Title / The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Author / Agatha Christie
Publication Date / 1920 (first published)
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis: The famous case that launched the career of Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe.
Although this is the first case within the Poirot series, this was actually my second encounter with the detective. I had picked up Murder on the Orient Express last year and after really enjoying I decided to try out more books. This is the one I happened to pick up next. As with the previous case I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it to be a relatively quick and entertaining read with a case that kept me guessing. You are continually wondering where Poirot is going with something and whether you are on the right track in terms of the case. I have to admit that I am generally not. I had an inkling about this one but after a certain turn of events I wasn’t so sure. That is the great thing about these books – Christie lets you try and figure things out before resolving everything at the end. Even if you did predict the outcome I think it would still be enjoyable to watch things unfold. However I am always left guessing. As with the previous Poirot book the plot was engaging and entertaining. The writing was, once again, a pleasure to read. I found them easy to read and quick to draw you into the story. Therefore this would be a great place to start if you are new to Agatha Christie and Poirot – it is the first case after all. Poirot makes a fantastic character – his mannerisms and characteristics make him a character you want to read more of. Although I have to admit that I found Hastings a little irritating at times but it wasn’t a big issue for me. I liked that he is there as a kind of counter balance to Poirot. The pacing is wonderfully done. I never felt bored while reading or felt that it had started to drag. Suspense makes it an engrossing read. That is another great thing about the two Poirot books – the suspense and tension is built so well. Sometimes you are barely aware of it, but in a good, subtle way.
Overall I very much enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it. I am planning to try out more Christie books, specifically more of the Poirot cases, as I have enjoyed the two that I have read. Although I read them out of order it doesn’t really matter – to the best of my knowledge each book can be read as a standalone as each book has different cases. If you like crime books then you should give these books a go. I know this has been quite a short review but hopefully that just means that I have put my points across concisely :). Have you read any Poirot books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.