Full House Reading Challenge – The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Narrative Style: First Person

Rating: 3/5

Published: 1920

Format: Kindle

Synopsis: Just before her death by strychnine poisoning, Emily Inglethorp is heard arguing with someone.  It is assumed to be her husband. In fact, the case seems cut and dried at first. However, Hercule Poirot soon proves that this is not the case.

Reading Challenges: Full House Reading Challenge – Genre Cosy Mystery.

I have read some Agatha Christie before but it was a long time ago and the only thing I was sure of was that it wasn’t a Poirot book. I seem to remember enjoying it but I was certainly still at school, it was that long ago.

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy this book. There was some interest and intrigue. It was fun working out the mystery. But that was as far as it went.

The main problem was that it felt like all the mechanisms were on show. Maybe I am just too used to reading detective fiction but this one was definitely lacking in subtlety. It was just too pat. Poirot just happened to be in the area. Hastings was just a little too stupid. (And as he was presumably supposed to represent the reader, it was a little insulting.) The double bluff was a step too far with Poirot the only one clever enough to have figured it out.

As ever, I found it difficult to cope with people who are so incredibly posh. I did not feel particularly bothered about their fates. The main thing here was the mystery. The characters were almost incidental.

Finally, I suppose it was a little tame. I’m not suggesting that I need gore and horror, necessarily but I do prefer stories with a bit of meat to them. There was not a lot here to sink your teeth into.

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