13 March 2021


  • This edition from Amazon on Kindle
  • ASIN : B0046A9MRW
  • Publisher : HarperCollins; Masterpiece Ed edition (October 14, 2010)
  • Originally published 1926
  • My original review (2008)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 1538 KB
  • Print length : 260 pages 

Synopsis (Amazon)

Agatha Christie’s most daring crime mystery - an early and particularly brilliant outing of Hercule Poirot, ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, with its legendary twist, changed the detective fiction genre for ever.

Roger Ackroyd was about to be married. He had a life of wealth and privilege. First he lost his fiancĂ©e – and then his life.

The day after her tragic suicide he retires upstairs to read a mysterious letter, leaving his closest friends and family to eat dinner below.

Just a few hours later he is found stabbed to death in a locked room with a weapon from his own collection.

Was he killed for money? For love? Or for something altogether more sinister?

The truth will out.
But you won’t see it coming

Warning: there are significant differences between the original book and the TV version.

My Take

I have read this one several times before, and also seen the TV version more than once. I think that resulted in some confusion in my mind, because after all that I wasn't really sure who murdered who. So I'm glad to have read it again, and clarified things, I think...

I did remember though that it introduced for the first time in Christie novels the theme of the unreliable narrator. Poirot himself remarks on how a number of people witnessing an event will have a variety of interpretations, particularly if they are hiding secrets. And of course, if we were not a first-hand witness, then we have no idea of how reliable the version we are being told is.

And of course what we are reading is Dr. Sheppards' version of events. In that he has picked up the role that Hastings played in the two earlier novels. And because we accepted Hastings as a narrator chosen by Poirot, we tend to accept Sheppard.

The plot also appears to present as a locked-room mystery, but that is quickly dismissed.

I'm not sure that I agree with the synopsis that I picked up from Amazon. Was Roger Ackroyd about to be married? Certainly his adopted son was, and it was his impending marriage that was being announced, and while Roger was deeply in love with Mrs Ferrars, was his marriage to her expected?

Plenty to think about though, with a prototype of Miss Marple making an appearance, and many references to how useful Hastings had been is making suggestions even if he didn't always understand what was happening. 

Poirot is living in the village of King's Abbot, retired after 30 years as a detective, so a change from where he was and what he was doing in MURDER ON THE LINKS. He is now attempting to grow marrows and finds it very frustrating.

My rating: 4.4

Check the list of Agatha Christie novels

Another review: This novel, written in 1927, is considered the best and most successful of the early mysteries. It met with no small outrage when it appeared, as it uses a plot device many readers thought "unfair." There is a full complement of characters populating the cozy English village of King's Abbot: Major Blunt, Colonel Carter, Miss Gannett, the butler, the housekeeper, the narrator, Dr. Sheppard, and his know-it-all sister (the precursor of Miss Marple, according to Christie), and, of course, the redoubtable Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. There are clues with a capital C to mislead us, and the listener gets so involved with these red herrings (or not) that the very simple truth eludes the puzzler. A classic of the genre and essential for any fiction collection. 

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