Thursday, 8 September 2011

Mysterious affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Revisiting Agatha Christie after almost a decade. I have read Mysterious affair at Styles before and for that matter have seen it on Tv too, so was not sure whether I would enjoy it as much as I had when I read it the first time. The whole point of a whodunit is the question who done it, isn't it? So if I remember who had done it even half way through I would not enjoy the book. But Agatha Christie did not disappoint me. I was all along rooting for somebody as the murderer and the end was really a surprise. There are a few red herrings, and some nice twists and turns.
This is the first Agatha Christie book published in 1920 and is narrated by Hastings. This book introduces Poirot and his methods. Poirot is not going to search for footprints in the scene of crime but use his little 'grey cells'. He is observant and sees things that Hastings would easily overlook. "If the fact will not fit the theory-let the theory go" he advises Hastings.
Now for the story. Hastings is invited to Styles by his friend John Cavendish. Mrs.Inglethrop, stepmother to the Cavendish Brothers John and Lawrence, holds the purse strings. She has married a young man much against the wishes of the family. Mrs.Inglethrop is murdered by Strychnine poisoning. The suspects include the Cavendish brothers, Mr.Inglethrop, Mary Cavendish, John's wife, Cynthia, Mrs.Inglethrop's ward, Evelyn Howard and Dr. Braustien. All the suspects have access to Strychnine and have motive. Now who did it and why?
Loved every bit of it. Agatha Christie is undoubtedly the Queen of Crime fiction.

No comments: