It’s been a while since we’ve collectively fawned over the genius of Agatha Christie. It’s probably about time to give this great lady some love again.
Last Easter long weekend was glorious. Gloriously sunshiney days saw me sitting in the garden getting a gorgeous red burn. This year I didn’t even have a chance to break out the sunscreen since it was cold and wet and windy.
But come on. Cold, wet and windy? Perfect reading weather. I climbed into a big old recliner, softened from years of cradling readers, burrowed into a nest of blankets and cracked book after book after book.
It was heaven.
And Agatha Christie was the cherry on top.
I finally read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. According to one of the biographies of Agatha Christie, this book was her masterpiece. I do not disagree.
Talking about Christie is tricky because you can’t give away the ending or anyone stumbling on this will have no reason to follow through and read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. But the part that I really want to talk about is the part that I can’t mention.
So let’s see what we can do.
The Murder of Roger Acrkoyd is a Hercule Poirot story, told from the perspective of the village doctor acting as Poirot’s assistant. When the story begins, the doctor has just been at the bedside of Mrs. Ferrars, a wealthy widow who has potentially committed suicide, having been blackmailed for the supposed murder of her husband a year earlier. The next day, the widower Roger Ackroyd, who everyone was expecting to marry Mrs. Ferrars, is found with a knife in his back.
In a small village, everyone is a suspect pretty quickly. As ever, Christie is adept at throwing shade at any of her characters, convincing you that each character was responsible in their turn. When at last Hercule Poirot unmasked the killer I’m pretty sure I squeaked. I was shocked. Delighted but shocked. And then you go back and read certain passages and you’re like how did I not see this?
That is the talent of Agatha Christie. You will have it all figured out five different times until the resolution becomes clear and you will still be caught off guard. She has always been and will always be the best crime fiction writer there ever was.
A delicious way to spend part of any long weekend.