Title: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd | Author: Agatha Christie
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Dr. James Sheppard and his sister Caroline have a new neighbor. A Belgian. Or is he French? No one can seem to remember. A strange, funny man with the most ridiculous mustaches. And is he growing vegetable marrows? Enter Hercule Poirot. If Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime, then she has created Hercule Poirot to be the King of it.
Although supposedly in retirement, when tragedy strikes the village of King’s Abbot in the form of murder, the police couldn’t have asked for a better accomplice than Hercule Poirot. Through Dr. Sheppard’s eyes, you follow Poirot and see all that he sees down to the last minute detail. And believe me, those minute details are key. You go through the interviewing of the servants and household members, the viewing of the house and grounds, the pondering over the clues, the becoming completely confused, (okay, that was Dr. Sheppard and me. Poirot is never confused.) and then, the end. And the end, I must say, is possibly the most splendid ending to a mystery I have ever read.
Once you’ve read as many Agatha Christie novels as I have (probably far more than I should), you cease to be quite as astounded as you once were by the surprise endings she’s so famous for. And Then There Were None and Murder is Easy are the two books of hers that stood out to me through the years as unbeatable. The others are wonderful (or else I wouldn’t have read as many as I have), but they blend together after book number fifteen or so, and only the truly extraordinary find their way into recognition and remembrance.
That’s the mindset I went into with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I thought it would be a fun, engaging book, as hers always are, but not as unique the first time I read one of her mysteries.
Yes. I admit I thought I couldn’t be that surprised again. I admit I thought I knew Christie’s methods. I admit I thought she couldn’t fool me with those red herrings once more. And I freely admit that I was marvelously one hundred percent wrong. The ending is fantastic. Perfectly brilliant, perfectly satisfying, and perfectly wonderful.
Even if you’ve read dozens of Christie’s, or if you’ve never read one at all, this is one worth remembering.
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. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life by drug overdose.
But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death.
A few mild obscenities, mentions an illegitimate child and several mentions of drinking and drugs.