometimes companion, Hastings, who acts as narrator of this story, and Inspector Japp, his Scotland Yard contact. This is a locked-room and poison murder mystery with a simple motive of inheritance. However, there is a large cast of characters each with their own secrets and missing alibis. I enjoyed the characters and didn't quite discover the solution although I saw past some of the dead ends that came up during the course of the story.

In reading this book, I was somewhat surprised to find how young Hastings actually was. In this first story he is only thirty. I always thought he was just slightly younger than Poirot himself based on how he is portrayed on television. Anyway, the best thing about Poirot stories is that you can read them in any order so go ahead and pick one up if you haven't before. Even though Agatha herself found Poirot insufferable, you will hopefully enjoy his wit and intelligence.

Avoiding all greedy hangers-on,

Buy The Mysterious Affair at Styles on Amazon or find it at your local library.

1 comment:

  1. I love Hastings, much more than Poirot. At least, in the books. In the TV version (with David Suchet), I find Poirot quirky and charming.