Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Rating  :  3 1/2 Stars 

This is the first time I have read the original Poirot tome by Agatha Christie.  When I was younger I read several of her works, but they were all Miss Marple mysteries.  This is the 2nd Poirot novel I read, the first being Murder on the Orient Express last year.  Again I found myself visualizing the actor as I read about Poirot but I think it makes it that much easier to become absorbed in the mystery.  

I definitely enjoyed this locked room mystery set in the English countryside.   I found it difficult to initially get involved in the story with Mr. Hastings as the narrator talking about Hercule Poirot in the 3sd person but as the story progressed it was a more natural flow to me.  

There were definitely many twists and turns to the solution to the mystery.   I appreciate how Poirot provides a recap at the end explaining the rational behind his conclusions and why he behaved as he did in certain situations.   

My only real frustration with the story was the decision to alternate between referring to the female characters by their first names and their surnames.  I found this created a difficult task in  keeping the 5 female characters sorted. This is the main reason I did not give the story a 4 star rating.

 All in all I am glad I went back and read the first Agatha Christie mystery.  I plan to read several more of her works this year.  

The Mysterious Affair at StylesThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars 

My review is actually a 3 1/2 star for this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and liked all the twists and turns the story took leading the solution to be difficult to predict before Poirot laid it out for the reader. It was definitely a locked room mystery at its finest by the queen of the genre. I enjoyed how the current events were intertwined into the story and it was easy to imagine the countryside and the estate at Styles. I didn't give it 4 stars because I found it difficult to keep all the female characters straight for some reason. I felt as though their names were a bit too similar and the fact that sometimes they were referred to by first name and interchanges with surnames made it more difficult to sort who was who in the story. All in all I am glad I went back and read the first Poirot novel. 

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Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book # 1
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes UK/ England
  3. AtoZ   #2021AtoZReadingChallenge  "M"
  4. Alphabet Soup #AlphabetSoupChallenge    "M"
  5. Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "A"/ "C"
  6. Color Coded yellow
  7. Beat the Backlist #BTB2021  #19 character lets out a breath they didn’t realize they were holding
  8. 2021TBR  #2021ReadingChallenge #11 first in a book series
  9. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #1
  10. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #2
  11. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   July #3 Main action occurs during this month
  12. Cozy Mysteries   #6 mentioned in another book 
  13. Cruisin thru Cozies  historical #1
  14. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #2
  15. Craving for Cozies  Book #2
  16. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #1
  17. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #13 A locked-room mystery
  18. Around the Year in 52 Books #10 A book with a female villain or criminal
  19. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub2021  #15 A Book Mentioned In Another Book
  20. The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge  #TMARC21  #23 Hunter: involves a MacGuffin
  21. BooklistQueen   #47  Debut Novel of Famous Author 
  22. NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2021  #4 set during a historic event
  23. While I was Reading  # 12  A debut novel
  24. Nerd Daily #NERDREADING2021 #48. FIVE WORD TITLE
  25. Bookworm  #30 Read a book that has had at least three different covers
  26. Magic in the Books 
  27. Spells and Spaceships Debut Badge: Author's debut novel
  28. Pick your Poison # 22-1 A book set in your grandparents' era 
  29. Bloggers Bookshelf #bloggersbookshelf #8 a multigenerational story
  30. Backpacking Bookworm  #bbReadingChallenge2021 
  31. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tag- Poison
  32. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 5  Bedroom
    • Weapons
      • Row 5  Medicine or drugs
    • Detectives- Hastings/Poirot
    • Victims- Emily Inglethorp
  33. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #9  Shot #2
  34. 52 books in 52 weeks  Row#2-2  different century 
  35. Agatha Christie  Book # 1
  36. Unruly Reader Bingo  Rabbit Hole- inspired to read more AC books

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