Following the mysterious suicide of a local widow, Dr. Sheppard receives a phone call at night informing him that his friend, Roger Ackroyd, has been murdered in his study. Unable to solve the crime on his own, Dr. Sheppard gains the help of Hercule Poirot, an ingenious detective. He unravels rumours of blackmail, a secret wife, and discovers the shocking identity of the murderer.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the definition of the classic Christie mystery. We've got multiple suspects, a limited understanding of the details of the murder, and lots of underlying drama between characters. The stage was set for the perfect, straightforward discovery of the murderer, but that's wasn't the case here at all! Even though I was shocked to discover the truth, it all made total sense. All the clues, all the hints... they lined up beautifully in the end.
I didn't find the plot itself to be that noteworthy. It was solid, and it was believable. That's about all that I can say. But the subtle hints that were automatically deemed "unimportant" in my mind proved to be quite substantial, and the conclusion was totally uncalled for. So, even though there wasn't excitement and action on every page, it all worked together and, in classic Christie style, every detail was necessary. From the untraceable phone call to the chair that wasn't in its place, it all matters.
As I've said before, I really like the way Christie writes. Her Englishness comes across in her descriptions, her characters, and the words she uses. And on that note, I admire the way she can invent characters the way she does. In this type of book, it's essential that each person stands alone and has their distinct way of acting and thinking - Christie is a master at this! Hercule Poirot is likely my favourite literary character of all time. I love his personality (even though he is a tad conceited), and I love the way he goes about his detecting.
In the end, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was a tight, strong mystery novel. I'll admit that it felt dry at times, yet every moment was useful to the story. The way Christie can come up with this complex web of characters and information is mind blowing! It all leads to one shocking, slightly disturbing ending. In my mind, that's the perfect mystery.
Recommendation: If you enjoy mysteries, give this one a try! I guarantee that you won't see the ending coming.