I’ve been reading one Agatha Christie book each month since the beginning of the year. I’m reading them in order of publication for the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. It’s been loads of fun. Each month I seem to say that this one is my favorite. Well, not this month. I know, this is suppossed to be one of Agatha Christie’s best. Not to me.
But as we already know, wherever you find Mr. Poirot, there is sure to be a murder. First there is a suicide in King’s Abbott of a Mrs. Ferrars. Her husband died suspiciously last year and everyone thinks she killed him. A day later we have the murder of Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy landowner who was going to marry Mrs. Ferrars. He was killed in his locked study. How did the killer get in and out? Later a third person, the butler, is murdered. It’s definitely enough to pull Herccule’s little gray cells away from his vegetables.
Mr. Poirot has plenty of suspects. There is Roger Ackroyd’s stepson, his brother’s widow and niece, Mr. Askroyd’s secretary, the parlourmaid and so on. All with opportunity and a motive. A perfect cast of characters for a cozy mystery.
My opinion: This Agatha Christie novel was still an enjoyable read. They all are. It just won’t go on my list of favorites. The main reason: The ending seemed too contrived. It didn’t feel right. The murderer didn’t even seem like a murderer. If there were clues, I didn’t catch them. Most “experts” say this is her best book and set the standard for the genre. The ending is supposed to be an act of genius on Christie’s part. There was a great deal of uproar and controversy when this was first published. I see why and I know which side I would have been on back in 1926.
Just because I was disappointed don’t let that keep you from reading this book. Books are so personal. What one person likes, another may not. I certainly won’t stop reading Agatha Christie. Oh, no. I’m not going to worry about this one disappointment. After all, I have 72 more to read.
DID YOU KNOW . . .
The character of Dr. Sheppard’s sister, Caroline, was the inspiration for Miss Marple. In her autobiography she said, “She [Caroline] had been my favorite character in the book – an acidulated spinster, full of curiosity, knowing everything, hearing everything: the complete detective service in the home.”
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You can buy The Murder of Roger Ackroyd at Amazon