Review Tuesday: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

I have never read an Agatha Christie novel. Mysteries aren’t usually my genre. And I will admit that mysteries are something that I don’t usually read because I am a huge chicken. A scaredy-pants. A ‘fraidy cat. However, this was a book club pick. And I was reassured that it wasn’t scary. And it wasn’t. But it was rather enjoyable.

agatha christieFrom Goodreads:

Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much.

He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her ― and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug
overdose.

Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he’d finished reading it ― stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study…

I would never have picked up this book (or any Agatha Christie I will say) if it wasn’t for my book club. But that is the joy of book clubs – you read things that maybe you wouldn’t normally read.

I found the first 50 pages of this book a little slow. It was esssentially set up. You were meeting the different characters, figuring out the main situation that would lead to the murder, and trying to put all of the information you were given in its proper place. But since I knew that Roger Ackroyd was going to be murdered (as does anyone who reads the title of the book) I started getting impatient because I just wanted everything to get moving.

The cast of characters are an interesting bunch. They are from different walks of life, and, you learn as the story goes, all have something that they’re hiding. One of the things that I found annoying as the story went on was how the women were portrayed. I recognize that the book is set in a different time, and women were treated differently, but I was expecting that since the author was a woman she would give her female characters more intelligence. Instead, they are annoying gossips, frivolous spenders and/or completely ignorant of the world in which they live. I was rather disappointed in them.

My only complaint about this book is that there are so many different truths and half-truths and untruths that it’s hard to keep all of the clues straight. You didn’t really have a chance in hell in figuring out who the murderer was unless you wrote your own notes. But, since I’m not used to reading this genre perhaps that is the norm?

The ending. Oh my, the ending. I didn’t see it coming. The murderer wasn’t even on my short list of suspects. Doug and I were talking about it and he told me that an Agatha Christie novel that he had read (a different one) had this incredible plot twist within the last 10 pages of the book and because of that plot twist there was simply no way to ever guess the murderer. He didn’t like it, and hasn’t read another Agatha Christie novel. For me, I’m unsure if this is what happened in this book. Because yes there definitely is a plot twist, and you receive some very important information near the end of the story, but at the same time the person who ended up being the murderer hadn’t even made it onto my list of suspects because I trusted him. You’re suppose to. So, I loved the plot twist, but I’m unsure if I feel cheated by it. As soon as I learned who the murder was, I put the book down and said out loud, “WHAT?!”

Is this something that Agatha Christie does in a lot of her novels? Is this something that a lot of mystery authors do in their novels currently? Is it a thing?

I don’t think I’m going to go looking for another Agatha Christie to read, overall it was an interesting read.

 

 

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