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The Early Classics of Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles / The Secret Adversary

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Agatha Christie was a British author of crime fiction. Christie’s career spanned over 50 years and featured over 60 novels. Christie’s book The Mysterious Affairs at Styles, was the first to feature the legendary character Hercule Poirot. This collection includes the following: NOVELS: The Mysterious Affair at Styles The Secret Adversary


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Agatha Christie was a British author of crime fiction. Christie’s career spanned over 50 years and featured over 60 novels. Christie’s book The Mysterious Affairs at Styles, was the first to feature the legendary character Hercule Poirot. This collection includes the following: NOVELS: The Mysterious Affair at Styles The Secret Adversary

30 review for The Early Classics of Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles / The Secret Adversary

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Smucker

    I'm a huge Christie fan, so I've decided to take up my reading of her in an orderly manner and start from the beginning, reading them in the order in which she published them. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is her first novel and the world's introduction to Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. It captures a feeling of WWI in England in its everyday details, from someone who was there at the time. I probably like it for that as much as anything. The Secret Adversary is a novel of Tommy and I'm a huge Christie fan, so I've decided to take up my reading of her in an orderly manner and start from the beginning, reading them in the order in which she published them. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is her first novel and the world's introduction to Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. It captures a feeling of WWI in England in its everyday details, from someone who was there at the time. I probably like it for that as much as anything. The Secret Adversary is a novel of Tommy and Tuppence. It is a few years after WWI has ended, and the hero and heroine bump into each other in the tube. Both are hurting for money and unable to find work, Tommy not having found any useful skills in the army and Tuppence having had a rather menial career working in various hospital jobs during the war. Both in the same boat, they decide to start an Adventuring venture. They are soon swept up into an incredibly complex plot to overthrow the British government. There are plucky American girls, brash American millionaires, Germans, Russians, Sein Finn agents, mysterious former beauties and intelligence officers--and that only scrapes the surface. It was a very fun summer read, and T&T are a little more accessible than some of Christie's detectives. (No one is as observant as Miss Marple, I'm sorry!) Definitely worth a read for anyone who is a Christie fan, an Anglophile, a lover of classic mystery... pretty much everyone. Enjoy!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

    This is an old favorite that never disappoints. I have found that Agatha Christie's plots are so complicated and the clues so complex that I have a hard time remembering who actually was guilty. I can read most of her books every 10 years or so and enjoy them all over again. Of course, there are a few that are so perfect that I could never forget the criminal. This includes The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , Murder on the Orient Express , and And Then There Were None. This book introduces Hercule This is an old favorite that never disappoints. I have found that Agatha Christie's plots are so complicated and the clues so complex that I have a hard time remembering who actually was guilty. I can read most of her books every 10 years or so and enjoy them all over again. Of course, there are a few that are so perfect that I could never forget the criminal. This includes The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , Murder on the Orient Express , and And Then There Were None. This book introduces Hercule Poirot to her readers. His character is so carefully delineated that it is hard to believe that he doesn't actually exist. This is especially true once David Suchet was cast to portray the little Belgian. While many of her characters are not as well drawn, her stars certainly are. To me Christie sets a standard in mystery writing by which others are judged. Her plots are complex, but all the clues are there to figure out who the murderer is if you can weed out the red herrings. She also explains all the clues which point to someone else. I've read too many mysteries where the reader is faced with red herrings which are never explained. I want to know that I could have solved the mystery if I had paid attention (or was smart enough!) If you have a person standing over the sleeping and now dead victim with a knife in his hand dripping blood and he doesn't turn out to be the murderer, you need to explain what he was doing there.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Good escapist reading for this time of social distancing. I did enjoy the Tommy and Tuppence book and will look for another one with them as the leads. I hadn't been aware of those Christie books

  4. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    Read this book as it was on a list of 100 year old items. It was written 100 years ago! Agatha Christie keeps you guessing on who done it. Keeps you intrigued.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Beggs

    Have always enjoyed Agatha Christie, but somehow I’d missed Tommy & Tuppence. This is the first novel, set in post-WWI England, in which they appeared. The plot was clever and the title characters inherently likable: the perfect “comfort read” for COVID-19 quarantine. Have always enjoyed Agatha Christie, but somehow I’d missed Tommy & Tuppence. This is the first novel, set in post-WWI England, in which they appeared. The plot was clever and the title characters inherently likable: the perfect “comfort read” for COVID-19 quarantine.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kamas Kirian

