Quiz about The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Quiz about The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles Quiz

In Agatha Christie's first published novel, Captain Hastings recounts his first case with the distinguished Hercule Poirot while he stays at Styles Manor. Spoilers abound; read before playing! Good luck!

A multiple-choice quiz by kyleisalive. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 151 (2/10), TERRYROYHURST (2/10), Guest 208 (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which character worked at the Red Cross Hospital in Tadminster? Hint

Evelyn Howard
Cynthia Murdoch
Emily Inglethorp
Dr. Bauerstein

2. What was the name of Mrs. Inglethorp's parlourmaid?

Answer: (One Word)
3. What colour was Mrs. Inglethorp's despatch case? Hint


4. Who witnessed Mrs. Inglethorp's last-written will? Hint

Her lawyers
Her maids
Her gardeners
Her sons

5. Which of these things, commonly used by Mrs. Inglethorp, contained strychnine? Hint

A bottled tonic
A flask of an alcoholic beverage
A vial of nail polish
A locket containing a picture

6. What colour beard was used as evidence? Hint


7. Which character was arrested for espionage? Hint

Albert Mace
Dr. Bauerstein
Superintendent Summerhaye
Evelyn Howard

8. Whose fingerprints were found on the bottle of strychnine in the Tadminster Dispensary? Hint


9. Which object was not found in John Cavendish's room? Hint

A pair of glasses
Blotting paper
A poison vial
Green cloth

10. Who was responsible for the murder of Emily Inglethorp? Hint

John Cavendish
Alfred Inglethorp
Cynthia Murdoch
Lawrence Cavendish

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which character worked at the Red Cross Hospital in Tadminster?

Answer: Cynthia Murdoch

This story was Christie's first, and it outlined a case of Hercule Poirot as told by Captain Hastings. Hastings arrived in Styles St. Mary while on sick leave from the war. During his first few weeks residing with his old friend, John Cavendish, at Styles Manor, he learned a few things about the people there. John is strapped for cash, and his brother, Lawrence, can't be asked for any as he too squandered his cash away. Cynthia Murdock is a family friend who was orphaned. Murdock was left with nothing as well because of this. Local socialite and John and Lawrence's mother, Emily, remarried to Alfred Inglethorp, a man hated by nearly everyone else at Styles.

This is especially true of Emily's friend, Evelyn Howard, who finds the man unbearable, and if anything, nothing more than a person who's after her money.
2. What was the name of Mrs. Inglethorp's parlourmaid?

Answer: Dorcas

Dorcas was a faithful parlourmaid who Hastings called 'one of a dying breed'. She was one of the few who were strongly affected by the loss of Mrs. Inglethorp, who, on one tragic night, passed away in her bedroom. On that night, Hastings was awakened by Lawrence, who woke up to hear his mother in pain in her room.

After the house had awakened, they attempted to get into her room, but all of the doors were bolted. They broke through the door and stood in shock as Mrs. Inglethorp lay convulsing in her bed.

She passed away that night, and the guests couldn't help but realize that the deceased's new husband, Alfred Inglethorp, was not present. When Hastings left the house, he found Alfred walking back to the building. Having just heard the news, the man was shaken, but he explained that he stayed at a place in town, having forgotten his latch-key at home. Hasting continued back to town to ask Poirot to investigate.
3. What colour was Mrs. Inglethorp's despatch case?

Answer: Purple

When Poirot is brought to investigate, he finds it of extreme importance to pay a visit to Mrs. Inglethorp's bedroom. Here, he outlined the evidence that he was able to find.
1. A coffee cup, ground to powder on the floor.
2. A significant purple despatch case with a key in its lock. This case contained Emily's important papers.
3. A stain on the floor, which is found to smell like coffee.
4. A fragment of fabric retrieved from the bolt of a door, assumed to be locked at all times, connecting Mrs. Inglethorp's room with Cynthia Murdoch's.
5. A splash of white candlewax on the floor.
6. An unmarked chemical box used for bromide powders, found on Mrs. Inglethorp's nightstand. It is later discovered that Cynthia made these for Emily. With her medical background, she did not need a pharmacist or chemist's seal on the box; they were used as sleeping agents.

