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Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

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“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” is a detective novel written by Agatha Christie. It was her first published novel and introduced the character Hercule Poirot, who would go on to become one of Christie’s most famous and enduring fictional detectives. The novel was written during World War I and was first published in 1920.

The story is set in the English countryside at the fictional Styles Court, where the wealthy widow Emily Inglethorp resides. When Mrs. Inglethorp is found dead in her home, her death is initially believed to be due to natural causes. However, suspicions arise, and it is revealed that she was poisoned.

Hercule Poirot, a former Belgian police detective who is now a private detective living in England, is called to investigate. With his meticulous attention to detail and his “little grey cells,” Poirot begins to unravel the complex web of relationships and motives among the inhabitants of Styles Court. The list of suspects includes family members, staff, and acquaintances, each with their own secrets and motives.

As Poirot investigates, he employs his unique methods of deduction and observation to solve the mystery. The novel is a classic example of a locked-room mystery, where the crime occurs in a sealed environment with limited access, and the detective must use logic to solve the puzzle.

“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” marked the beginning of Agatha Christie’s prolific career as a mystery writer and laid the foundation for the subsequent popularity of Hercule Poirot as a fictional detective. The novel showcases Christie’s skill in creating intricate plots, cleverly concealed clues, and surprising twists—a formula that would become her trademark in many of her later works.

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