Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
by Agatha Christie

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.

My Reaction:
I listened to the audiobook version read by David Suchet (the actor who portrays Poirot in the recently concluded series of adaptations).

I've seen the TV adaptation of this novel multiple times-- once not that long ago-- but I'd forgotten enough to be uncertain of the exact solution to the mystery.  Because I listened in dribs and drabs, I found it difficult to remember who some of the characters were, by the end of the book.  The two young women-- Mary and Cynthia-- and the two brothers were particularly indistinguishable, at times.

What with one thing or another, I don't feel up to writing a real review of/reaction to this book-- not at all.  It was interesting enough to listen to while I worked on a string quilt, cooked, or planted daylilies, but I clearly wasn't fully engaged while listening.  (Apparently I need to see things-- like character names-- in order to remember them.)

I've listened to another audiobook version of an Agatha Christie mystery.  That one was read by Hugh Fraser, the actor who plays Hastings.  I remember thinking that his Poirot was very good but his female voices a little tiring.  His Hastings, of course, was perfect.  ;o)  If nothing else, it was interesting to compare that reading with this.  As you might expect, Suchet was spot-on as Poirot. (Amazing, huh?)  The female voices I again found tiring at times.  (I'm sorry, but it hurts my ears to listen to men trying to sound like women.)  The narrator of the novel is Hastings, and while Suchet's reading was excellent, with good inflection that very rarely took me out of the story, I really prefer Hugh Fraser's version of Hastings. 

...Anyway... I might consider listening to audiobooks of more mysteries, but I think I get more of out of almost all genres if I read the old-fashioned way.  Still, it's a nice alternative to music, talk radio, or TV background noise.  I'd definitely be happy to listen to more readings by Suchet, though I think I'll always like him best as Poirot.