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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

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Author: Agatha Christie / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      06.02.2009 11:46
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      Good to read.

      Published in 1926 "The Murder of Roger Acroyd" has long been considered to be Christie's masterpiece, taking the reader through a narrative that captivates and surprises throughout. Poirot is brought out of retirement (his wish to grow vegetable marrows being a nod towards Holmes' desire to keep bees) when a prominent man in the village, Roger Acroyd, is murdered. Roger Acroyd was stabbed after he took possession of a letter written to him by a woman named Mrs Ferrars, who committed suicide earlier that day and who Acroyd was in love with. Assisted by Poirot's neighbour, a doctor who was friends with Acroyd and who was called to confirm death when the body was discovered the detective swiftly finds himself embroiled in a case that has so many intricacies it will not be a simple one to unravel.

      In many ways the Doctor, James Sheppard, takes the place of Hastings, working with Poirot to investigate the murder and also narrating the story as well. Hastings emigrated to the Argentine a couple of years earlier, at the end of "Murder on the Links" and thus we can assume that Poirot welcomes the new compnionship and assistance of Dr Sheppard throughout this new case. Personality wise Sheppard and Hastings are very different, the Doctor does not appear to have the imagination of Poirot's old friend, for example. Nevertheless he appears eager to assist and to make his own suggestions on the occurrences.

      The character of Dr Sheppard's sister, Caroline, seems very much to be a prototype of Miss Marple, who was not to make her first appearance for about four years, though St Mary Mead was mentioned in "The Mystery of the Blue Train" published in 1929. Inquisitive, aware of much of the characteristics and actions of the other villagers, Caroline is both shrewd and kindhearted, outspoken but with no maliciousness attached to her. The protype has been significantly softened by the time Marple was to make an appearance, but the seeds have been planted in Caroline Sheppard . Her knowledge not only of events, but also her insight in people's personalities enables her to also aid Poirot and her attachment to her brother is clearly evident.

      Throughout the case it is apparent that Acroyd has been murdered because of something he knows, that he constituted a threat to his killer and that the reasons for the murder might be held within the letter he received from Mrs Ferrars. However, that presumption can not be held to be the only one, for other people have motives as well and, as the plot gathers momentum the case begins to present with more and more complications. As with "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" Poirot seems deternined to fix his suspicions upon one particular character, but whether this is a double bluff on Christie's part and Poirot is right remains to be seen.

      Whilst this is one of Christie's best pieces of writings, in many ways it does not appear that much different from several of her other stories and it is really only a couple of twists that elevates it to being more original. There are parallels, for example, with "Murder on the Links" in which a man is stabbed and the son is accused.

      With an ending that stands a strong chance of astonishing the reader and which ensures a second reading of the story allows fo a whole different interpretation, this is one of Christie's novels which fully deserves its pedestal. It is not my personal favourite, yet it is one which I would highly recommend, showing Poirot as astute, as methodical and as capable of shifting through the extranenous layers to discover the truth as ever.

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      13.08.2008 14:42
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      A must read whodunnit...

      I must confess that i am a die hard fan of Agatha Christie ..i have read most of her novels many times over...keep reading them again and again knowing fully well who the culprit is, i enjoy her style of writing, the descriptions about the English village life, the gossip everything...


      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

      AGATHA CHRISTIE((15 September 1890 - 12 January 1976)

      Agatha Christie was born in Torquay(Devon).Having lost her father at a young age, her mother encouraged her to develop an interest in writing.She was encouraged to write short stories by her neighbor Eden Philpotts, upon whose advise and help, she successfully published a book of short stories, which proved to be the start of her hugely successful writing career...

      She married Archibald Christie , and later during World War II, worked in a Red cross hospital, which gave her the knowledge about various chemicals and poisons , that proved helpful in her writing...

