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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #3)
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Archive - Group Reads > The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie - 5/22 thru 6/4

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message 1: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (last edited Jun 05, 2018 07:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem  | 1339 comments Mod
Hello fellow Crime, Mystery, and Thriller readers! This discussion is about The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie and your hostess is Paula.
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Please note that our discussion can be about any and all aspects of the book: The theme, plot, story structure, characters, settings, etc. It is likely the discussion will contacts spoilers from the start. If you have not finished the book, be careful not to read the posts of others until the end.

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Summary

In the village of King's Abbot, a widow's sudden suicide sparks rumors that she murdered her first husband, was being blackmailed, and was carrying on a secret affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening, Ackroyd is murdered in his locked study--but not before receiving a letter identifying the widow's blackmailer. King's Abbot is crawling with suspects, including a nervous butler, Ackroyd's wayward stepson, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, who has taken up residence in the victim's home. It's now up to the famous detective Hercule Poirot, who has retired to King's Abbot to garden, to solve the case of who killed Roger Ackroyd--a task in which he is aided by the village doctor and narrator, James Sheppard, and by Sheppard's ingenious sister, Caroline.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the book that made Agatha Christie a household name and launched her career as a perennial bestseller. Originally published in 1926, it is a landmark in the mystery genre. It was in the vanguard of a new class of popular detective fiction that ushered in the modern era of mystery novels.


message 2: by Paula (last edited May 23, 2018 05:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paula Hi, everybody! Looking forward to having a lively discussion about this wonderful book.
Did you know this?
An Agatha Christie novel from the golden age of English crime fiction has been voted the best whodunit novel ever written, according to a poll of 600 fellow writers.

The survey, of members of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of professional novelists, concluded that Christie’s 1926 mystery The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the finest example of the genre ever penned.
Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...

Do you agree?


Cheryl Mallon Webb (cherylannwebb) | 1 comments I love that book and agree with those authors. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the supreme classic. The characters are fun and the story keeps you guessing to the end. Hmm...I think I'll, have to reread it again!


Paula Cheryl wrote: "I love that book and agree with those authors. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the supreme classic. The characters are fun and the story keeps you guessing to the end. Hmm...I think I'll, have to re..."

Yes,this is a good opportunity to reread,and "re enjoy"!


Paula The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot: The Famed Writer’s Relationship with Her Famed Detective
Hercule Poirot made his debut appearance in Agatha Christie’s first ever detective story, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, written during World War 1 (but unpublished until 1920). Afterward, Poirot appeared in over 30 novels and 50 stories, and became one of the most renowned and beloved characters in the detective genre.

Poirot is famous for his unique physical stature and characteristic grandiosity. However, his past and personal life remain vague in all of his literary appearances – much like Christie herself, who was an intensely reserved woman who guarded her private life fiercely. He is classless, unlike so many “gentlemen” amateur detectives of the inter-war years, and also sexless, with no hints that he ever married or showed an interest in a romantic relationship. Despite this absence of traditional characterization, he is an adored figure, remembered in many cases with as much intensity and fondness as Christie herself.

But what did Agatha Christie herself think of her most famous detective? In a long-lost essay written in the 1930s titled “Why I Got Fed Up With Poirot”, Christie admits that, despite Poirot’s success, she actually felt much less fondness for the character than her readers did. “My own Hercule Poirot is often somewhat of an embarrassment to me – not in himself, but in the calling of his life. Would anyone go and ‘consult’ him? One feels not,” she admits in the essay, finding fault with the artificiality of the “private investigator” trope that she used within the detective genre. Additionally, an article in the British newpaper Telegraph published in 2006 cites Christie as having once referred to Poirot as a “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep”.


Agatha Christie was in London during the Blitz of World War II, when the Nazis sieged London with constant bombings. Fearing for her life, she wrote two stories that killed off each of her most famous detectives – Poirot and Miss Marple. She included a provision in her will that the stories be published if she were to die in the war. Since she survived, however, the stories remained unpublished and Poirot remained a fixture in her writing for three decades.

Christie’s frustration with Poirot was clearly overridden by his success – she understood that he was one of her most popular characters, and thus responsible for so much of her own success as a fiction writer. As much as she may have liked to “kill off” her “detestable” little creep, she remained loyal to him until the end of her career. In 1975, with her own health failing, she finally published Curtain, the novel she wrote during World War II, which killed off Poirot. Months later, in 1976, Christie herself died.

