Agatha Christie – The murder of Roger Ackroyd

Although I’ve read a few of her books I’ve never written anything about Agatha Christie before. I took The murder of Roger Ackroyd from the library as a bagatelle, as Hercule Poirot would call it. Something light and entertaining, to take your mind of things. An entertaining mystery it was, to be sure, but unfortunately more form than substance. In proper mystery tradition the thrill in Roger Ackroyd is all the way at the end, when everything gets turned upside down and the unwitting reader finally understands. In the preceding pages the stage is carefully set. Roger Ackroyd dutifully gets murdered, suspects come and go and Poirot can use his little grey cells to his liking. I’m afraid to my jaded 21st century mind there is not enough drive to this story. Admittedly, Christie had me fooled at the end, but got there by progressing nicely from A to B to C. I should have liked her to cut some corners here or there. Then again, perhaps I shouldn’t complain; in its time the book was a trendsetter in crime fiction after all. And I did get my entertainment.

HarperCollins, 2002
Originally published in 1926
368 pages

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