The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Hercule Poirot
Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ – a Hercule Poirot mystery…
An old lady dies alone inside her locked room – and everyone is a suspect!
A Book Review of The Mysterious Affair At Styles… by The Murderer:
I (almost) got away with murder.
I mean, it was brilliantly planned. I managed to frame everyone as a potential culprit. And if it hadn’t been for that funny man with an egg-shaped head, I would have got away scot free.
These are the facts.
When they finally managed to break down the door to her room, Mrs.Inglethorpe was in the final throes of a violent seizure. Within a few minutes, she died.
Unfortunately, someone suspected it was poisoning.
And worse, the French fellow (or was he Belgian?) in the refugee home nearby was actually a famous detective – and known to the bumbling Captain Hastings, a war veteran who was there for a rest cure.
But then, I was prepared for any eventuality. And my plans were carefully laid.
I set it all up to implicate not just the husband Alfred – who is usually the primary suspect – but also her two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as her daughter-in-law Mary, the secretary Evie, and her protegee Cynthia.
And there were others whom I roped into my widely cast net of intrigue – the visiting toxicologist Dr.Bauerstein, the family caretaker Dorcas, and even the stolid housemaid Annie appeared like potential poisoners once I got through planting my evidence.
Each one had the opportunity. But what was their motive for murder?
The rich widow, who had recently remarried, was the sole heir to a sizable fortune – and everyone who might inherit was in dire financial straits at the moment.
Which is why events unfolded just the way I wanted them to. The needle of suspicion pointed first to one, then another.
The detective – his name is Hercule Poirot – uncovered clues I had plentifully strewn around, one after another. And I snickered behind my hands as they threw him off the path, into one detour after the next. Things got even more interesting when two detectives from Scotland Yard joined the hunt.
But I knew everything was covered, because I took some big risks to make sure each bit of incriminating evidence had been destroyed. Nobody was going to uncover my plot, unless… no, it was impossible that anyone would spot the single mistake I made.
Each new discovery or clue let off one suspect, then another. Pretty soon, everyone was confused… even that paragon of method and order, Hercule Poirot.
Would his skill and genius be enough to solve the mysterious affair at Styles?
Will Hercule Poirot discover who slipped the lethal dose into Mrs.I’s coffee? (Or was it the cocoa? Or her tonic?)
Or will YOU spot me, the real killer, first?
Am I the secretary with her staccato speech? Or the vibrant, youthful orphan who worked as a chemist? Or the devoted, heartbroken husband Alfred?
Could I be the icy cold, fiercely loyal Mary Cavendish? Or her lifeless, yet desperate husband John Cavendish?
Or am I a fiendish Lawrence Cavendish who keeps insisting her death was simply due to “natural causes”? The observant, ever-obedient Dorcas? The bearded, furtive doctor Bauerstein? Or somebody else?
Read the book. Sift the clues. Use your “little grey cells”, as Hercule Poirot might say.
Follow a methodical approach to piece together the clues and you just might be the one who picks up that tiny little mistake that I was forced into – even before Mr.Hercule Poirot.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles is a mystery to challenge your crime-solving skills to the limit. Are you up to it?
“Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.”
– Hercule Poirot
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was the first of Agatha Christie books and written on a challenge by her sister Madge to “compose a novel where a reader can’t spot the murderer even after having access to all the clues”.
Narrated by Captain Hastings, an old friend of the renown Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the story first sets the scene for an upcoming murder. The master storyteller effortlessly creates a sense of foreboding and impending doom… before tracing the breath-taking analytical skills of the famous problem solver.
Agatha Christie’s Poirot is fascinated with order and method, an obsession that leads him through the complex maze of clues and intentional misdirection, helping unravel a baffling mystery, bring a criminal to book, and restore a woman’s happiness.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles was first published in 1920. Interestingly, Agatha Christie named her house Styles after The Mysterious Affair at Styles!
Hercule Poirot Boxed Set (7 Book Series) by Agatha Christie
A unique special edition of SEVEN Hercule Poirot novels including Agatha Christie’s last one. The bundle also features a previously deleted chapter from the first Hercule Poirot book.
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