first published in 1926
368 pages (UK Harper Collins edition)
Who killed Roger Ackroyd, who knew too much and had to be silenced? His sister-in-law and her daughter, Flora; his secretary Raymond; his butler Parker and housekeeper Miss Russell; his friend, Major Blunt? Dr. Sheppard faithfully chronicles the events. Oh, and where is his stepson, Captain Paton, the prime suspect? And everyone has something to hide…
But of course no one can hide anything from Hercule Poirot, for it is him who is residing in the town of King’s Abbot incognito, not even correcting the townpeople’s mispronunciation and just answering that no, he is no Frenchman.
Yep, our Hastings is missing here since he relocated to Argentina (with Cinderella, presumably), and Poirot misses him quite a bit sometimes. You see, it’s not at all necessary to read the Poirot books in order* but it’s so much more fun if you do, because then you catch all the little details!
As to the story itself, even though I knew the murderer (thanks to an off-hand remark from my sister before I started the book), I was just as engrossed by the way it unfolded and couldn’t put the book down. For some reason, it did not even have the inevitable dull-middle-part syndrome of a detective story. I found the characters more intriguing than the ones from The Murder on the Links or The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Poirot says he’s “retired” and that this case will probably be his last one, but as there are many more to follow, let’s just say, cheers!
*Some books should be read in order, though. Curtain should be read last. Lord Edgware Dies is to be read before After the Funeral. Five Little Pigs is to be read before Elephants Can Remember. Cat Among the Pigeons is to be read before Hallowe’en Party. Mrs McGinty’s Dead is to be read before Elephants Can Remember and Hallowe’en Party. Three Acts Tragedy is to be read before Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. If you are interested in reading Poirot novels in order, I’m sure this list will be of a great help to you.