The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha...
My introduction to the mystery genre came not in the form of a traditional novel, but a visual novel called Umineko. A rather large part of Umineko centers around a murder mystery sometimes involving a locked-room. I read somewhere that the said VN draws a lot of inspiration from Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which I am yet to read. Since I read that, I wanted to read Agatha Christie and now, I am.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is her first book and introduces retired Belgian police officer turned detective, Hercule Poirot. I believe it also serves to introduce readers to her style and several tropes she uses in her works. These tropes include a locked room, red herrings, and the so-called "final link" which points to the murderer.
While I find a lot of classic fiction to be hard and even tedious to read, Agatha Christie's writing isn't too formal as to be a chore. She makes use of different speech patterns in dialogue which lends a lot of distinctiveness in her characters, particularly Hercule Poirot, whose personality and eccentricity I found interesting to read about.
The murderer wasn't too difficult to figure out. I thought it was pretty obvious who the murderer was. Still, the usage of red herrings and a long chain of clues made the book enjoyable and still thrilling to read.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles may be easy to figure out as a mystery, but I found Hercule Poirot's character enjoyable enough that I want to see his other adventures. Besides, this is only the first of Agatha Christie's extensive bibliography. I definitely will be reading more.