Public reaction to both Poirot’s and Christie’s death was despairing. Hercule Poirot was the first ever fictional character to get a front page obituary in the New York Times. On August 6, 1975, a headline ran announcing, “Poirot is Dead; Famed Belgian Detective; Hercule Poirot, the Detective, Dies”. Whatever satisfaction Christie may have gotten from killing off the detective she had come to dislike was likely muted by the numerous ways Poirot lived on in the years since their respective deaths. The many film and television adaptations of Poirot, as well as the continuing success of Christie’s Poirot Mysteries, proves that unlike Christie herself, the world still feels great affection for the little Belgian detective.

In the final paragraph of her “Why I Got Fed Up With Poirot” essay, Christie writes: “I would give one piece of advice to young detective writers: be very careful what central character you create – you may have him with you for a very long time!” Of course, had Christie followed her own advice and never created Hercule Poirot, the world would have missed out on one of its most treasured literary characters.


message 7: by Carole (new)

Carole Marples | 1 comments love that post about Hercule. very informative, Paula


message 8: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 30 comments Make sure everyone uses their spoiler tags, as this is one mystery that can really ruin it for others.

On a Hercule Poirot note, I have just heard some idiot has cast John Malkovich in the role. (Just hope they make a better moustache decision this time.)


Paula Carole wrote: "love that post about Hercule. very informative, Paula"

Thanks!


Paula Kirsten wrote: "Make sure everyone uses their spoiler tags, as this is one mystery that can really ruin it for others.

Exactly...

On a Hercule Poirot note, I have just heard some idiot has cast John Malkovich in the role. ..."


What do you say we choose our candidate for him?


message 11: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 30 comments To me, David Suchet is the best. Though, Toby Jones might be good.


Paula Kirsten wrote: "To me, David Suchet is the best. Though, Toby Jones might be good."
I vote for Suchet too!
Who for Roger?


message 13: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem  | 1339 comments Mod
I started reading this morning and apparently my digital copy has a glaring error in it. I've downloaded it three separate times from three difference sources but it's all the same version which makes me believe that version has an issue vs. my file. I've ordered the book from the library, but I probably won't get it until late next week, so I'm behind on this one. I'll catch up when I can.


message 14: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 30 comments ⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "I started reading this morning and apparently my digital copy has a glaring error in it. I've downloaded it three separate times from three difference sources but it's all the same version which ma..."

How very frustrating!!


message 15: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem  | 1339 comments Mod
Kirsten wrote: "⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "I started reading this morning and apparently my digital copy has a glaring error in it. I've downloaded it three separate times from three difference sources but it's all the same ..."
Exactly, but what are you going to do? If I receive a copy from the library late in the week I hope I can get it read next weekend.


message 16: by Paula (last edited May 27, 2018 11:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paula Kirsten wrote: "⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "I started reading this morning and apparently my digital copy has a glaring error in it. I've downloaded it three separate times from three difference sources but it's all the same ..."

Annoying...


Paula Ragnar Jónasson is the Icelandic author of the Dark Iceland crime series set in the northernmost town in Iceland, Siglufjordur. Snowblind (Orenda Books) is the first book in the Dark Iceland series.

What was the first book to make an impression on you?

I started reading Agatha Christie novels at a young age, around 11, and I think that the brilliance of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd had a great impact on me. I’ve been a fan of detective and crime novels ever since and subsequently started translating and writing crime fiction.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo...


PattyMacDotComma | 404 comments I've just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see why Christie may have been fed up with her little Belgian (how will they make Malkovich look little?), but I figure most of the characters don't interact with him very often, except any police whom he helps, and his idiosyncrasies must be well overshadowed by his skill.

I just reviewed it - no spoilers, I promise! -
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


PattyMacDotComma | 404 comments Incidentally, I borrowed my copy from the Open Library, which is free. Some scans of old books are a bit dodgy (like Gutenberg), but you can usually figure out the odd page numbers that pop up in the middle of sentences and some weird words.

Just search by author or title and for e-books, if like me, you're a long way away from whatever physical copies they might have.

https://openlibrary.org/


message 20: by Paula (last edited May 31, 2018 03:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paula PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see why Christie may have been fed up with her little Belgian (how will they make Malkovich look little?), but I figure most of the characters..."

Great review,Patty!
Thanks for the OpenLibrary reminder;I had trouble locating my copy,and didn´t think of checking.


message 21: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem  | 1339 comments Mod
I picked up my book from the library today... will begin reading this afternoon, I hope to finish within a few days and be able to participate in the discussion soon.


PattyMacDotComma | 404 comments Paula wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see why Christie may have been fed up with her little Belgian (how will they make Malkovich look little?), but I figu..."

Oh good! Glad it helped.


message 23: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem  | 1339 comments Mod
Well, I didn't see *that* coming! I was completely surprised at the end. Great book!


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