Monday, 9 October 2017

Murder Mysteries: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The first time I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, to be more precise, reached a pivotal point in this murder mystery novel, I couldn't, and this is no exaggeration, believe my eyes. Down with fever that pre-teen December in Ahmedabad, and very much limited to the bed, I was now pretty sure that the fever had gone to my head. How on the earth could it all be true? Then Hercule Poirot took over and disbelief turned to awe.

Anyway, Roger Ackroyd is a resident of King's Abbott village in England, a widower and knows a bit too much. Ackroyd knows who had been blackmailing the recently deceased Mrs. Ferrars, a widow he was to marry. Pretty soon, Ackroyd is found murdered and the suspects are many. Hercule Poirot is at the village incidentally. Quietly, with his customary neatness he unravels the crime in its ingenuity and simplicity. A seemingly simple crime is elevated by its narration, and when the truth comes spurting out, crime fiction is turned upside down. A must read for murder mystery lovers.  
As the legend goes, Agatha Christie wrote her first novel on the catharsis of her sister's statement that she couldn't write a damn good murder mystery. Christie responded with her first The Mysterious Affairs at Styles, finally published in 1920.

Christie averaged a novel a year from then on, and then came the year 1926. Harper Collins loves to print it repeatedly in its foreword for every Christie novel and here are the exact words, among others - ...Agatha Christie wrote her masterpiece. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the first of her books to be published by Collins and marked the beginning of an author-publisher relationship which lasted for 50 years and well over 70 books. In other words, you might safely say in modern terminology, that Collins had their Bloomsbury-Harry Potter moment that year.

(Article by Snehith Kumbla) 

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