I have just read my first Agatha Christie novel. It just so happens that it was her first, as well.
I chose Agatha Christie because I recently read that she is one of the most popular writers in the world:
Christie has been called — by the Guinness Book of World Records, among others — the best-selling writer of books of all time, and the best-selling writer of any kind together with William Shakespeare. Only the Bible sold more with about 6 billion copies. An estimated four billion copies of her novels have been sold. UNESCO states that she is currently the most translated individual author in the world with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions superseding her. As an example of her broad appeal, she is the all-time best-selling author in France, with over 40 million copies sold in French (as of 2003) versus 22 million for Emile Zola, the nearest contender.
I was pretty impressed with those statistics. Not one to usually choose a writer because of their popularity, I found I couldn’t resist seeing what all of the fuss was about.
I decided to read her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, because I feel that the best place to start is the beginning.
I was not disappointed. It captured my attention early. I was fascinated by Poirot’s deductive reasoning. I loved that he didn’t reveal too much, giving me the opportunity to try and figure it out for myself. I struggled, along with Hastings, accusing first this person, then that one, then another, and so on. I, again along with Hastings, was shocked at the outcome.
I loved it. I was not bored once. In fact, I couldn’t put it down.
I absolutely and wholeheartedly give this one 5 out of 5 stars!