Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Author: Agatha Christie
Rating: 3.5 of 5
Hercule Poirot is already in fine form in this, his first novel. The small, dandyish Belgian with a penchant for spouting off French phrases sails through this case of poisoning at the manor house with aplomb. At times, I find Poirot’s smugness and withholding of relevant information until right before “the big reveal” to be a bit annoying, but fans of the little detective should enjoy this.
The case itself is entertaining enough. There are plenty of believable suspects with good motives and a few red herrings to keep you guessing (the narrator falls for all of them, of course). What actually happened is fairly convoluted, but not to the point of being completely unbelievable. Overall: an enjoyable “cozy mystery.”