The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot Series)

( 172 )

Overview

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death.

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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Overview

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death.

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Editorial Reviews

H. R. F. Keating
“One of the landmarks of detective literature.”
William Dietrich
“Agatha Christie had a mind like a mousetrap and taught me, in novels like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the pleasure of literary surprise.”
H.R.F. Keating
"One of the landmarks of detective literature."
Irish Independent (Ireland)
“A classic—the book has worthily earned its fame.”
Irish Independent (Ireland)
“A classic—the book has worthily earned its fame.”
Gale Research
"The Murder of Roger Ackroyd," wrote a New York Times reviewer, "cannot be too highly praised for its clean-cut construction, its unusually plausible explanation at the end, and its ability to stimulate the analytical faculties of the reader." "The secret [of this novel] is more than usually original and ingenious," a Nation reviewer thought, "and is a device which no other writer could have employed without mishap." William Rose Benet of Saturday Review recommended that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd "should go on the shelf with the books of first rank in its field. The detective story pure and simple has as definite limitations of form as the sonnet in poetry. Within these limitations, with admirable structured art, Miss Christie has genuinely achieved."
Library Journal
These are the initial eight volumes in what will grow to 24 over two years in Black Dog's new "Agatha Christie Collection." The books are all decent-quality hardcovers for a bargain price. If you're regularly replacing your Christies, gives these more durable editions a try. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062073563
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Hercule Poirot Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 69,095
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.26 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

Biography

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Dr. Sheppard at the Breakfast Table

Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September--a Thursday. I was sent for at eight o'clock on the morning of Friday the 17th. There was nothing to be done. She had been dead some hours.

It was just a few minutes after nine when I reached home once more. I opened the front door with my latch-key and purposely delayed a few moments in the hall, hanging up my hat and the light overcoat that I had deemed a wise precaution against the chill of an early autumn morning. To tell the truth, I was considerably upset and worried. I am not going to pretend that at that moment I foresaw the events of the next few weeks. I emphatically did not do so. But my instinct told me that there were stirring times ahead.

From the dining-room on my left there came the rattle of tea-cups and the short, dry cough of my sister Caroline.

"Is that you, James?" she called.

An unnecessary question, since who else could it be? To tell the truth, it was precisely my sister Caroline who was the cause of my few minutes' delay. 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. I don't know how she manages it, but there it is. I suspect that the servants and the tradesmen constitute her Intelligence Corps. When she goes out, it is not to gather information, but to spread it. At that, too, she is amazingly expert.

It was really this last named trait of hers which was causing methese pangs of indecision. Whatever I told Caroline now concerning the demise of Mrs. Ferrars would be common knowledge all over the village within the space of an hour and a half. As a professional man, I naturally aim at discretion. Therefore I have got into the habit of continually withholding all information possible from my sister. She usually finds out just the same, but I have the moral satisfaction of knowing that I am in no way to blame.

Mrs. Ferrars' husband died just over a year ago, and Caroline has constantly asserted, without the least foundation for the assertion, that his wife poisoned him.

She scorns my invariable rejoinder that Mr. Ferrars died of acute gastritis, helped on by habitual over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages. The symptoms of gastritis and arsenical poisoning are not, I agree, unlike, but Caroline bases her accusation on quite different lines.

"You've only got to look at her," I have heard her say.

Mrs. Ferrars, though not in her first youth, was a very attractive woman, and her clothes, though simple, always seemed to fit her very well, but all the same, lots of women buy their clothes in Paris and have not, on that account, necessarily poisoned their husbands.

As I stood hesitating in the hall, with all this passing through my mind, Caroline's voice came again, with a sharper note in it.

"What on earth are you doing out there, James? Why don't you come and get your breakfast?"

"Just coming, my dear," I said hastily. "I've been hanging up my overcoat."

"You could have hung up half a dozen overcoats in this time."

She was quite right. I could have.

I walked into the dining-room, gave Caroline the accustomed peck on the cheek, and sat down to eggs and bacon. The bacon was rather cold.

"You've had an early call," remarked Caroline.

"Yes," I said. "King's Paddock. Mrs. Ferrars."

"I know," said my sister.

"How did you know?"

"Annie told me."

Annie is the house parlormaid. A nice girl, but an inveterate talker.

