THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head (John Lane’s UK company) on 21 January 1921.
Styles was Christie’s first published novel. It introduced Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery. This is also the setting of Curtain, Poirot’s last case.
 The story is told in the first person by Hastings, and features many of the elements that have become icons of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, largely due to Christie’s influence. It is set in a large, isolated country manor. There are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves. The plot includes a number of red herrings and surprise twists. Continue reading “THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES”

THE SECRET ADVERSARY

The Secret Adversary is the second published detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in January 1922 in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company later in that same year.


The book introduces the characters of Tommy and Tuppence who feature in three other Christie novels and one collection of short stories; the five Tommy and Tuppence books span Agatha Christie’s writing career. The Great War is over, and jobs are scarce. Tommy Beresford and Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley meet and agree to start their own business as The Young Adventurers. They are hired for a job that leads them both to many dangerous situations, meeting allies as well, including an American millionaire in search of his cousin.
Reviews were generally positive on this adventure, which manages to keep the identity of the arch-criminal secret to the very end.

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THE SHERLOCK HOLMES SERIES

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Known as a “consulting detective” in the stories, Holmes is known for a proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.
First appearing in print in 1887 (in A Study in Scarlet), the character’s popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia” in 1891; additional tales appeared from then to 1927, eventually totaling four novels and 56 short stories. All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian periods, taking place between about 1880 to 1914.

Most are narrated by the character of Holmes’s friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin.

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