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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

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What listeners say about The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    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 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    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.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Story

Liked the way the characters were built and intertwined together. Good story and mystery that hold your attention.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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bad narration

the narrator didn't even try to distinguish one character from another. voice was monotone and it was difficult to get thru book due to how dull the narrator's voice was

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fun book, not fun narration

I've read this book a few times and thought I'd try to get back into it. however, the narration was very one note, with no differentiation between speakers. when Poirot showed up, he didn't even have an accent. Makes it hard to follow and sort of unpleasant.

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Great story, poor reading

The story itself was great. I just personally don't like it when there is a female reading a story that has two male characters as the leads. A male reader would have been much better.

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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.

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  • 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.

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    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

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.