Well, there is always Belgium beer to pull us through – “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” by Agatha Christie

September 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm 1 comment

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” by Agatha Christie, Published in 1920

This novel is Ms. Christie’s first with the character of Hercules Poirot, the famous detective from Belgium.  He had appeared before in some short stories but here he gets the full novel treatment.  I have to admit that he is a bit tedious and though this is obviously Christie’s intent it does get a little wearisome.

The narrator Hastings is returning from fighting on the front in WWI and is invited to convalesce at the home of an old friend Ms. Inglethorp.  Hastings gratefully accepts the invitation to the English Manor, aptly named Styles Court. There he meets Ms. Inglethorp’s new husband, her two step-sons and other members of the household.  Of course Hastings’ restful stay is cut short when Ms. Inglethorp dies suddenly from what appears to be poison.  The cast of characters are all suspects and Hastings is able to get his acquaintance Inspector Poirot, who happens to be staying in the neighborhood, to investigate.  The tidy Belgium inspector is full of odd idiosyncracies and even though he seems to have all of the answers to the murder refuses to divulge any information along the way.   Poirot’s techniques can be a bit trying for both Hastings and the reader but of course eventually the crime is solved and everything ends happily.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Belgium.  It is a beautiful country with wonderfully brilliant people, gorgeous cities and delicious beer (and food). Just maybe their inspectors are bit obnoxious, at least according to Agatha. And she was a pretty successful writer so she must be on to something.  But regardless, I am sure I will revisit both Belgium and Christie’s writing again. Until then, chimay anyone?

Entry filed under: September 2012 reads. Tags: , , , .

Add vampires and bake at 350 degrees for about 500 pages – “A Discovery of Witches” and “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness There is truly nothing wrong with living in a castle – “Damsel in Distress” by P.G. Wodehouse

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