The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thus begins the sleuthing adventures of that diminutive Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot!
The setting is an English country manor house during World War I. The lady of the house has a will, potentially multiple wills, and just about everybody at the house has some reason for wishing her dead, or at least suspecting the others with vehement certitude. Nearly everyone's got a motive and red herrings are flying about the place like, well, like flying fish!
I loved the WWI details and such how Poirot and some fellow Belgian refugees are guest to the English and soldiers are convalescing at houses such as this. Interesting slice of wartime life.
I've read a few of Agatha Christie's Poirot books before and grown fond of the recurring characters, so it was nice to finally see where it all began. While not her best work, I believe The Mysterious Affair at Styles is Christie's very first work, and with that in mind, this ain't half bad!
I don't know if it deserves four stars, because I'm a fan and was happy to get some insights into the main characters that would carry this series into the dozens. This book lays the blueprint for many (most?) of her others, which would be written with varying degrees of skill, some better and some worse than this one. So I don't mind giving it the rating I did.
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