      Agatha Christie wrote her first detective novel,"THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES"and introduced HERCULE POIROT the Belgian detective, who appeared in more than 40 books. The last of which was CURTAIN (1975) where Hercule poirot dies.... Later the Christies bought a house and named it 'STYLES after her first novel....

      However the marriage ended in a divorce and Agatha Christie later married the archaeologist Max Mallowan. She had met him on her travels in Near East and accompanied him on his excavations of sites in Syria and Iraq....

      Later Agatha Christie used these exotic settings in her novels MURDER IN MESOPOTAMIA ,DEATH ON THE NILE and THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD...

      Agatha Christie ,Of her marriage to the archaeologist told reporters: "An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her."...She was 12 years older than him...

      Agatha Christie has been called , by the Guinness Book of World Records, among others , The Best-Selling writer of all times and the Best-Selling writer of any kind, along with William Shakespeare....

      Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976, at age 85, from natural causes, at Wallingford in Oxfordshire...

      THE BOOK

      CAST OF CHARACTERS

      Hercule Poirot.
      The Ackroyds: Mrs. Cecil, Flora and Roger...
      Ursula Bourne(maid), Major Hector Blunt, Colonel Carter
      Mrs. Ferrars, Mrs. Richard Folliott, Miss Ganett, Mr. Hammond
      Charles Kent, Parker, Captain Ralph Paton, Inspector Denis Raglan, Geoffrey Raymond, Miss Russell
      Dr. James and Caroline Sheppard...

      I have felt that 'THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD' published in 1926, is easily one of the best books Agatha Christie has ever written...It is one the most famous of her books and had created quite a controversy at the time it was published..

      "Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend,"..writes Agatha in one of her books...

      This is a vintage Hercule Poirot mystery...
      The story begins with the murder of a wealthy widow MRS FERRARS in a small English village..There is the usual amount of suspicion and dreadful gossip...There are rumours that she had murdered her first husband,and that she was being blackmailed , also that her secret lover was ROGER ACKROYD..Everybody in the village noticed that the two got on rather very well together...

      The verdict of death being Suicide by an overdose of veronal...the gossip mills are working overtime...

      ROGER ACKROYD was a man who knew too much, he knew that the woman he loved was being blackmailed....the evening post would let him know who the blackmailer was...But the next evening ROGER ACKROYD, a wealthy widower ,is found murdered in his house, dead before he could read the mail completely.....The two deaths seem connected...

      The story is in the form of a narrative by DOCTOR SHEPPARD , the country physician, a friend of both Mrs Ferrars and Roger Ackroyd..

      There are many suspects , most prominently young MR.RALPH PATON , the adopted son of Roger Ackroyd...Then there is CECIL
      ACKROYD, Roger's widowed sister in law and FLORA, her daughter, who is romantically involved with Ralph....

      Flora and Ralph intended to marry , but now with suspicion turned on him, young Flora asks HERCULE POIROT to help her ..
      Hercule Poirot, retired and living in a nearby village growing marrows, immediately sets to work...
      He begins by sorting through various clues like a chair out of place, a telephone call , and a ring among others...

      It proves a difficult case for Hercule poirot but his precise deductions lead to blackmail, murder, and a surprising conclusion.

      There are some comic interludes ...like when Poirot unexpectedly drops in at Dr Sheppards place at dinner time... ,and the 'The little MAH JONG party at Dr Sheppards'....the conversation keeps you in splits...

      The ending is stunning and totally unexpected..
      I enjoyed reading every page of this book...it is a must read for all thriller lovers..

      All in all this is an ingenious murder mystery. The facts were all there but who would have guessed??

      This is one book where i couldn't help feeling sad at the outcome. Murderer or not, I liked the character very much and felt pretty low when the person was exposed...totally unexpected and shocking

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    • Product Details

      Roger Ackroyd knew the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband, and he also suspected someone was blackmailing her. Now she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. The evening post however brought Roger one vital scrap of information, unfortunately he was stabbed to death before he could finish a letter.