My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Review: The Mysterious Affair At Styles: Queen of Mystery's First Published Novel

The Mysterious Affair At Styles: Queen of Mystery's First Published Novel The Mysterious Affair At Styles: Queen of Mystery's First Published Novel by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Performance: ***

The narration was fairly standard for a who done it mystery. Additionally, the story itself was also basic considering the series as a whole; although that probably should have been expected given that this is where Christie introduces her famous Belgium detective who was quite obviously developed in the tradition of another famous detective … Sherlock Holmes … with perhaps more eccentricities without any apparent connection to the reason he was so successful as a detective. 

 In this story, we get Poirot working through what was an apparent murder by poison where he keeps everyone, including the reader (and even his companion Hastings), in the dark as to what he is doing and what he is thinking … going so far as to intentionally allow his companions to come to erroneous conclusions without correction until we get to the final reveal at the end where Poirot shows us all how clever he is. Despite the red herrings and shadows, I thought the story to be quite smart, interesting and entertaining in a genre I typically always enjoy when done intelligently … which this was. While perhaps not the best of the series, it is still worth the read ...

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheMysteriousAffairAtStyles #HerculePoirot

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.