Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 235
Date Published: originally published in 1926. I read a 2001 reprint.
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Source: Paperback Swap 
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Back of the book blurb:
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death...

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is officially my first Agatha Christie mystery, and it will definitely not be my last! I've really been enjoying the Classics Circuit this year, which has given me that little push to read some authors I have always meant to read but never got around to (my last Classics Circuit participation was for Georgette Heyer). Between May 17 and June 11 the Classics Circuit is focusing on The Golden Age of Detective Fiction and bloggers will be reviewing detective novels from the 1920s and 1930s. I chose one of Agatha Christie's more famous novels for the circuit.

I went into this novel knowing that it was a bit controversial because of a twist at the end. So as I was reading, I kept in mind that I should try to expect the unexpected. By doing that, I think I probably missed out on some of the suspense caused by the twist (I developed a correct hunch about the murderer even if I didn't understand how or why he did it). Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. There were so many possible suspects with so many possible motives that it was hard to zero in on what really happened. But detective Hercule Poirot put it all together like it was nothing.

It took me a couple of chapters to understand exactly what was going on at first--the first-person narration threw me off a little, and then I was confused because I didn't immediately grasp who the narrator was (the town doctor). When I figured out that the narrator wasn't Poirot, I kept wondering when he would enter the story. I thought the narration of the story was interesting--from the point of view of someone working as a kind of assistant to Poirot. The point-of-view is important to the mystery, but I don't want to say any more than that for those who haven't yet read this fabulous mystery.

I am now thoroughly enamored with detective Hercule Poirot and am very much looking forward to reading another of his mysteries. I can't believe it took me this long to read one of Agatha Christie's mysteries. I think this one might be a candidate for a re-read at some point in the future.

There are a lot more really great authors and novels from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction being reviewed in May and June. Go check out the Tour Schedule to check them out!

Reading Challenges: Twenty Ten Challenge, Thriller and Suspense Challenge, Awesome Author Challenge, Typically British Reading Challenge.


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