There was a pause. I continued to eat eggs and bacon. My sister's nose, which is long and thin, quivered a little at the tip, as it always does when she is interested or excited over anything. .

"Well?" she demanded.

"A bad business. Nothing to be done. Must have died in her sleep."

"I know," said my sister again.

This time I was annoyed.

"You can't know," I snapped. "I didn't know myself until I got there, and I haven't mentioned it to a soul yet. If that girl Annie knows, she must be a clairvoyant."

"It wasn't Annie who told me. It was the milkman. He had it from the Ferrars' cook."

As I say, there is no need for Caroline to go out to get information. She sits at home, and it comes to her.

My sister continued:

"What did she die of? Heart failure?"

"Didn't the milkman tell you that?" I inquired sarcastically.

Sarcasm is wasted on Caroline. She takes it seriously and answers accordingly.

"He didn't know," she explained.

After all, Caroline was bound to hear sooner or later. She might as well hear from me.

"She died of an overdose of veronal. She's been taking it lately for sleeplessness. Must have taken too much."

"Nonsense," said Caroline immediately. "She took it on purpose. Don't tell me!"

It is odd how, when you have a secret belief of your own which you do not wish to acknowledge, the voicing of it by someone else will rouse you to a fury of denial. I burst immediately into indignant speech.

"There you go again," I said. "Rushing along without rhyme or reason. Why on earth should Mrs. Ferrars wish to commit suicide? A widow, fairly young still, very well off, good health, and nothing to do but enjoy life. It's absurd."

"Not at all. Even you must have noticed how different she has been looking lately. It's been coming on for the last six months. She's looked positively hag-ridden. And you have just admitted that she hasn't been able to sleep."

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 172 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(108)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 173 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Avid reader

    This was my first real mystery book and I read it only for a school project. I had assumed it would be a real chore to read but I loved it. The beginning was really boring but after awhile I got really into it. When the ending came I had no idea, no idea. I had assumed the killer would be fairly obvious and I had my theory but the conclusion really caught me by surprise. The ending really made the story. And I'd definitely read it again even without the urging of a teacher.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    A case unlike any other, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a myster

    A case unlike any other, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a mystery in the class of mysteries where the concept is so novel that it will shock you and surprise you, leaving you with your mouth hanging open even though decades have passed since its publication! Howsoever, I tried I could not come up with one clear suspect. Agatha Christie expertly shifts her focus of suspicions from one character to another leaving the reader with no clue as to the real murderer. I tried all my "little grey cells" but could not pin point the murderer and when the killer was finally introduced I felt as if I had been punched so hard that no air was left in my lungs! This is one book that can be reread any number of times and it will entertain and shock us each time. An ageless and a gem from a legendary author, I give The Murder of Roger Ackroyda full shining 5 stars out of 5 and very highly recommend that you read this amazing mystery. A must read for everyone and a deserving "must have" for every avid reader. Read the complete review on blog Njkinny's World of Books..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Wow!

    A really good book. I think I could read it again and I still wouldn't be able to figure out the ending! I've never read anything like it. Ever since I read it I've been reading every Agatha Christie book I can get my hands on, and I have yet to be able to guess the ending. It's almost scary all the different ways she can think up to kill someone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    This is the classic Agatha Christie mystery. I've read the entire Christie canon and hold The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as one of her best. The narrator tells the story of Ackroyd's murder and Poirot's investigation. Poirot's surprising final deduction is revealed in a typical English murder mystery fashion. It is indeed a classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Incredible narrative!!!

    I only read three agatha christie narratives and the three of them are amazing. If you did not read the murder of roger ackroyd, you need to read it, though from the three books I read this is the best one. You cannot believe it when you read the conclusion of this book. It is really unexpected. Besides, I love hercule poirot stories. You need to read this spectacular book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Excellent!