After listing his finds, Poirot also finds a scrap of paper, found to be from a will, in the ashes of the fireplace. Hastings and Poirot discuss the matters with Dorcas, who claims that Mrs. Inglethorp argued with an unknown man in her bedroom the afternoon before, and that she was missing the key to her despatch case. As well, another maid claimed that she found an odd salt-like substance on Emily's serving tray with her cocoa. Hastings realizes that it may be strychnine poison.
4. Who witnessed Mrs. Inglethorp's last-written will?

Answer: Her gardeners

Poirot determines that the will fragment from the fireplace was a portion of a will that was taken from Mrs. Inglethorp's purple despatch case and burnt in the fire. He also realizes that her gardeners were the ones responsible for being the witnesses to the will. These facts are confirmed by the gardeners themselves.
After discovering this, more evidence (such as the word 'possessed' written on a piece of blotting paper in Mrs. Inglethorp's handwriting) proves the idea that she completed a new will, possibly due to the argument held the previous afternoon.
Poirot later mentions to Hastings that an earlier will was found in Emily's nightstand leaving her fortunes to Alfred Inglethorp, her new husband. As well, he makes Hastings note the fact that Alfred has a long black beard and glasses as well as the fact that they had warm weather on the day of Emily's tragic death.
5. Which of these things, commonly used by Mrs. Inglethorp, contained strychnine?

Answer: A bottled tonic

At the inquest held a few days following the murder, Lawrence Cavendish is the only member of the family to note the fact that his mother, Emily, drank a tonic containing the mysterious poison before her death.
Mary Cavendish, John's wife, also takes the stand to tell her bit of the story. She was sitting outside on the afternoon prior to Emily's death reading a book when she heard Emily arguing with a man in her room. Oddly, she did not interfere or even leave her position. This does not match with Dorcas' story though, as they both heard an argument at different times.
When the local chemist, Albert Mace, takes the stand, he claims that a man named Alfred Inglethorp had recently purchased an undisclosed amount of strychnine, the very poison that killed his wife, at his shop and signed a waiver for the purchase. Inglethorp denies this, of course, but when it is shown that the signature on the waiver does not match Inglethorp's, it is assumed he is telling the truth.
6. What colour beard was used as evidence?

Answer: Black

After the inquest, Hastings is introduced to two people from Scotland Yard, Inspector Jimmy Japp and Superintendent Summerhaye, who have been sent to investigate. It is figured soon after the inquest that someone simply dressed up as Alfred Inglethorp to fool Albert Mace, who had never seen the man before. In order to do this, all the person would need is a large black beard, glasses, and peculiar clothes.
Hastings and Poirot query Lawrence, Mary Cavendish, and Dr. Bauerstein about their topics at the inquest before discovering that Alfred Inglethorp had an alibi. He escorted Ms. Raikes home from town on the night of the murder, which unfortunately locked him out of the house.
Poirot tells Hastings to tell Lawrence 'find the coffee cup and you can rest in peace' despite the fact that neither of them have a clue as to what it means. Later on, Dorcas also makes the two detectives aware of a dressing-up box in the attic containing an obscure green dress. Instead, they find a large black beard inside.
7. Which character was arrested for espionage?

Answer: Dr. Bauerstein

The two ally with Evelyn Howard, as Poirot suggests that she has no motive for the killing. After meeting with her, Hastings leaves and comes across Mary and John arguing about Dr. Bauerstein and it appears that Mary is in love with him. However, it is discovered that Dr. Bauerstein is actually a German spy who established a good name in Styles St. Mary to obtain information during the war.

He is arrested for espionage, but he is not responsible for the murder despite his lack of alibi on the night of Emily's death. Meanwhile, Ms. Howard, Poirot and Hastings' new ally, brings a bit of evidence in the form of a brown folder containing bills for costumes- possibly for pieces to imitate Alfred Inglethorp.
8. Whose fingerprints were found on the bottle of strychnine in the Tadminster Dispensary?

