Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2016, Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie #20booksofsummer

Book 9

Classic Crime Fiction 5*s
Classic Crime Fiction
5*s

Well this is fairly widely regarded to be the best of all Agatha Christie’s books and having just finished it I can definitely see why.

Why You Should Read This Book

1. It features Monsieur Poirot and if you aren’t taken with the little Belgium with his little grey cells, I don’t think you should read any further!

“You should employ your little grey cells”

2. The story includes a butler and a parlour maid and either of them might have killed Roger Ackroyd.

“It is well at any price to have peace in the home.”

3. Instead of Poirot’s faithful narrator we have Dr James Sheppard who was called to the locked room of Roger Ackroyd by means of a telephone call to find the victim with a sword in his back and the window opened.

“You are like the little child who wants to know the way the engine works. You wish to see the affair, not as the family doctor sees it, but with the eye of a detective who knows and cares for no one-to whom they are all strangers and all equally liable to suspicion.”

4. Agatha Christie came up with a most ingenious solution to what is almost a closed house mystery

“You will find, M. le docteur, if you have much to do with cases of this kind, that they all resemble reach other in one thing… everyone concerned in them has something to hide,”

5. If you haven’t read it already you’ll be exceptionally hard pushed to come up with the villain from the cast of suspects

“Men have been known to do that-act guilty when they’re perfectly innocent.”

The basic plot is that in a small town named Kings Abbott where our narrator, Doctor Sheppard announces:

“Our hobbies and recreations can be summed up in the one word: ‘gossip’.”

The Doctor is called by an urgent telephone call telling him his friend, and patient, Roger Ackroyd has been murdered. When he reaches the hall this proves to be true and his dear friend has been stabbed, quite literally in the back.

Then the victim’s niece then outs Poirot, who had coincidently chosen Kings Abbott as a place to retire and grow marrows. Flora Ackroyd is fearful that her soon to be husband, the adopted son of Roger Ackroyd, is being accused by the local police investigating the murder so she entreats Poirot to take up the case and to find the truth. Poirot in turn ropes in Dr Sheppard to carry out his investigations which includes a lot of checking of scenarios and examining the actions of each and every member of the household as well as tracking down a mystery visitor near the hall on the night in question.

Doctor Shepard carries out his tasks willingly, keen to learn from Poirot although equally as eager not to incude his elder sister Caroline, who he lives with, because much of the gossip and intrigue come from her very lips.
I love the language in these books, the formal way in which everyone behaves (when they are not bumping each other off of course) is a delight to read and of course I adore dear old Poirot, but in this book, the best is left until the end when the cast gathers in true Christie style to hear Poirot unveil the murderer. Who is it? Read the book and find out for yourself, you really won’t be disappointed.

First Published UK: 1926
No of Pages 260
Genre: Mystery
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Now for a quick poll – which of the following is your favourite Agatha Christie novel? If you have an alternative answer please let me know in the comments box below.

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

32 thoughts on “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie #20booksofsummer

  1. I read this Christie many years ago when I was in my teens and although much of the detail now escapes me I do recall enjoying it very much. It is one of her best, I think. Lovely to be reminded of it here.

    1. Since I started blogging I’ve challenged myself to find some of her books at our local book sale and read them – I was particularly looking for this one as well as And Then There Were None. I’m going to read a Miss Marple (who I never took to in my teens) for a blogothon in September. I love Murder on the Orient Express, she was an ingenious writer.

  2. This is definitely an excellent whodunit, isn’t it, Cleo? And yes, it’s got the butler, the parlourmaid, the whole thing. And the big reveal. It’s one of Christie’s better ones, no doubt about it! And I do like Poirot, of course. So glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Me too Janet – I now try to pick up one or two when we have our local charity booksale to re-read and I think I’ve had more enjoyment out of them than I did originally – Miss Marple next as I never took to her so much as a teenager.

  3. Great review Cleo 🙂 I read this reasonably recently, after not reading Christie since I was a teen, and hugely enjoyed it. The scene with Poirot enraged by his marrows really made me laugh!

  4. I enjoyed this one too, but unfortunately I had read another book with a similar twist so I guessed the solution early on and spoiled things for myself. And Then There Were None is my favourite Christie novel so far, although I still have a lot of her books to look forward to.

  5. Love the way you’ve done this review – lots of fun! 😀 I haven’t voted in the poll because my favourite is The Moving Finger. In fact, much though I love Poirot, I love Miss Marple even more – I love The Murder at the Vicarage and A Murder is Announced… in fact, most of them! My favourite Poirot without doubt is Death on the Nile.

    1. Aw thank you 🙂 There seemed little point rehashing the synopsis too much and as the wonder of this one is something I couldn’t discuss… I have now signed up for the AC Blogothon and will be reading a Marple as I’ve pretty much shunned her up until now!! I’ve chosen Murder at the Vicarage as my book…

      1. Hurrah! And a great choice – I love that book! I also love the Joan Hickson version of it. I’m glad you went for a Marple since most of the participants seem to have gone for Poirot. Nobody has done Tommy & Tuppence though… I may be forced to do one just to stop the cats from mauling me…

  6. I know I have read this. I know I enjoyed it. But can I recall anything about the plot or the denouement? Nothing. So darn it I will have to go and read it again now you teased us with yiur comment about the inventive device of th ending.

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