Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Author: Agatha Christie
Page Count: 306
This book is Agatha Christie’s first novel and also the book in which she introduces Hercule Poirot, and so I’m kind of surprised that it’s taken me this long to get to it. Because you can read most of Christie’s books as standalones, I’ve just been dipping into them as and when I saw them in charity shops, and for whatever reason this one was never there.
It’s a shame because it’s a cracking read, and I think my enjoyment was bolstered by the fact that I was also reading a stunning facsimile edition. Really, though, it was a pleasure to read purely because of the overall quality.
For a debut cosy mystery, it’s super impressive, especially because by all accounts even at the end of her career, Christie never really thought of herself as a true writer. She thought of herself as a housewife who happened to write books, which is crazy when you consider that she’s literally the bestselling author of all time.
This then is an auspicious beginning and actually arguably more enjoyable than a lot of her later books because Poirot came across as a little less insufferable. I think that he just got a little grouchier as he grew older, but so do we all. If anything, that makes his character more believable.
For me, as a Christie fan, it was also fun to go back and to see how she first introduced Poirot and Hastings. I’d definitely say it’s definitely a good place to start, if only because it’s quite literally the actual start. A solid little installment and a lot of fun to read, especially if you can get hold of the facsimile edition. Enjoy!