Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

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In the village of King’s Abbot, a widow’s sudden suicide sparks rumors that she murdered her first husband, was being blackmailed, and was carrying on a secret affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening, Ackroyd is murdered in his locked study–but not before receiving a letter identifying the widow’s blackmailer. King’s Abbot is crawling with suspects, including a nervous butler, Ackroyd’s wayward stepson, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, who has taken up residence in the victim’s home. It’s now up to the famous detective Hercule Poirot, who has retired to King’s Abbot to garden, to solve the case of who killed Roger Ackroyd–a task in which he is aided by the village doctor and narrator, James Sheppard, and by Sheppard’s ingenious sister, Caroline.

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After loving my first Christie novel And Then There Were None, there was no doubt that I would be reading more of her works – I especially wanted to get acquainted with her Poirot books. However, I just couldn’t make myself give a break between the reads and immediately decided to pick this up because it came with some amazing recommendations from my dear friends. And wow were they not wrong.

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The author’s writing skills are even more at display here. The beginning gives us such small town gossipy feels that we get into a false sense of security… and once the murder occurs, we are thrust into the lives of all those who are associated with Roger Ackroyd and might gain something by his death. Told through the perspective of the town’s doctor, the story makes us piece together the timeline, and then makes us question the sequence of events all over again. Poirot is a fascinating personality and his nature of keeping the cards close to his chest, only revealing them little by little at opportune times was lots of fun to read. He is also not exactly condescending, but is definitely not above some humble bragging about his superior investigative process. I have come to realize that the author loves her big reveals and that’s exactly what we get here too. I was never going to guess the murderer anyway, and the highly dramatic way Poirot reveals the truth both shocked and completely delighted me. Once the murderer is revealed, it all seems obvious but the author never gives us easy clues throughout the story, and that’s what I guess makes her such a popular author.

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Another book that I can’t sing enough praises about, this is a very interesting story that gets its hooks into you pretty quickly and you just can’t put down until you know the truth. Definitely a must read and I highly recommend to all mystery lovers (like me who are new to discovering the joy of Agatha Christie). I also know that I’m going to read many more books in this series this year, because there’s no way I can resist. And catch up on the TV show right alongside them.

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