The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot, #4

Source: Purchased

Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much.

He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her ― and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he'd finished reading it ― stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study...

“The things young women read nowadays and profess to enjoy positively frighten me.”

It's kind of funny that I read Agatha Christie for years and didn't know until a few years back that this was one of her most famous books. I'd heard of the others, but this always fell under my radar until this year. Now that I've read it, does it deserve it's rep? I have to say yes, yes it does. I was starting to suspect the ending turn-out, but it was still done in such a delightful and clever away that pre-guessing this take away from my enjoyment of the mystery.

Featuring my favorite detective, the great and egotistical Hercule Poirot, we see different sides of him here. First as a neighbor who has an accident with gardening, then a loyal friend, then an intervening detective with an ironic twist at the end. What makes it different though as Hercule doesn't narrate this story at all, and he's only a side character. The real main character is the narrator, Dr. Sheppard. Some of her books did this before with Hercule being seen through another's eyes, but in those cases it was usually his sidekick Hastings.

Usually this would bug me since I love when Poirot narrates the story but it worked in this case for other reasons. Sometimes Agatha indulges in a surprising amount of politically incorrect humor in her stories too, especially when it comes to funny hang-ups people have about race, but in this case she spends a lot of time with outright humor involving the doctor and what he has to put up with concerning his nosy sister. The humor helped the story and there seemed to be a deeper connection with some of the characters compared to other Agatha books. Sometimes she focuses on the plot so much that the characters blend together a bit, with exceptions, and this is one of the exceptions. Well done.

A locked-room type of mystery, I didn't guess everything involved, but I did guess the culprit (kind-of). Still who cares because it still rocked, and I loved the twist at the end with Poirot's delivering line and what he wants done once the crime has been solved. There is more in store here than just surprise of who did it, but also what's going to be done after the fact and the motive behind it all in the first place.

I'll join other legions of fans in declaring this as one of my favorite Christie novels. Not my top favorite, but it's up there with the best.

   Book Quotes:

“The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it."

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