Agatha Christie has become my main “go to” author; if I’m not sure what book I want to read next, I read one of Christie’s mysteries. Since she was a very prolific writer, she will probably hold that position in my personal library for quite some time. I’ve read three of her novels so far this year, the first being The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
It’s such a fine line between knowing enough about a story to be interested in reading it and knowing too much about a story so that it’s not as interesting when you actually read it. According to the book jacket, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is “the book that made Agatha Christie a household name” and further lauds the story as a “landmark in the mystery genre.” The Murder of Roger Ackroyd certainly comes up frequently on many “must read” lists and is often cited as one of Christie’s best in discussions of her bibliography. Unfortunately, as a result of all this publicity, I think I knew a little too much of this story before reading it myself to judge the novel on its own merit. Thus, when I say I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I have enjoyed other novels by Christie, I can’t be certain whether the fault lies in the writing or in my foreknowledge. My advice is that you read no reviews of this book, stick your fingers in your ears when it is brought up for discussion in reading circles and experience the story for yourself. Then you can come back and tell me what you thought of it.
My Synopsis: Nearly everything that happens in King’s Abbot is known to the Sheppard household, for James is the town doctor and his sister Caroline is chief among the local gossips. But it is only after the murder of Roger Ackroyd that either of them discovers that the foreign gentleman who recently retired to the cottage next door is none other than the famous detective, Hercule Poirot. Although Inspector Raglan is confident that this is a simple case, Flora Ackroyd, the victim’s niece, thinks Poirot has a better chance of uncovering the truth. So with Dr. Sheppard standing in for Captain Hastings, Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement.
First line: Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September–a Thursday.
I would recommend this book to: Anyone who is a fan of Agatha Christie. Anyone who knows nothing about this novel.
Would I read it again: Probably. At the very least I’d read it again for the verbal sparring between Caroline & Dr. Sheppard–quite amusing!
My personal rating: 3 out of 5