Agatha Christie has a lot of great books under her name but this one is one of her best works according to critics. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd tackles a crime that seems ordinary at first but wasn’t what it appeared to be. Keep reading for a short summary and a brief history of the boo and the author!
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Summary
Dr. James Sheppard is the narrator of the novel and introduces himself and talks about a murder that happened in his town. He uses his memoirs to tell the story of what happened. It all started when a wealthy widow named Mrs. Ferrars commits suicide, shocking everyone. Her fiancé Roger Ackroyd is distressed with her suicide.
A dinner is hosted at Mr. Ackroyd’s home in the evening and he is joined by sister-in-law Mrs Cecil Ackroyd and her daughter Flora Major Blunt, Ackroyd’s personal secretary Geoffrey Raymond, and Dr James Sheppard. After the dinner is over, Ackroyd tells Dr. Sheppard that Mrs. Ferrers told him that she was being blackmailed over the murder of her husband. A letter arrives for Ackroyd from the late Mrs. Ferrers and Dr. Sheppard is asked to leave.
Once Dr. Sheppard arrives home, he receives a call that Ackroyd has been found murdered. But when Dr. Sheppard arrives to the scene, the butler says he made no such call. They both check in on Ackroyd in his study and he is dead, stabbed to death with a weapon from his own collection.
Hercule Poirot does not believe that Paton, who Flora is engaged to, is the murderer as the evidence points towards him. That makes Poirot come out of retirement and take on the case. As he tries to solve the case, he discovers many secrets and motives and the one who killed Roger Ackroyd.
Book and Author History
First published in 1926, this novel is regarded as one of Christie’s best novels and also one of her most controversial. With that said, it was voted by the British Crime Writers’ Association as the best crime novel ever in 2013. It is often regarded as her best novel even though it isn’t her best-selling novel. That title goes to And Then There Were None.
Christie is regarded as the queen of mystery and that is no exaggeration. She has written over 60 novels and 14 short stories in her career. The author has been listed as the best-selling mystery author of all time by Guinness World Records with over two billion copies sold.
Her writing career started got off to a slow after getting rejected six times in a row. Her luck turned around in 1920 when her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles featuring detective Hercule Poirot was published. Christie has also made headlines for disappearing for 11 days in 1926 due to her marriage.
Christie enlisted in both World Wars and served in hospital dispensaries where she gained knowledge about poisons which have been featured in many of her books. Her second marriage to archaeologist Max Mallowan in 1930 led to her learning new stuff that was used in in her books.
Agatha Christie is the most translated individual author according to UNESCO. Her novel And Then There Were None is one of the highest selling novels of all time with over a 100 million copies sold. She also has dominated the theater as her stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest initial run.
This was a great read and like any other Christie novel, it was almost impossible to correctly guess the murderer. The twist at the end has made this book popular and has led to a lot of discussion. It is easily one of her top three books and rightfully deserves the crown as the best mystery book of all time! Happy reading!
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