Agatha Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, features the first appearance of the eccentric Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Poirot must use his unusual methods and his singular charm to solve the murder of the rich, elderly Emily Inglethorpe. Fortunately, Poirot’s old friend Arthur Hastings happens to be staying at Styles Court, an Essex country manor, at the time of the murder, and he is a ready right-hand man during Poirot’s investigation.
Suspects abound and Poirot employs all his wits to determine who did the deed. Could it have been Mrs. Inglethorpe’s much younger husband? Or perhaps her resentful stepsons? The family friend working as her nurse is not free of suspicion, nor is her maid of many years. It may even have been the poisons specialist who just so happens to be staying in a nearby village.
Everyone staying at Styles has secrets they are trying to keep, but Poirot cuts through these deceptions with the resourcefulness, exactitude, and attention to detail that has made him one of the most intriguing figures in literary history.