Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926 (Hercule Poirot #3) by Agatha Christie


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Harper, Agatha Christie Signature Edition, 2002. Format: Paperback. First published in Great Britain by Collins 1926. ISBN 13: 978 0 00 714134 0. 368 pages 

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I have read up again The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as part of my challenge to read the complete series of Poirot novels in chronological order.

Sometime ago, in 2010, I summarised the plot as follows: In the small English village of King’s Abbot a wealthy widow, Mrs. Ferrars has died victim of an overdose of veronal.  Mrs. Ferrars’ husband died just over a year ago of acute gastritis, helped on by habitual overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. During her mourning period she was secretly engaged to Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy manufacturer. Soon after her death Roger Akroyd is found stabbed to death. Are these three deaths related ? Fortunately a new and mysterious neighbour is in town, a short man with an egg-shaped head, partially covered with suspiciously black hair, two immense moustaches and a pair of watchful eyes. Hercules Poirot has retired from work and has moved to King’s Abbot to grow vegetable marrows. The novel is narrated by Dr. Sheppard the doctor of King’s Abbot. Dr. Sheppard plays Captain Hastings role as Poirot’s assistant. Hastings is now living in Argentina with his wife. The book ends with a then-unprecedented plot twist. Its innovative ending had a significant impact on the genre (Wikipedia).

Still today there’s some controversy around whether The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  observes the rules of fair play. These rules were set to provide the reader a reasonable chance of figuring out who committed the crime before being discovered. And once I read it again, I have very little doubt that readers have all the evidence to be able to discover the identity of the murderer, before it is known. In fact, all the clues are there so that everyone can see them. And I reiterate here what I previously said, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a wonderful and very ingenious story that no crime fiction aficionado should miss. One of Agatha Christie masterpieces.

My rating:A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  has been reviewed at Mysteries in Paradise, A Woman of Mystery, A Penguin a week, Joyfully Retired, The crime segments, and Murder, she read among others.

Harper Collins Publishers publicity page

The Offcial Agatha Christie Website 

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Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd voted best crime novel ever

El asesinato de Roger Ackroyd de Agatha Christie

He vuelto a leer El asesinato de Roger Ackroyd como parte de mi reto por leer la serie completa de las novelas de Poirot, por orden cronológico.

Hace algún tiempo, en el 2010, hice un resumen de la trama de la siguiente manera: En el pequeño pueblo inglés de King’s Abbot una rica viuda, la señora Ferrars ha muerto víctima de una sobredosis de veronal. El marido de la señora Ferrars murió hace poco más de un año de una gastritis aguda, ayudado por excesos habituales de bebidas alcohólicas. Durante su período de duelo se comprometió en secreto con Roger Ackroyd, un acaudalado industial. Poco después de su muerte, Roger Akroyd aparece muerto a puñaladas. Están estas tres muertes relacionadas entre si? Afortunadamente un nuevo y misterioso vecino está en el pueblo, un hombre bajo con una cabeza en forma de huevo, parcialmente cubierta por un sospechoso pelo negro, dos inmensos bigotes y un par de atentos ojos. Hércules Poirot ha dejado de trabajar y se ha trasladado a King’s Abbot a cultivar calabacines. La novela está narrada por el Dr. Sheppard el médico de King’s Abbot . El Dr. Sheppard desempeña el papel de capitán Hastings como asistente de Poirot. Hastings ahora está viviendo en Argentina con su esposa. El libro termina con lo que en su tiempo fue considerado un giro sin precedentes en la trama. Su innovador final tuvo un impacto importante en el género (Wikipedia).

Todavía hoy existe cierta controversia en torno a si El asesinato de Roger Ackroyd se ajusta a las reglas del juego limpio. Estas normas se establecieron para proporcionar al lector una posibilidad razonable de averiguar quién cometió el crimen antes de ser descubierto. Y una vez que lo he vuelto a leer, tengo muy pocas dudas de que los lectores tienen todas las pruebas para poder descubrir la identidad del asesino, antes de que ésta sea conocida. De hecho, todas las pistas están ahí para que todos puedan verlas. Y reitero aquí lo que he dicho anteriormente, El asesinato de Roger Ackroyd es una historia maravillosa y muy ingeniosa que ningún aficionado a la novela policíaca debería perderse. Una de las obras maestras de Agatha Christie.

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

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14 thoughts on “Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926 (Hercule Poirot #3) by Agatha Christie

  1. I’m less keen on this than many others – it is a great trick, absolutely, and I envy anyone coming to it the first time. Personally though, because I can never remember much else about it except the big twist, there are plenty of other Christie books from the pre-war era that I prefer and remember much more, such as THE ABC MURDERS and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.

    1. Sergio I fully agree with you regarding ATTWN, probably Christie’s best in my humble opinion. I don’t have such a great memory of The ABC, but will wait until I reread it again for my personal challenge and maybe I change my views.

  2. You make me want to re-read this one! When I first read it, I was quite taken aback by the solution, but I was not aware of the controversy about whether it was fair play or not. Now I want to give it another look. 🙂

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