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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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This was my second Agatha Christie book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It starts with you wondering what is going on as it is told in the first person. That person lives with his sister, Caroline, a terrible gossip who is always fishing for information and sticking her nose into other people’s affairs. If you dislike gossips, this book is worth reading for the description of her character alone e.g.:

'...The motto of the mongoose family, so Mr Kipling tells us, is: “Go and find out.” If Caroline ever adopts a crest, I should certainly suggest a mongoose rampant. One might omit the first part of the motto. Caroline can do any amount of finding out by sitting placidly at home…'.

Christie doesn’t let up – Caroline appears throughout the book and the descriptions of her are pithy.

In this book, Poirot is semi-retired. A murder unfolds and there are two oddities – two things that don’t make any sense. One of them is that the murder scene has been slightly changed. “Surely it isn’t important?” says one of the characters to Poirot. Poirot replies: “It is completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting”. For the rest of the book, you are left trying to figure out why it might be important, before Christie’s hallmark ‘grand reveal’ at the end of the book.

I found the mystery intriguing. I also smile at how things have changed since the book was written e.g. ‘It was Friday night, and on Friday night I wind the clocks…’; the arrival of the ‘evening post’; and a number of references to ‘the electric light’ - I find it interesting that back in 1926 when this book was written, they called a ‘light’ an ‘electric light’.

This was listed in the Guardian as one of Christie’s Top 10 books. However I would not read the synopsis on that web page as it hints at something which you don’t want to know (i.e. what the Guardian says is a bit of a spoiler).

I found the book a bit slow at the start but it gets better. Very much recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 March 2007
This is definitely amongst the best Agatha Christie novels I've read, and it feels even better in this lovely 'new' facsimile edition. The novel caused a stir (relatively speaking) at the time because it's written in the first person... and particularly for another reason! Read it to find out. The first person narrative feels odd at first, but the narrator is very believable. This is a well structured and complex plot. A semi-retired Poirot is looked at from a different angle, but he is just as effective and there are some nice set pieces - in particular the beautifully written 'mah jong' scene that's a joy to read. The denoument is satisfying. Highly recommended.
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on 8 November 2008
Agatha Christie's job, as a writer of Detective Novels, was, paradoxically, to hide the criminal - much like a spiv with the card game, Hide the Lady. Even though the punter aims to find the card - and makes wild guesses (based, of course, on superior talents) the side-show spiv will win every time - maybe it's just a trick, a slight of hand, but we come back again and again in the vain hope of putting one over on the expert.

Not much hope, I'm afraid!

`The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' has to be Ms Christie's ultimate deception - it certainly had me fooled right `til the end. No matter where I looked, the Lady was hidden.

Up pop all the usual suspects - and with a Christie you know if someone is accused, it isn't them. One by one she knocks out everyone - and I do mean everyone! Surely she hasn't had a total stranger do the murder?

No, the wrist works it's magic: Poirot, shows you the superiority of his little gray cells and you loose again.

And I can't tell you the secret - I won't spoil the thrill.

What I will say is it is beautifully done.

Agatha Christie manages here to exploit the genre `Detective Novel' in a way which relies on the reader's knowledge of all the usual tricks, of lulling them into a false sense of security and then flipping them onto their backs. It is a book to be read rather than a story to be told - and despite the amazing craftsmanship of Granada television's version with David SuchetPoirot - Agatha Christie's Poirot - The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd [1989], it fails precisely because this is not only a story but an exploration of the relationship between reader and writer.

Poirot has gone into retirement - Hastings is away in Argentina, Scotland Yard is not involved. A local rich man is the victim of murder (the only one, incidentally in the story - the TV version needed to double the number, bring Inspector Japp in where he wasn't wanted and simplify the plot by removing a couple of key characters). There is blackmail and love, lost wedding rings and phone calls in the night.

Poirot, after throwing marrows around, one of which lands in his neighbour's garden and smashes open at the feet of the doctor, is brought in on the sidelines - he hardly features in fact. There is a chair out of place, a man arrested in Liverpool, and the delicate feelings of the local constabulary all to be taken into consideration.

And a lot of consideration is being done by a local tribe of Miss Marples. Nosey old women pop up in profusion - and references to the greatest detective of all times can't be avoided: The story is retold by the Doctor whose shoes were splattered - a Watson to Poirot's Holmes.

As you would expect, it is the twist and turns of the plot that matter rather than deep characterisation, but to suggest the book is shallow as a result would be to deny the profound insight Ms Christie shows into the psychology of her readership.

The term masterpiece has been justifiably applied to the book - and I fully concur.

