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Publisher's Summary

In this first novel by Agatha Christie, she introduces the inimitable Hercule Poirot, who would go on to appear in 33 Christie novels and 54 short stories. Outside of Sherlock Holmes and perhaps Philip Marlowe, he is the best-known detective in the history of the genre. The Mysterious Affair at Styles deals with the case of an old woman poisoned with strychnine for her money. Nothing is obvious, however, in the way Christie handles a plot. The story spirals round and round, leading the reader in one direction, then another, convincing the reader that first one character, then another is the guilty party.

Public Domain (P)2011 Cherry Hill Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    50
  • 4 Stars
    23
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    11
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    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable book - terrible narrator

What other book might you compare The Mysterious Affair at Styles to and why?

always enjoy agatha christie for the quaint, dated atmospheres and terribly polite characters. nothing too disturbing, just simple mysteries in interesting locations.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

had to force myself to listen the whole way through. worst reading i have ever heard - awful pronunciations, the voice of poirot was cringeworthy, and the narrator was sooooooooooo slooooooooow! for some reason she had decided that a 2 second pause was warranted at every comma or full stop. infuriating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Story was good but...

I really enjoyed this story, the physical and audio book, however the presenter lacked imagination and voices for the different characters. Still a good in my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator wasn't right for this one

I have to be utterly honest. As much as I read, and as much British lit I have read since my childhood, I had never (to my remembrance) read an Agatha Christie novel. I had watched a few movies based on her books, and adaptations, but never read a book. I am well versed in general with Hercule Poirot but this was my first ever time really paying attention to the details, and the style of her writing, and characters.

Overall it was ok. It's was fun that in the beginning they talked about how there are murder mysteries and someone totally random ends up being the murderer and never someone they know. However the narrator states that sometimes it could be someone you know and it might be a she. The other character says women can't murder because they are weak and murder requires too much violence. Eventually they come to the conclusion that poison is a woman's weapon. All cliche's all strange issues faced by today's mysteries and this is what differentiates good mysteries and sucky mysteries in books, and in tv/ movies.

I liked the narrator's character but eventually they seemed pretty whiny. Poirot always comes off as smug. I dunno why, maybe it is because he keeps the spoilers to himself. I wanted the narrator to be a woman so bad. Of course these were written during the time when women were not supposed to be capable and bla bla, so keeping that in mind it still irked me there were so many stipulations for women. (trying not to give away any spoilers).

The person reading the novel Judi Pennington was good but not for this book. It was hard to pay attention to her reading because she was almost monotone. She could have done so much more. I don't know why she would raise her voice to a higher pitch for Hercule Poirot.It threw me off so much. In fact at points I thought due to the way she read and narrated the narrator of the book itself was female. Also she had awkward pauses as of the page was turning or had to stop the recording. Sentences/ paragraphs did not flow right. Very frustrating. I am not sure if I listened to anything by the same narrator before, but if I had am not sure if she did such a bad job? Maybe this was her first book performance? Maybe it was just a bad time? Not sure, but the performance distracted me from the book itself. Also it almost ruined the book for me. Honestly it was hardest to get through due to the narrator and almost quit a few times.

Conclusion: good story. 4 stars because of language, and its Agatha Christie otherwise it would have been 1 star because of the performance of the reader.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 02-09-17

I love Agatha Christie

I loved the entire story line.
The narrator did good, she kept my interest in the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea!!!

Did not care for the book... 3 stars to be fair as I believe it was just my taste in novels not the quality of the novel

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Performance detracts from story.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reader was not able to distinctly separate characters so part way thru, I had to buy another version read by David Suchet. Skip this version with this reader. All voiced characters sound the same and very confusing. Not worth the money.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enjoy good mystery

Would you listen to The Mysterious Affair at Styles again? Why?

yes because I enjoy Agatha Christie mysteries, and the reader was easy to listen too and put different vocals to each character...have read the book many times so made the "listen" even more enjoyable

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

well not really, because as I said previously, have read the book many times...but for someone that hasn't read it...it will keep you guessing as to "who done it"

What about Judi Pennington’s performance did you like?

she read it with good understanding of the book and the characters

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

just enjoyed

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this "listen" to anyone who likes mysteries without foul language or graphics of any kind...just good writing, and good reading...and much pleasure of literature

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Competent reading of a classic

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It took a while to get past the echoes in the recording, next time I will probably pay more for the other audible options, but once past that it was a competent enough telling of a well known story.

Would you be willing to try another book from Agatha Christie? Why or why not?

I will try other book from Agatha Christie, having read hard copies of all of the stories I will enjoy listening to another interpretation.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Perhaps more inflection for Poirot would have made him more enjoyable.

Could you see The Mysterious Affair at Styles being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I've seen the tele series of many Christie stories, not many of them get it right. Can't beat Ustinov for Poirot.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I really wanted the book to be better than it was.

Where does The Mysterious Affair at Styles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was somewhere in the middle. the story was much better than the preformance therefore it had the potential to rate much higher.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This book was a group production, that is why the quality of the narration is so important.

What aspect of Judi Pennington’s performance would you have changed?

She did well with the female voices, but did poorly with the mens voices. Also I found myself rewinding often because of her strong British accent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. At it's best it reqired time to digest.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 05-08-12

A bit sub

Bad recording, badly read (Judi doesnt quite manage to hold the right accent for the right character). Fab story though. Try the Hugh Fraser version instead.