Setting Sir Conan Doyle apart, I should say, ‘The Queen of Mystery’, Agatha Christie, has offered some of the best novels in detective fiction. I have read many books of the Poirot series and I have always had to marvel at the unprecedented climax that each one of her books has.
I must say, the Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of her best masterpieces. Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective, who almost never had a failure in his record, puts his ‘little grey cells’ into perfect use and pulls off a flawless feat in finding out the murderer.
What starts with the apparent suicide of Mrs Ferrars, the lady who was thought to have started an intimate relationship with the wealthy owner of Fernly Park – Mr Ackroyd, after the death by poisoning of her husband, slowly darkens into a crime case following the murder of Mr Ackroyd. James Sheppard, Mr Ackroyd’s doctor, gets to know in a private meeting with him that someone had been blackmailing Mrs Ferrars, resulting in her suicide. Mr Ackroyd, being rather reluctant to read Mrs Ferrars’ suicide note (revealing the blackmailer’s identity) in the presence of Dr. Sheppard, chooses to read it at a later time. Before he can do so, however, he is found stabbed by a ornate, studded dagger from his own collection.
The immediate suspicion falls on Ralph Paton, Ackroyd’s motherless stepson, because he is in a spot of trouble for money and also makes a mysterious disappearance from the village. Flora Ackroyd, Mr. Ackroyd’s niece, is rather distraught at Ralph being suspected and approaches Hercule Poirot (who, incidentally, has been residing in the village) for help. Poirot takes up the case and Dr. Sheppard volunteers to write out the case’s progress, like Captain Hastings used to. The murderer could be any one of the servants, residents or visitors at Fernly. A series of investigations by Poirot paired with some ingenious psychological inferences finally unveils the murderer’s identity – something that will surely leave you gaping open-mouthed.
This book, I can assure you, will undoubtedly be a gripping read, and if you are a huge fan of detective fiction, Christie will surely not let you down.
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