The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #4)The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will ascend that I had been spoiled by a review before I read the book. It probably robbed me of some of the suspense, however I'd like to think I was able to better assess the quality of the story. Despite that I knew the ending, I did find the journey fascinating. There is no doubt that this was a brilliant murder mystery; the plot twisted so many times, it's dizzying. The characters were developed and memorably charming. My only qualms were that it was difficult to really get into the story due to lack of imagery in the writing. If you are looking for a good mystery with an outstanding plot, this is with out a doubt a perfect story to read.
"Understand this, I mean to arrive at the truth.  The truth however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to the seeker after it." -Hercule Poirot
Musings & Facts:
  • It's interesting how all the little clues come together when you figure out the end result.  Especially in this mystery, almost everything was a clue.  Although all the clues were there, the answer was still elusive.  That's what I think makes a great mystery; the answer is stuck to your forehead.
  • About Agatha: She was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in the UK on 15 September 1890.  She worked as a nurse during WWI.  She married her husband, Archibald Christie, on Christmas Eve 1914.  Six publishers rejected her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  However, she was not discouraged and almost five years after writing the book, it was published by Jone Lane in 1920.  She divorced her husband in 1928 after finding out he was having an affair.  She then remarried to Max Mallowan, in 1930 whom she shared 46 years of marriage which ended with her death.  Agatha Christie wrote 66 mystery novels, short stories, plays, and under the pen name, Mary Westmacott, 6 romance novels.
  • I loved the character of Hercule Poirot and Caroline Sheppard.  They both had very distinguisable characters.
  • The story is written in first person from the point of view of Dr. James Sheppard.  However most of the story is dialog between the characters and some in between action.  It didn't include much imagery like I said in the review above.  I've read that a writer should balance the amount of dialog in their writing.  Too much or too little could be bad, but I think it depends on the subject your writing about.  If you're writing from first person you can get away with less dialog since you are in the head of a character, they can kind of dialog with themselves.  Too much dialog can get a bit boring and sidetracked if the write isn't careful.  Of course that goes back to the rule that every sentence must have a purpose pertaining to its story, dialog or not.  The dialog in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was well done and every bit of it was crucial to the development of the plot. but there was just not much in-between all the talking.  However.... no no no, I don't want to spoil anything if you decide to read the book.
Next Book Review: The Postman by David Brin
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Have you read this book? If so what do you think?  What do you think makes a good mystery?  Do you think that too much dialog is bad?  Feel free to reply here or on twitter @MandyCalvin .  Comments are appreciated.


1 comment:

Misha Gerrick said...

I still have to read an Agatha Christie book, but this one seems to be a good start. :-)