Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: First published October, 1920!
Paperback, 294 pgs
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In her first published mystery, Agatha Christie introduces readers to the heroic detective, Hercule Poirot. This is a classic murder mystery set in the outskirts of Essex. The victim is the wealthy mistress of Styles Court. The list of suspects is long and includes her gold-digging new spouse and stepsons, her doctor, and her hired companion.
I think I can safely say that this is the oldest book to be reviewed on GCR! And I know you're taking a look at this title, and you're thinking to yourself, "Why on earth is Maria reading a book from 1920?!" Well, let me tell you!
My best friend (a true YA Dystopian fanatic) has recently become obsessed with Agatha Christie. She was turned on to it by a friend of hers, who probably was turned onto it from a friend of hers, and so on...Either way, she could not stop raving about this author. Now, I've certainly heard of Agatha Christie, but I had yet to read any of her books. So, why not start now?
I have to say -- I was so pleasantly surprised! This is such a classic murder mystery that you can't help but feel like you're trapped in a game of CLUE. The story starts out with the rich old mistress of Styles Court who has recently married a much younger man. Of course, most of the family hate him, and think he's only after their mother for her money. And then, just a few chapters in, as to be expected, the mistress is murdered! (Dun-Dun-Dun) So...who did it? Was it her greedy stepsons? Was it her new husband? Was it one of the maids?
I've got to hand it to Ms. Christie, though. As a kid who grew up loving Encyclopedia Brown and Sherlock Holmes, I was certain that I'd solve this mystery in an instant. Boy was I wrong! She had me guessing, doubting, and accusing at every turn. And in the end, it was NOT who I expected it to be!
If you have some spare time, and you're looking for something to read that's unlike anything you've read before, give Agatha Christie a try. Either start with this book or pick any of her other famous novels. I'm positive you won't be disappointed!
5 out of 5 stars!