The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the oldest Poirot story. In fact, it is the only Poirot story that is in the public domain in the United States (though not the UK).
Lieutenant Hastings is convalescing and visits some friends at Styles. The matron of the house is killed and suspicion immediately falls on her husband who is Before the matter is officially reported, Hastings seeks the help of Poirot,who is a refugee from Belgium adjusting to life in the U.K. Poirot has to unravel the multiple lies and deception that surrounded the murder and a new will that apparently has gone missing.
I wrote in my review of the Peril at End House, that the producers of Agatha Christie’s Poirot opted for a look that made the feature length episode look and feel like just a longer episode of the television.
In the Mysterious Affair at Styles which led off the third series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, they opted to step it up notch with beautiful shots of the British Countryside and World War I British life. Suchet showed his strength as a performer and his mastery of the Poirot character in his ability to make subtle changes depending on the character’s age. In Mysterious Affair at Styles, Poirot is far more obsessive compulsive, and is less adjusted to English life than Poirot did in the episodes set in the 1930s.
While I think the transition to television lost a little bit of the charm of the book which had you suspecting everyone other than Poirot and Hastings at one point or another, Suchet is still masterful as Poirot and the improved quality makes it a pleasure to watch.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0
As of this writing, this film along with all Telefilms through Series 6 is available on Netflix Instant Watch.
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