    When people say this is the penultimate hercule poirot book they aren't kidding! You will NEVER guess the culprit.(And I'm not telling) so I really recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Its Poirot, so therefore its good

    WHO CARES ABOUT THE OLD PIC BEING REPLACED!? Hercule Poirot is pretty much an AWESOME Belgian detective, the best of fiction. This mystery's ending was so ingeniously suprising and contreversial, that it is Agatha Christie's first and maybe largest masterpiece! Don't complain about the front cover!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    Good read,but don't buy this one

    Great book.That's why this version is so insulting,they chopped out the drawing the author intended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    This was a reread for me so I'm way past some of the controversy that this book sometimes causes. Some critics have said that this book wasn't done in a fair manner, that the solution to the crime comes out of thin air. The first time I read it I have to admit to being taken by surprise as to the identity of the killer, but with each reread I find myself picking up one the clues that Christie left for us to see and that Hercule Poirot explains to the killer as he is recounting how he solved the case.


    Now this book is a little hard for me to review because of how important the identity of the killer is to the overall impression of the book. I can't say too much more without giving more away that would be fair to new readers. I will say that his is one of Christie's best mysteries in my opinion, one that is based on a limited reading so far, and the solution is genius. She pulls the reader into the story and into trusting the killer, not even thinking that this person is even a suspect. It's brilliant and I urge everyone to give this one a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    Ingenious

    The book that made Christie famous. Poirot is at his most amusing, having retired, become bored and been mistaken for a hairdresser. Give the poor man a murder. Even if you're not a Christie addict, this is one you shouldn't miss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    The Quintessential Christie Novel

    Though Christie published numerous brilliant pieces of writing, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is, without a doubt, my favourite (and the first of Christie's books that I read). Not only is the plot mesmerizing and engrossing, the characters and the setting (Britain, 1920's) are utterly charming and insightful. And, as is typical of Agatha Christie, the book is intrinsically satirical. Please, read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    Best of Agatha!!!

    Simply amazing. I could not place it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    ***PLOT SPOILER***








    I was looking for a book where the antagonist was the narator. I finally gave up because I could not find anything and decided to read an Agatha Christie mystery (and all of her mysteries that I have read are super). I randomly chose this book. I was SO surprised that I had found that it was just what I was looking for! It is the weirdest thing that I happened to find probably the only well-written book with the antagonist as the narator by chance on the same day I had given up searching for one...







    ***PLOT SPOILER***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Book is very good read. Different from Masterpiece classic movie

    Book is very good read. Different from Masterpiece classic movie, more intense. Recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Fun to read

    one of her best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Left Me Guessing Until the End

    Agatha Christie has exceeded expectations again! I started the book knowing her ingenius ideas and admiring her as one of the greatest mystery writers of all time, but when I reached the climax, I sat bolt upright and shouted, "WHAT?!" I guessed all through the book, but I was astonished yet again by Christie's flair for surprise endings...and selective truth telling. By turns funny, baffling, and charming, this book is one you won't want to miss, with unforgettable characters and a whodunit that will require all your "little grey cells"!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    One of my favqo One of my favorites

    Classic Christie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Such a great mystery!

    I defy you to solve this one ;-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    Read this!!

    This was an incredible book!!!!!!! It had a surprising ending that you won't find in your regular old, classic, original, non Agatha Christie-ish, murder mystery! ( Meaning, only Agatha Christie could come up with such a brilliant twist!! ) I highly reccomend this phenomnal ( however you spell that! ) book!!!!! Another brilliant book by Agatha Christie is Murder on the Orient Express although you can't go wrong when if come to Agatha Christie cuz they're ALL phenomnal!!!!! Although, i have to admit, if i read a bunch of Agatha Christie books in a row, the stories all blend to gather and the plots all seem the same!!!!! And i also have to admit that i prefer the Hercules Poirot books rather than the Miss Marple and the stand aione ones!!! Let's go Poirot!!! 2, 4, 6, 8, who dowe apprieciate? Poirot, Poirot, POIROT!!!!! ( Sorry. Random chant! ) Well... i'de better sign off now! So i'll say ... GOOD BYE!!!!!!! ADIOS!!!! ( is that how you spell it??? ) Well... bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"" ;)

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Probably one of the most shocking endings I have ever read in my

    Probably one of the most shocking endings I have ever read in my entire life. Till this day when someone asks me for a good mystery novel (as I am an avid reader) I always reccomend this one. I read the Crooked House as well but the ending was ruined by my dad ( who is a great fan of Christie and was the one to tell me about her) therefore it wasnt as enjoyable. I did have to force myself through most of the book, but the ending made it all worthwhile.

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