    Finally finished this book after about 6 months. It's not that the material isn't interesting, but that there is so much of it (800+ pages). After the first three novels I started reading a few short stories between finishing one book and starting the next. Considering that she started with such great material in The Mysterious Affair At Styles (Poirot), the short stories were a little bit of a let down. The Secret Adversary (Tommy & Tuppence) reminded me of a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys story. Murder Finally finished this book after about 6 months. It's not that the material isn't interesting, but that there is so much of it (800+ pages). After the first three novels I started reading a few short stories between finishing one book and starting the next. Considering that she started with such great material in The Mysterious Affair At Styles (Poirot), the short stories were a little bit of a let down. The Secret Adversary (Tommy & Tuppence) reminded me of a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys story. Murder On the Links (Poirot) was another good novel that kept me guessing for awhile. The eBook edition had several unknown characters and a couple of spelling mistakes, but was otherwise formatted fine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This was Agatha's first mystery novel... and it told to the whole world about her potential as a writer. It's easy to read, is has some romantic touches and even though the twist of events it's not as impressive as it is in other of her novels, it clearly makes you wonder towards the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This contains two books: The first is a Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and The Secret Adversary is a Tommy & Tuppence mystery. I had read both of these books before, and have them on my shelves in hardback, but I elected to this for my Nook so I could read in the dark. 5 stars for the story, -1 for the difficulty in reading it - it kept popping up blank pages and I had to resort to several subterfuges to find the actual text, which made it take longer. Not going to read this again on th This contains two books: The first is a Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and The Secret Adversary is a Tommy & Tuppence mystery. I had read both of these books before, and have them on my shelves in hardback, but I elected to this for my Nook so I could read in the dark. 5 stars for the story, -1 for the difficulty in reading it - it kept popping up blank pages and I had to resort to several subterfuges to find the actual text, which made it take longer. Not going to read this again on the Nook! The Mysterious Affair at Styles This was the first mystery that Christie wrote. Arthur Hastings is a guest at Styles Court, and when its wealthy owner Emily dies in convulsions, it is determined that she was poisoned by strychnine. Hastings goes to the nearby village and asks his friend, retired Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, to help. He is determined to play Watson to Poirot's Sherlock, but since he is rather slow to pick up on clues and has a tendency to take things in the wrong way, he's not really much help. Their relationship provides a fair amount of light humor throughout the book, as Poirot tries to give hints to Hastings, who usually fails to get the point. The household consists of the victim's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish; her second husband Alfred Inglethorp (whom everyone else hates); her companion Evelyn; John's wife Mary; and Cynthia,the daughter of a friend. Inspector Japp leads the police investigation; he is familiar with Poirot from previous cases. Poirot must help determine how Emily was poisoned and which of several wills is the operative one (which might provide a motive). He is putting together links in his deductive chain, but is missing the last one, which Hastings accidentally provides, allowing Poirot to solve the murder. The Secret Adversary This is the first of the Tommy & Tuppence books. The two meet again after some time and renew their friendship. Both are out of money, looking for jobs, and having little luck. So they decide to form a partnership called Young Adventurers, where they advertise that they will do anything, go anywhere, as long as the pay is good. They get two answers - one from Mr. Carter, who wants them to help in a government problem with labor and strikes (Tommy recognizes him as being from the 'secret service', and one from Julius Hersheimmer, who wants help in finding his cousin, the mysterious Jane Finn. That name has already cropped on several previous occasions. The mysterious Mr. Brown is behind the labor unrest, and is determined to find a treaty that will bring down the government - supposedly carried off the Lusitania by, guess who, Jane Finn again!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    I have to say I made a bit of a fool of myself with this purchase. I thought I was getting the first two Poirot books but instead got the first Poirot book and the first Tommy and Tuppence. As I did not realize this until 10 chapters into The Secret Adversary upon coming to the realization that Tommy and Tuppence books did not have Poirot I instantly realized my lack of even two distinct brain cells meant I had no way of figuring out the mysteries myself. That was okay though because even thorou I have to say I made a bit of a fool of myself with this purchase. I thought I was getting the first two Poirot books but instead got the first Poirot book and the first Tommy and Tuppence. As I did not realize this until 10 chapters into The Secret Adversary upon coming to the realization that Tommy and Tuppence books did not have Poirot I instantly realized my lack of even two distinct brain cells meant I had no way of figuring out the mysteries myself. That was okay though because even thoroughly stumped they were a fantastic ride. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was exactly what I expected. A fantastic mystery story with a great enjoyable character in Poirot, it was exactly what I had wanted. The pacing was great and the conclusion felt extremely satisfactory. The Secret Adversary felt a bit less so, the pacing was slow at start and I didn't really enjoy Tommy or Tuppence to begin with, however once they got their own moments to shine by themselves I really got invested. The ending felt a bit less enjoyable but as the story as a whole felt more of an adventure than a mystery I think that's okay. It was still incredibly enjoyable and fun. Boy do these books show their dates sometimes though. I guess I just have to chalk it up to being in the early 90's and some of the casual racism involved just being how it goes but. Oof it shocked me the first time. I'm expecting as you get later in career there will be less as the general opinions of the time changed though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Agatha Christie's first published novels were a joy to read. In The Mystery Affair at Styles we are introduced to Hercule Poirot who uses his detective skills when Emily Inglethorp is poisoned. The second story is The Secret Adversary featuring the young adventurers Tommy and Tuppence . I loved reading their exploits as they are hired to find Jane Finn who is believed to have received papers for safe keeping at the time of the sinking of the Luistiania. A must for those we love getting "lost in ti Agatha Christie's first published novels were a joy to read. In The Mystery Affair at Styles we are introduced to Hercule Poirot who uses his detective skills when Emily Inglethorp is poisoned. The second story is The Secret Adversary featuring the young adventurers Tommy and Tuppence . I loved reading their exploits as they are hired to find Jane Finn who is believed to have received papers for safe keeping at the time of the sinking of the Luistiania. A must for those we love getting "lost in time" and for mystery fans. It is Agatha Christie after all. In my opinion the Queen of mysteries.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gloria E Meunier

