Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #4
Published by HarperAudio on July 3, 2012 (first published June 1926)
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 54 mins
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Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected, also, that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is definitely one of Agatha Christie’s best, but it was a reread for me, so I knew who the killer was. And the whodunnit is what makes this such a great mystery.
Hercule Poirot has “retired” to the peaceful village of King’s Abbot, keeping his former career as a detective a secret, but of course someone – Roger Ackroyd – is killed. Ackroyd was actually a friend of Poirot, one of the few who knew his work, and the niece, Flora, asks Poirot to investigate. Poirot doesn’t have his Hastings here, so the part of narrator/sidekick is covered by Dr. Sheppard, Poirot’s neighbor and the one who discovered the body.
Poirot is his usual silly, brilliant self. I like that we meet him before he takes the case and I love that they assume he used to be a hairdresser. “Look at that moustache of his.”
The mystery is well-plotted with plenty of suspects and red herrings. I enjoyed paying attention to the clues that Christie leaves us that point to the actual. There are actually quite a few, but they are so easy to overlook. If I hadn’t known, the ending would have totally surprised me. It’s hard to talk too much about the book without giving away any of the surprises.
I thought the narrator did an excellent job of not getting in the way of the story, not giving anything away with his voice.
On a side note, I’ve read/listened to several books lately with notable narrators (the characters, not the person reading the story). This one is definitely in that category.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: