The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (1920)


“This novel was originally written as the result of a bet, that the author, who had previously never written a book, could not compose a detective novel in which the reader would not be able to “spot” the murderer, although having access to the same clues as the detective. The author has certainly won her bet, and in addition to a most ingenious plot of the best detective type she has introduced a new type of detective in the shape of a Belgian.” John Lane

When I began to reread Agatha Christie’s first novel ( I read it like 20 years ago) I was amazed to see that she made all the characteristics of Poirot that we know from her very first story; she never changed him a bit, except in the Curtain in which he seems older and tired. It was a pure pleasure.


I had the surprise to discover that in the 1990 TV version with David Suchet the victim is said to be the mother of the suspect instead of being the stepmother. Quite shocking to imagine a son killing his own mother just for money; I don’t think that Christie would have thought of a suspicion of matricide for her first case. Anyhow, I enjoyed Suchet who is the perfect Poirot of all time.

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