Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re-Reading Report: The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Agatha Christie. The Mysterious Affair At Styles. (1916)

I found myself re-reading (well, listening to) Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair At Styles this weekend. I went through an Agatha Christie period in high school where I read pretty close to all of her books, so listening to this was familiar and comfortable. Returning to one of them was a fun experience, but not nearly as entertaining for me as when I was younger.

Although I didn't remember the details, returning to this story didn't keep me enthralled as it did the first time. I grew impatient with the idiosyncrasies of Poirot and Hastings and the story unfolded more slowly than I would have liked. I think this might have been a side-effect of listening rather than reading - when I read I have more control over the pace.

This was a nice little domestic mystery in which a rich old lady is found poisoned while all of her friends, family, and heirs are staying at her house. There are many blinds and false turns, but in general the story is intricately plotted in the manner you expect of Christie. Personally, I prefer Miss Marple to Poirot as detective, but this was a perfectly fine return to a classic mystery. I recommend reading rather than listening for this one, but the audiobook was just fine.

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