    I read this thanks to a book club, and a hidden in plain sight pearl it is! Somehow Ms. Christie is still able to catch the imagination in a leisurely lull that's so criminally civilized. A resoundingly resonating quote is found on page 134 in the Jane Finn chapter courtesy of the American character Julius: "...Got no use for the family feud business..." As my biological and affectionate father says "It's all psychological!"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim Taylor

    Guess and Guess Again!! I have to say that I really enjoyed each one of these stories . I love Poiret and his little white brain cells and how he dissects everyone under a microscope🔬 . I also found the second story with Tuppence and Tommy to be quite interesting. That being said I love Agatha Christy! 🔬🔬

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne M. Jardine

    Great read. I didn't realize Ms. Christie wrote other books besides the Poirot and Jane Marple mysteries. This story was great fun, with suspects everywhere! Impressive. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nom de Plume

    Dated, but nonetheless magnificent Tuppence and Tommy: The dated bits were, by and large, lots of fun. And, honestly, considering the fact that this book is nearly ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD, the first 'T&T' novel reads remarkably like something that could have been written last week. Dated, but nonetheless magnificent Tuppence and Tommy: The dated bits were, by and large, lots of fun. And, honestly, considering the fact that this book is nearly ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD, the first 'T&T' novel reads remarkably like something that could have been written last week.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    Love A C I have loved Agatha Christie's stories since I was a teen. I have to say, I do not remember these short stories with Hercule Poirot. It was a delight to access them in this collection!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Rankin

    Great author I always enjoy the stories of Hercule Poirot and these were no different. Well written and enjoyable little mysteries. Never tire of Agatha Christie books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    The explanation behind whodunnit was too intricate to be believed

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McDaniel

    A real humdinger I love how invested I get in these stories. The plot twists and suspense make it necessary to refrain from skipping ahead just for peace of mind.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca L. Holt

    A fun read Nice twists and turns. Engaging characters. You can’t help but imagine the accents as you read. I enjoyed it immensely.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4 star Only read second as I've read the first before and wasn't in mood for it again right now. Some complicated twists here.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Considine

    Review for the 'Secret Adversary'. A fun, light read. Agatha knows how to lead the reader astray and then double back on you. Don't get upset with her - it's all in good humor.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Reading Challenge category: a book by Agatha Christie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Harvey

    Good Christie, Bad Typos Several glaring OCR errors resulting in noticeable typos. Would still like to read next volume(s) to reread all of Christie's works.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Wills schaffner

    Agatha Marvel's Agatha's stories are very mysterious. I enjoy the jagged trail she takes you on. The twist and turns are exciting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    J.T.K. Gibbs

    Classic Agatha Christie! Two almost too-perky protagonists and a host of suspects in a political thriller that has one guessing from beginning to end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mindy Daniels

    As a Christie fan I enjoy all her works. So this is an easy recommend if you like me are addicted to classic, golden age mysteries.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alan Gerard

    Classic Agatha Christie. Really enjoyed my first read of a Tommy and Tuppence mystery.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Avdek

    A fun mystery with Poirot in and out of the story. Lots of red herrings. Not sure which family or friends are on the up and up.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I really loved the distance between the narration and Hastings. You can just tell you have a total idiot trying to show off while the others know he's clueless.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    3/4 into the book it started to drag and I was losing interest but the ending was very good. As always, never saw it coming.

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