Just make sure you read the book before you see the film!
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I think I first read this book about forty years ago but as I had forgotten most of it I decided to read it again. It is often regarded as one of Christie's best books. It is certainly well written and the plotting as ever with this author is masterly. The clues are there for anyone to solve the crime for themselves and I picked up most of them but failed to put the correct interpretation on them.

Roger Ackroyd is murdered in a locked room. Almost anyone could have done it and plenty seem to have a motive for doing so. Hercule Poirot is living in retirement but feels he wants to involve himself and his 'little grey cells' in the case. The story is narrated by Dr Shepherd, who is Poirot's next door neighbour.

I did enjoy reading this book though Miss Marple is probably my favourite Christie Sleuth. If you haven't read any of Christie's novels then this could be a good one to start with as it is my opinion a much better book that the first Hercule Poirot - The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
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on 1 September 2002
You have to read this book twice- first time as a mystery, second time knowing who the murderer was and spotting all the clues that make the answer seem so obvious... (once you know who it is, you wonder how you could have been so deceived!) A really engaging story with a delicious twist at the end! This book is worth more than 5 stars!
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on 21 August 2013
I decided it was time for me to open up one of my all-time favourite Agatha Christie books for a re-read. I've now lost count of the number of times I have read this book but I still enjoy it enormously.

This is a Hercule Poirot murder mystery and in the story he of the "little grey cells" is in retirement (as if!) attempting to tend to veg marrows when the death of a neighbour, a wealthy widow, occurs. Of course Poirot investigates. The narrator of the story is another neighbour, Dr James Sheppard; he steps into the role of sidekick to Poirot in the absence of Captain Hastings. The murder of Roger Ackroyd follows hard on the heels of the first death. The Ackroyd home is stuffed full of suspects including family, friends and staff. Nicely paced and cleverly plotted, the story contains classic Christie touches such as more than one character having something to hide and wrong doers relying on split second timings. The book is famed for the wonderful twist at the end, which still divides readers, and even though I know what is coming I still marvel at the ingenuity and can cast my mind back to the out-and-out surprise of the first time I read it.

An inspired and standout 5* mystery.
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on 10 December 2000
Agatha Christie really exercises her ability to write ingenious crime fiction in this story. Featuring the well-known and lovable Hercule Poirot, we follow his attempts to retire peacefully in a country village setting, and see them blown away when a murderer strikes. As usual, Christie deceives the reader in a most satisfactory way, which is perhaps the most I should say about it. Immensely enjoyable, and the reader should find him or herself reading it over and over again to spot the clues that were missed the first time around.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2016
This review is not about the story (which is a classic), it's about the quality of the Facsimile edition. I ordered this along with Lord Edgeware Dies, sadly both books suffer from bad printing and misalignment on the dust jacket. If it was just the one book I'd take it as a one off, but two different books and it looks a lot like Q and A has taken a massive decline. I have been collecting these Facsimile editions since they were first on sale, the quality was very good back then. I'll be returning both these books, and would urge a warning, see if they are available in a shop where you can see them first before buying.
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on 17 March 2016
This book was written with the usual formula except that Hastings has been replaced by the local doctor as Poirot's sidekick. The suspects are introduced to us, the clues presented and we are left to work out the identity of the guilty party. In this instance I did consider that person as the perpetrator but rejected them, and I also picked up on another important clue which I can't mention without giving the game away! This is definitely a good crime novel and if you enjoy Agatha Christie books you will like this one as it is one of the best I've read so far. However, if you are looking for a can't put down thriller then Agatha Christie probably isn't for you.
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VINE VOICEon 2 June 2014
I picked this up because I heard that in 2013 the Crime Writers' Association voted this book as the best crime novel ever written. So, if a book has been written by the queen of crime fiction and then voted as the best crime novel ever by the Crime Writers' Association there is not much to be gained by me giving it a 5 star review - ca va sans dire - as M. Poirrot himself might say.

This novel has all the ingredients which we associate with early 20th Century crime novels. A murder in a country house with a large cast of characters. Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a motive Everyone has something to hide. The cunning Belgian detective investigates each suspect meticulously in turn. He doesn't quite eliminate them, but instead keeps all the balls in the air until the last few pages, keeping the reader guessing till the last. We finish off with the much-copied classic scene - M. Poirrot drawing all the possible suspects together in a single room with the lines we all want to read at the end of a novel like this "I know the murderer is in this room now".

Crime Fiction doesn't get more classic than this. Even though the novel is now almost 90 years old it still reads as fresh as though it was written yesterday. There is nothing out of place and nothing dated about the writing. Perhaps most refreshingly, even though there are wealthy people and servants, there is none of the shocking upstairs/downstairs class prejudice which is seen in other fiction from early 20th Century.
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