Answer: Lawrence's

Mary ends up confiding in Hastings, telling him that she wants to be a free woman and that she plans on leaving John. Meanwhile, Lawrence finds the coffee cup that Poirot warned him to find earlier, and Poirot discovers that Lawrence also had his fingerprints on a bottle of pure hydrochloride of strychnine in the Tadminster Dispensary where Cynthia works. Poirot assumes that he took it when they first met him in town before the murders.

After this event John is arrested. Poirot explains to Hastings that if it were not Alfred, then John would be the one to argue with his mother on the afternoon preceding the murder.

As well, this is why Mrs. Cavendish would pretend not to hear the two outside the window. Poirot decides the only course of action that remains is to make Mary Cavendish think that he's working for her husband, and not against him.
9. Which object was not found in John Cavendish's room?

Answer: Green cloth

After John is arrested, Poirot and Hastings search John's room to discover a few pieces of evidence. John, of course, denies being his mother's murderer in court, but Poirot insists otherwise. Eventually, Mary Cavendish begins sticking up for her husband, and Poirot notes that she is the jealous type. Soon, he reveals that Mary was in the room while Mrs. Inglethorp had her convulsions.
How does he know?
Earlier, Poirot instructed Hastings to stand at the servants' entrance until the detectives from Scotland Yard had finished investigating the crime scene. During this time, Poirot knocked over a table. This proved (since Hastings did not hear it) that Mrs. Cavendish would not have been woken up by it across the house. The green fabric in the bolt had been from a green land armlet, worn by Mrs. Cavendish.
Mrs. Inglethorp had destroyed the will herself. How did Poirot know? Well, Mrs. Inglethorp had ordered a fire to be lit in her room on a day where the weather was extremely warm. Poirot had earlier told Hastings to note the weather. Mrs. Cavendish gave Cynthia a narcotic with her coffee on the night of the murder to enter her room and reach Mrs. Inglethorp's boudoir. She later dropped the coffee cup in a large vase, where Lawrence found it later, in order to dispose of what she thought may have caused her mother-in-law's death...but it didn't.
10. Who was responsible for the murder of Emily Inglethorp?

Answer: Alfred Inglethorp

Mrs. Inglethorp's table was knocked over, breaking her cup of coffee, so instead, she heated up her cocoa. Only one thing could have delayed her poison until the early hours of the morning: her tonic, which already contained strychnine. One person, who effectively used Emily's bromide powders to cause the strychnine to precipitate, could make a deadly poison in the bottom of the bottle which, when drunk, could kill its user.
Who dunnit?
It was Alfred Inglethorp, but he wasn't alone. Evelyn Howard, his cousin, was also responsible. It was her idea regarding the bromide.
Inglethorp had no interest in Ms. Raikes, who he claimed to be walking home as an alibi. Instead, it was John Cavendish who had an interest in Raikes. Mary Cavendish was jealous of this and fought for his innocence anyways. Miss Howard dressed up as Alfred in order to purchase the strychnine. Everything was set, but Mrs. Inglethorp did not take her tonic as planned and everything was pushed ahead. As the time went by, more and more mistakes were made and clues were left behind. Alfred broke the lock on the purple despatch case to find the letter he wrote to Evelyn, and he hid it in a vase on the mantle, where no one could find it. Poirot, however, being as neat as he is, had to fix the pieces on the mantle on the day he came to Styles, and nearly overlooked the fact that one vase had been moved slightly. Miss Howard had more evidence against her- male impersonations (as recounted by Dorcas) and the fact that she could make bromide powers, as her father was a doctor.
Poirot simply pretended to be against John Cavendish to throw the real murderers off.
The door between Cynthia and Emily's room was bolted on the night of the murder. Lawrence claimed it was locked to protect Cynthia, who he was in love with. Regarding the coffee cup he was sent to find, Lawrence figured out that he could find any extra coffee cup to clear Cynthia of suspicion. Poirot ends his revelations by saying that Emily's dying words were to condemn her husband.
In the end, John and Mary are reunited (and John is entitled to the will) while Lawrence and Cynthia are also together.

Case closed.
Source: Author kyleisalive

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