The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is Agatha Christie’s fourth Hercule Poirot book, third novel. It was published in 1926 and it is the third Agatha Christie book I have read. It is actually one of Christie’s most well-known books, particularly because of the twist in the method of telling the story – which, if you have not read the book, do not read about it – but go ahead and read the actual novel. I would tell you – but it would wreck it. So, this review will have to seem a bit ambiguous.
I kept myself innocent of knowledge about the novel and therefore, I was duly surprised and impressed by the famous “twist.” Also, I give it five stars because of the twist and the continuous wit throughout the novel. I really enjoyed the novel. It’s almost a “locked room murder.” Hastings is alluded to, but we learn he has gone off to the Argentine. Taking his place is the narrator of the story, Dr. Sheppard.
Poirot is really well-developed in this novel. Much more so than in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder on the Links. Christie gives a more complete picture of Poirot – and he is slightly less frustrating than in the previous two novels. He is witty, amusing, and solves the mystery with panache. How can you not love Poirot?
This novel has so much wit in it. Dry humor. Sarcastic humor. Amusing characters. I absolutely love the characters of Dr. Sheppard and his sister. Their interactions are wonderful. Also, I really think Christie describes Dr. Sheppard’s sister, Caroline, with such insight and perfection that Christie must have known a person in real life such as Caroline. And don’t we all? After all, one thing that I do like about these characters in this novel is that I feel I know someone like each of them. To include the tedious Mrs. Ackroyd.
One of the many amusing lines, from chapter 14:
“The English people, they have a mania for the fresh air,” declared Poirot. “The big air, it is all very well outside, where it belongs. Why admit it to the house?”
I really chuckled at this because Poirot is such a stubborn and enigmatic character – plus, Christie loves using him to represent stereotypes of the French (Belgian) and English. She’s poking fun at all of us and it is a real hoot.
I recommend this novel for everyone . Sure, even if you are more shrewd than I and figure out the twist long before the ending, I think you will still enjoy the wit and setup in the novel. The characters, for sure, are worthy. If you are like me, and enjoying being surprised by the twists and turns of detective novels, you’ll like this one – it is a classic one that influenced the detective novel henceforth.