Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Agatha Christie Challenge --- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd


Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

In the village of King's Abbot, a widow's sudden suicide sparks rumors that she murdered her first husband, was being blackmailed, and was carrying on a secret affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening, Ackroyd is murdered in his locked study-but not before receiving a letter identifying the widow's blackmailer. King's Abbot is crawling with suspects, including a nervous butler, Ackroyd's wayward stepson, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, who has taken up residence in the victim's home. It's now up to the famous detective Hercule Poirot, who has retired to King's Abbot to garden, to solve the case of who killed Roger Ackroyd-a task in which he is aided by the village doctor and narrator, James Sheppard, and by Sheppard's ingenious sister, Caroline.

This was a reread for me so I'm way past some of the controversy that this book sometimes causes. Some critics have said that this book wasn't done in a fair manner, that the solution to the crime comes out of thin air. The first time I read it I have to admit to being taken by surprise as to the identity of the killer, but with each reread I find myself picking up one the clues that Christie left for us to see and that Hercule Poirot explains to the killer as he is recounting how he solved the case.

Now this book is a little hard for me to review because of how important the identity of the killer is to the overall impression of the book. I can't say too much more without giving more away that would be fair to new readers. I will say that his is one of Christie's best mysteries in my opinion, one that is based on a limited reading so far, and the solution is genius. She pulls the reader into the story and into trusting the killer, not even thinking that this person is even a suspect. It's brilliant and I urge everyone to give this one a try.

14 comments:

Staci said...

Thanks so much for not giving too much away!! I'm on a Christie roll right now and will be trying to read all of the Poirot books this year. After your great review I can't wait to get my hands on this one!!

Melissa (My World) said...

This sounds like my kind of mystery. I love trying to figure out who and why and if it is difficult it sounds like a great discussion book as I am going to try to figure it out as I am reading.

Thanks for the review.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Ryan you are killing me here....LOL... I have yet to read an Agatha Christie and I come here and now I want to.... I really do!

Ryan G said...

Staci, I think you will really enjoy it. Especially if you are a fan of Hercule Poirot.

Melissa, You would be able to sink your teeth into this one I think. If you get to it I hope you enjoy it.

Sheila, You better get started soon :-)

Dannie said...

Eek, I'm an Agatha Christie fangirl. I've read almost everything she's written :)

Alexia561 said...

Always enjoyed the locked room mysteries on the Late, Late Show, but could never get into Agatha Christie for some reason. I know you've really enjoyed the ones you've read, so may have to give her another chance.

Liked your review and how you didn't give anything away, but made the book sound interesting!

Ryan G said...

Dannie, I'm always glad to hear from other fans of Christie. I'm working my way threw her books in publishing order right now. Hope you enjoy the reviews.

Alexia, I hope you give her books another chance. I think you would enjoy them.

StephanieD said...

I remember reading this and just being so blown away by the end, then re-reading it immediately in a whole new different light. It is hard to pull off a twist; most of the time I feel let down or irritated because the book did not lead up to the twist properly.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Ryan G! Wow, what a coincidence, I actually bought this book yesterday, since I was craving for a good mystery. Hehehe. I love your review!

Lezlie said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this one! I've read close to three dozen Christie mysteries, and this is still the one at the top of my favorites list.

Lezlie

carolsnotebook said...

I've said it before - I love Christie!

April said...

I just read my first Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express, 2 days ago and was stunned at how awesomely great it was. I can't believe I've waited so long to read Christie.

I will definitely have to check out The Murder of Roger Ackroyd soon!

bookmagic said...

I'm not sure if I have this one, but if I do I will give it a read. I'm glad you are still doing your challenge

Becke Davis said...

Oh, I just love it when people discover Christie. Like you, Ryan, the more I read her books, the more clues I spot. While I can understand how some would say this one is unfair, I think she was scrupulous about scattering clues for the judicious reader.