20 April, 2012

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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Plot Synopsis: The book is set in the fictional village of King's Abbott in England. It is narrated by Dr. James Sheppard, who becomes Poirot's assistant (a role filled by Captain Hastings in several other Poirot novels). The story begins with the death of Mrs. Ferrars, a wealthy widow who is rumoured to have murdered her husband. Her death is initially believed to be an accident until Roger Ackroyd, a widower who had been expected to marry Mrs. Ferrars, reveals that she admitted to killing her husband and then committed suicide. Shortly after this he is found murdered. The suspects include Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, Roger's neurotic hypochondriac sister-in-law who has accumulated personal debts through extravagant spending; her daughter Flora; Major Blunt, a big-game hunter; Geoffrey Raymond, Ackroyd's personal secretary; Ralph Paton, Ackroyd's stepson and another person with heavy debts; Parker, a snooping butler; and Ursula Bourne, a parlourmaid with an uncertain history who resigned her post the afternoon of the murder. The initial suspect is Ralph, who is engaged to Flora and stands to inherit his stepfather's fortune. Several critical pieces of evidence seem to point to Ralph. Poirot, who has just moved to the town, begins to investigate at Flora's behest.
~~Synopsis from Wikipedia~~


People who know me, knows me as an avid reader who always has her nose stuck to a book. They know me as a person who reads anything that is within reach – hardcovers/paperbacks/pdfs/ePubs… But what most people do not know is that I got hooked to reading because of Agatha Christie. The first book that I ever read (besides fairy tales and school reads) was one of Ms.Marple stories. One read and I wanted more. And even after some 15years, she remains my favourite, not only for introducing me to the world of books but also for each of her works. So when I was asked by a fellow blogger to review an Agatha Christie novel, it was a split seconds decision to do it, and also which book to write about.

“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” is a Poirot mystery novel. Poirot moves into a new town with the intent of spending his retirement in peace and growing vegetables. However, he soon finds himself involved in the case of Roger Ackroyd’s murder with Dr.James Sheppard as his assistant. This particular story is narrated by Dr.Sheppard and as such is different from the very onset. Being set in a small country village, the plot reveals the lives of the people who are well aware of the scandals in each others lives as their main form of entertainment is gossiping. Overall, there are three deaths that take place to cause disruption in the lives of the people in the village. First, Mrs.Ferrars, followed by Roger Ackroyd and lastly Roger Ackroyd’s butler. The suspects include a small circle of people. First, there is Ralph,Flora’s fiancée. Then, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, Roger's sister-in-law; Major Blunt, a big-game hunter; Geoffrey Raymond, Ackroyd's personal secretary; Ralph Paton, Ackroyd's stepson and Ursula Bourne, the parlourmaid.

Like any other Crime fan, I like to play the detective myself while reading such stories. This case was no exception. Only, I ended up falling for each “red herring” and suspecting a different person in each chapter and never the actual murderer. However, the highlight of the story is a very well placed clue placed at the beginning of the story and the last chapter of this novel is a masterpiece.

Though not her best, this is my favourite Agatha Christie novel and is a must read for any crime/thriller/mystery fan.



Trivia
Christie revealed in her autobiography that the basic idea and twist in the novel was first given to her by her brother-in-law, James Watts of Abney Hall. In March 1924, Christie also received a letter from Lord Mountbatten, who was impressed by her previous works and write to her with an idea and notes for a story. Mountbatten’s basic premise echoed Watt’s suggestion – Christie acknowledged the letter and began writing the book to her own plotline.


4 comments:

  1. This is one of my most favourite Christie Mystry. Personally, I feel it as her best. When I read it I was quite excited about the outcome, not only because it was well crafted, but also because I guessed it right! Your review made me revisit that excitement. Thanks!

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  2. This book is on my to-read list! I heard that it's one of the best works of Agatha Christie.

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  3. This is actually one of the few Christie books I have read and yes I fell for the red herring

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  4. My brother's sister gave me this for my birthday last year and I couldn't make time to read it.
    I'm glad I'm not the only person who changes her mind about the characters which each chapter. And I've never been good at guessing the murderers :(
    I'll try to make time to read this one

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