The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot Series)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073563
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 13,310
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

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, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England

Education:

Home schooling

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."

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

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.”

Customer Reviews

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 224 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Njkinny More than 1 year ago
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..
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Great plot and character development. This one kept me guessing until the very end - an ending I didn't expect. One of Christie's best. Well edited.
Bretton More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DAIHIEU TRAN More than 1 year ago
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!
Veronica Oliver More than 1 year ago
Great book.That's why this version is so insulting,they chopped out the drawing the author intended.
Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
A story told from a first person point of view is not a new concept. All the characters are clearly presented and clues to the murderer are there to the discerning eye. The murderer is revealed in the end but not the way one expects. Loved the story better than the film adaptation and that was wonderful!
Anonymous 8 months ago
As good as a mystery gets.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Agatha Christie at her very best!
vanedow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a reason they call Agatha Christie the Grand Dame of Mystery. This story is a great example of her work. In a quiet country village, a woman dies - is it suicide? Next, a wealthy widower is stabbed to death in his study. Suspects and motives abound, but the police just can't seem to sort the matter out. Enter the great detective, Hercule Poirot. I am a big fan of Christie's Poirot novels. The character of the detective is just so funny, his appearance so unexpected, that you can't help be surprised right along with his audience when he takes the random facts you never bothered to notice and turns them into a solution to the mystery. This is a classic murder mystery in its pure form. There are no side romances or steamy sex scenes. There is no impending doom to keep you in suspense. What you will find in this book is a great whodunnit, as you try to figure it all out. I did not see the ending coming until just a few pages from the last. Christie's shrewd understanding of character reminds me a bit of Jane Austen. Even as you can't help but be amused and annoyed with Mrs. Bennet, the extraneous characters in the Murder of RA will keep you well entertained.I liked this book a lot and would recommend it to all of you out there who love mysteries for the mystery, and who enjoy thinking you might be a good detective.
FrenchHornFroggy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best Christie ever....I actually figured out the ending...
FHFroggy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best Christie ever....I actually figured out the ending...
ptaylor12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best mysteries ever written.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Agatha Christie is known as the queen of mystery writers and let me tell you this book really reinforces that notion. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd starts off with Roger Ackroyd's murder which has closely followed the suicide of a woman that Ackroyd was believed to be engaged to. There is a question of blackmail tied into the murders and before too long retired Hercule Poirot is asked to investigate. This book is different as it is narrated by the doctor of the town, James. He works alongside Poirot in a quest to find the true murderer and unravel the mystery.I love Agatha Christie's work and have a personal goal to read all of her books. This book didn't disappoint and the ending blew me out of the water. I don't know why I ever expected less. She really is the queen of the mystery genre IMO. I really enjoy her books for the atmosphere that she creates along with the mystery. These are just fun books for me to read and I can never figure out whodunnit. Great read and I recommend!
amylouiseP on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I do love Agatha. How does she think up her puzzles!
mceachernd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This mystery was kind of boring after reading the Orient Express. Although I enjoyed trying to figure out who did it. I suggest that you don't read this book right after The Muder on the Orient Express.
DirtPriest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually bought this book for my friend's birthday and he both enjoyed it and hated it so much that he more or less begged me into reading it right in the middle of the Dragonlance Chronicles. He had reason for doing so. As a Holmes enthusiast, I tried a few of Christie's books years ago and I didn't enjoy them nearly as much as the classic Holmes stories way back then. I am very glad I read one again on recommendation (mystery stories are generally far from my reading list). This book was very enjoyable, well paced and, as expected, filled with delightful twists and a great ending. At least, I liked the end-my friend was very shocked and disappointed for reasons that would spoil the solution to the crime if I went into details. The main story is about a rich businessman who is found dead in his study, and each member of the household has some suspicion on them towards the murder. By chance, a retired Hercule Poirot happens to be the new neighbor and eventually is invited in to help the police solve the crime. Blah, blah. My only complaint was that there seemed to be a lot of characters for a short work, but hey, it wasn't particularly complicated or overdone. This was a very well thought out, witty and extremely enjoyable short read and I shall read many more Poirot stories and the other Agatha Christie sleuths' tales in the future. By the way, there are many reviews of this book on its little info page and they explain the story better than I do.
craso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roger Ackroyd has been murdered. Fortunately, the famous Belgium detective Hercule Poirot has retired to grow vegetable marrows in the small town where the murder has taken place. He is pulled into the case by Flora, the fiancee of the number one suspect, the dead mans adopted son Ralph Paton; who is no where to be found. Poirot uses his little gray cells to discover the killer and it is a total revelation.I had never read a Hercule Poirot mystery before, although I had seen David Suchet play Poirot on PBS. I heard his voice throughout the story. Agatha Christie is easy to read and I enjoyed following along as the great detective unraveled the mystery. Everyone has commented on the twist ending and I have to say it is great. I wish I could say more but I don't want to ruin the surprise.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Originally published in 1926, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has stood the test of time. With plenty of red herrings scattered about, we join Hercule Poirot has he applies his ¿little grey cells¿ to the case. The victim, Roger Ackroyd, was found stabbed to death in his study, and of course, there are plenty of suspects for Poirot to interview and consider.The story is told from the view point of the village doctor, he, along with his nosy sister, Caroline, assist Poirot, even though most of the time they have no inking of how this case will be solved. But, of course, solve it he does, in his usual pompous yet delightful way. The twist at the end was a huge surprise for me and I loved it.The book¿s jacket tells us that this is the novel that made Agatha Christie a house-hold name and launched her career as a perennial bestseller. If that is the case, then I applaud The Murder of Roger Ackroyd indeed.A very enjoyable mystery.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can see how the people who first read this early Christie effort thought it unfair. The device used is very clever, but does not afford the reader the same access to clues that Poirot has. Not that many of us have ever unraveled a Christie mystery before her pet detectives.This one moved along quite well with humor and wit and just a touch of sarcasm. I liked Dr. Sheppard as a narrator and/or chronicler. Watson to Poirot¿s Holmes. His portrayal of his sister, Caroline, was especially vindictive. Village life means close contact which, indeed, breeds contempt.Christie characterizes her victim just enough so that we feel empathy, but not too much. We know he was a stingy man despite being so fabulously wealthy. Through Poirot¿s interviews with the suspects, their characters come to light as well, not all of them pleasant either. There is a love interest or two thrown in, but it¿s not dwelt upon too much. That would bog down the story, which moves at a pretty good pace. I seem to always think of Christie¿s mysteries as slow moving affairs with too much focus on every tiny detail of the landscape. So far, this impression hasn¿t held with the few Christies I¿ve read as an adult.Britain in the 1920s was represented fairly well although I didn¿t get a full dose of that atmosphere as I would in an American novel of the same era. Not much slang or talk about technology apart from the dictaphone (not capitalized in the book, but MS Word wants to capitalize it for me now), which was a very large and bulky affair, what being new and all. The ending is somewhat loose for this author and showed Poirot¿s compassion and sensitivity to the rest of the citizens. We¿re left to wonder a bit what happens, but not so much that the novel feels unfinished. I kept hearing David Suchet in my head every time Poirot spoke and often pictured parts of the movie (Ackroyd¿s house was especially memorable ¿ an art deco gem), and although I couldn¿t specifically remember whodunit, the ending wasn¿t a total shock.