Posted in Book Review

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie



Published: January 30, 2018 (First published October 1920)

Publisher: AmazonClassics

Format: e-Book

Pages: 201



“It is always wise to suspect everybody until you can prove logically, and to your own satisfaction, that they are innocent.”


Emily Inglethorp has been poisoned. And it seems everyone at Styles Court, from the hired help to family members, had a motiveβ€”and the means. But with Detective Hercule Poirot out of retirement and on the case, no one’s getting away with murder.


Detective stories are my go-to whenever I have a slump because it always pulls me out of it. And for so long, I wanted to try and read an Agatha Christie book. I’ve been seeing her books in my local bookstore and because of the numerous books on the shelf I did not know where to start. And so I choose to start from the beginning of Mr. Hercule Poirot’s story.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first book in the Hercule Poirot Mystery series. The book is short and you could surely fly through it in one sitting. But I think I made the wrong choice of picking this book up as my first Agatha Christie book because she is not my favorite author as of the moment.

The plot is simple, a wealthy old woman died in her room and they think it was murder through poisoning. Of course there will be an investigation and a mystery as to who the killer is. As I think about it now, I could say that the execution of the twist is well thought of. But I think the author has overdone herself and in a bad way. I feel like that twist in the story was made just to make it mind blowing but sadly it is not. We just go around in circles with that plot twist and it felt flat and forced.

A good detective story does not a mind blowing plot twist it is the execution of the murder, how the murderer was able to hide his/herself in the story and how the detective would find clues here and there that would lead us to the culprit is the best formula for me. And this book has none of those qualities. I will try my hardest to give out my thoughts without ranting (which I know would be impossible) as to why I did not like this book.

The execution of the murder was quite simple, the woman was poisoned. But the question is “how?”. When the type of poison was presented, it was still questionable at best because of how Poirot makes it look. And now this is where I started hating this book. The whole story would always have something to negate the fact and yet we still ended up with the same conclusion as to where we started. The author just weaved through some complicated details here and there to solidify the said facts and disregard the negation that was presented earlier. This happens when we are identifying the type of poison, the culprit and the execution of the murder. Once again, we are just going in circles.

But the element of this book that I hate the most is the characters. The narrator in this book is Arthur Hasting, he is an annoying person, and seeing the story played out in his perspective is not helpful because he does not know anything. Often times he would see Poirot as a mad man just because he does not understand his reasoning and he cannot comprehend what he was trying to point out. And then we have Hercule Poirot, the great detective, who did not help in explaining the things that he is doing to this clueless narrator. And as a reader, you could not follow what the heck is going on in the story. As the detective searched for clues, you are just a bystander watching it unfold. We could only rely on Hasting’s speculation of what is happening and even I can tell that his speculation is so wrong. And so the story ended with the two characters sitting side by side, the culprit in prison, and Poirot gives out a narrative of every single thing that he has done and how it was all related to the case. It was frustrating at best because you could skip the whole book and just read the last chapter and you would understand the story perfectly well. To put it simply, this book is not immersive when it comes to solving the case.

I think the only reason why I gave this book a 2 moons is because of the story as a whole. The plot is interesting enough just because of how the murder was executed and how the murder created an alibi. But thinking about going in circles and finding the story back as to where it started and Hasting as the narrator makes me frustrated the more I think about it.

Read this book at your own risk. You may love it more than I did but if it turns out as bad for you, well at least I warned you.

That’s all for this review. Sorry it is quite long. I swear I wanted to rant so much about this book but I am suppressing my emotions.

Till next time!

Maria ❀


A reader who becomes a villain, a queen, a princess, a heroine, and a warrior depends on the story that she reads. A dreamer who wishes to dwell in the world that she visited through the pages of her book. A frustrated blogger who wishes to put into words the frustration, boredom, and excitement that she felt throughout her many journeys outside the real world.

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