Book Review: The Mysterious Affair At Styles

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I’m not really one for murder mysteries, so the inclusion of the first Hercule Poirot novel on the list of thirty novels to read before I reach the ripe old age of 30 must seem like a bizarre choice of reading material. That being said, I did like the Poirot series that ITV played for the majority of my life.

The novel sees Poirot’s sidekick Arthur Hastings visiting the home of an old school friend whilst on leave from the first world war, this coincides with Hercule Poirot and a contingent of Belgian’s taking refuge within the locality. And as always happens whenever a great detective is in residence…somebody dies.

The book is pretty fast moving, and gives you a real in depth look at the characters of Poirot and Hastings and sets out of Poirot’s little idiosyncrasies. For a detective story, it wasn’t full of the usual cliche’s, although there were a few, like a clue hidden in a vase etc, and some pretty corny disguises, but I suppose Agatha Christie’s bibliography is one of the things that gave birth to what would become detective story cliche’s a century later.

Coming in at less than 300 pages, it was a fairly quick read and one that would be perfect for a long train ride or as a light read on holiday. And overall it was a pleasure to be able to tick it off my list.

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