R.I.P. Challenge and The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Thursday, September 20, 2012



I participated in Carl's R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, (R.I.P.) Challenge for the first time last year and I loved it! Here's more about it in his own words...

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural, etc.

I am absolutely joining in the fun again this year, I'm just a bit late to the game because of our recent road trip. I'm joining at the Peril the First level, meaning I'll read four books that qualify. The challenge runs until Oct. 31st.


I'm planning on reading the following books:  

- The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (completed this week and reviewed below)
- In the Woods by Tana French
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (a re-read as part of the RIP Group Read) 
- Affinity by Sarah Waters

I might add The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to that list if I have time. I hope you'll join in if you feel like it!

Images and more info can be found here.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
by Agatha Christie
★★★★

When I started this one I didn’t realize it was Christie’s first published novel and it introduced the world to Hercule Poirot, the now infamous detective. After reading it I can easily understand why Christie became such a hugely successful author.

A murder takes place in an old English manor and suspicion falls on all of the family members of the deceased who live there. The book even provides a “Clue style” map of the home showing its layout and all entrances and exits. There are a few red herrings and fun twists, all-in-all it’s a satisfying mystery.

The story is told through the point-of-view of Lieutenant Hastings. He is the Watson to Poirot’s Sherlock. Their relationship is a constant source of entertainment throughout the novel. Hastings is a typically Englishman, all manners and cups of tea, while Poirot is at times exuberant or flustered, but always carefully calculating and processing all he sees. I thought it was hilarious that Hastings’ kept thinking Poirot was getting a little old and loosing his touch when really Hastings just hadn’t caught up with his thought process yet.

BOTTOM LINE: A classic Christie mystery, not my all-time favorite, but a fun introduction to her large body of work.

“If the fact will not fit the theory, let the theory go.”

p.s. I couldn’t help but think of the Doctor Who episode with Agatha Christie from season 4 while I was reading this one. I love Doctor Who.

8 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Agatha Christie is a perfect choice for this challenge. Classic mystery fun.

annieb said...

I love Christie! I like Poirot, but I love Miss Marple and am very fond of Tuppance and Tommy. Christie also had a very interesting life of her own aside from her writing. Good choice!

Jenners said...

In the Woods … YAY! I love love love Tana French!

Anne said...

Your list of books sounds great! I have had The Graveyard Book on my TBR list for such a long time, I really need to read it soon.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Diane - She always provides a good yarn.

annieb - I'd like to read more of her Miss Marple books. She did have a fascinating life!

Jenners - I can't wait to read the rest of the series now!

Anne - I loved it the first time I read it, but it's been about 4 years and I'm itching to re-read it.

Sandy Nawrot said...

HIGHLY recommend Affinity and In the Woods. These are my two main ladies. I love them so, and they both write such unique mysteries. Don't you just love RIP? So much fun!

Bookworm1858 said...

I can't believe this was her first novel-isn't that crazy? I tend to prefer the Miss Marples but I'll give any Christie a read.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - Oh good! I was thinking about reading Affinity next. I just finished In the Woods and it was so good! RIP is just the perfect excuse to read so many fun mysteries and scary books.

Bookworm1858 - And Then There Were None has always been my favorite, but like you I'll try any of her books!