Book Review # 44 - The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

Hercule Poirot's First Case

Agatha Christie

Back Cover: Here is the famous first case that launched the legendary career of Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie's brilliant -- and eccentric -- detective steps out of retirement.. and into the shadows of a classic mystery. The victim: A wealthy heiress. The suspects: her fortune hunting husband, her jealous relatives, her hired companion. The solution: a deadly scheme that can only be revealed by the master detective himself...Hercule Poirot

"The Mysterious Affair At Styles" is an interesting introduction to Hercule Poirot. He was quite eccentric. I unfortunately read one word at the very beginning of the book which created an interesting conundrum. The story is narrated by Mr. Hastings, a friend of the Cavendish family involved with the murder.

This is the sentence that caused me to look at the story in a different way.

Mr Hastings narrates "I will therefore briefly set down the circumstance which led to my being connected with the affair."

I read "connected" as "convicted."

"I will therefore briefly set down the circumstance which led my being convicted with the affair."

Totally changes the story and sets you up to look for the clues that leads to Mr. Hastings. Hercule Poirot was an acquaintance of Mr Hastings and would tell some things to him and other clues, he would keep secret from Mr. Hastings. So it all seemed to mesh, except towards the end of the story, I realized something was amiss and went back and read the first page again. "Aha" I said, slapping myself on the side of the head. I was looking for guilt where there was none.

Interesting how one word can change everything!

Links to other thoughts about the book

"This is a most ingenious and intricately plotted book, with plenty of suspects to exercise those “little grey cells.'"

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise
"Although it was published almost 90 years ago, it is very readable even now."

Jaime of Confessions of a Bibliophile
"I think what I like best about Poirot is not just that so much of what he detects is based on observation, but that he has a real soft spot for love"

1 comment:

  1. Oh know! That one misreading would have such an effect. I have read only one HP mystery, but I've watched the TV shows a million times. He's a great character.


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