Hercule Poirot, Book # 4
William Morrow Paperbacks
December 7, 2020 December 11, 2020
Voted by the British Crime Writers’ Association as the "Best Crime Novel of all Time"
Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in one of Agatha Christie’s ten favorite novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
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 an apparent drug overdose.
However the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot.
About the book
First book I read dedicated to Poirot in which there is no Hastings . The narrator is a country doctor (from a village called King’s Abbot) who is first called to the scene of an apparent suicide and then, a few days later , gets a rather strange phona call. This doctor, Sheppard has a peculiar neighbour and a very gossipy sister who believes the neighbour is a retired hairdresser. In reality it is Poirot who has retired to the country after a lifetime of investigating.
Poirot is called into question when the richest man in the country (Roger Ackroyd) is murdered after reading a letter about a blackmail against a woman known to him and who committed suicide a few days earlier. In addition, the doctor. right before discovering the body, receives a phone call announcing the death of Ackroyd.
What I think
I liked the case. I’m sorry Hastings isn’t in it as I got used to the particular duo, but I understand the reason for his absence. The style is typical of Agatha, Poirot’s ideas, sometimes bizarre, are explained very well unlike how it happens in the short stories and therefore the book of 200 pages are more my kind of books.
I have to say that at the time of the killer’s reveal, I said “no, I’m giving one star” but then, reading the last few pages, I completely changed my mind and I think this is my favorite so far. And the 5 stars attest to it. Agatha was really good here at sidetracking and in my version there is the comment of Leonardo Sciascia (who is a well-known Italian writer I studied very well in high school because I had a professor obsessed with Sciascia’s neorealism), a comment that makes the book more pleasant. I think his explanations on the mystery reader are really true (explanations that I won’t say here otherwise you can understand the ending of the book) and thanks to his comment I understood what an extraordinary mind Christie was.