Friday, January 15, 2010
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Styles Court is home to the wealthy Cavendish family. It is a peaceful, serene location, even during war-time, and is the perfect place for Hastings to recover after receiving a wound at war. However, the house is rocked when Mrs. Inglethorp, the step-mother of the current generation of Cavendishes, is murdered. Luckily, Hastings’ good friend, Hercule Poirot, lives in town, and he sets about to solve the mystery.
At this point, it is hard to begin anywhere other than stating that The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the best mystery I have ever read. For sheer enjoyment, it would seem to be impossible to surpass. All of the characters are fleshed out richly in so few pages, especially the eccentric Poirot, who is hilariously odd in his own special way. The mystery is set in a wonderful historical setting that keeps the advent of modern technology from making the novel age poorly. The mystery is plenty complex and multi-faceted.
At a scant 198 pages, it baffles this reviewer that such a complex and twisting plot could be fully fleshed out, but Christie wastes no words or space, and gets to her point so well that there is no room for any slowing of the story. It is nothing but fun, the perfect mystery to revamp the mystery part of Luke Reviews to its prime. After this, I had to immediately go out and buy the next Hercule Poirot novel, The Murder on the Links. Check this novel out!