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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Joint blog: The Most Surprising Poirot

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (Hercule Poirot, #39) - Agatha Christie

As I previously said, Obsidian Blue & I are going to be doing some joint posts about our experience with the Poirot project. We've selected some subjects to write about, & you should be seeing the posts for the next week or so.


 Today's topic: The Most Surprising Poirot.





Moonlight Reader's opinion: 


I really vacillated between the Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which was Obsidian's selection, and Curtain, which I just finished. I've settled on Curtain.


I'll start with the runner up - like Obsidian, I was gobsmacked by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd the first time I read it. It is one of the few Poirot mysteries that was written in first person. Most of the first person Poirot novels are narrated by Hastings (who can be rather a dim bulb) - this one was not, being narrated by Poirot's new neighbor, Dr. Sheppard, who comes off as quite sharp and likeable. 


But I picked Curtain, because it has two huge surprises: the resolution of the murders and the ultimate fate of Hercule Poirot himself. I think the fact that Christie wrote it at the height of her writing powers and then held onto it for several years until she was ready to publish it has much to do with how successful it was for me. It was economically written, with good clues embedded into the story. I also feel like it was a really brave book for her to have written, and humanized Poirot for me tremendously - more than any other book had been able to do.




Obsidian Blue's opinion


Most surprising Poirot novel for me will always be hands down "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd".

Without giving too much away, the entire story is narrated by Dr James Sheppard who assists Poirot in his investigation of who murdered Roger Ackroyd. We find out that Poirot is newly retired and is going to grow vegetable marrows. Roger Ackroyd was a friend to Poirot so he has a personal stake in finding the murderer and bringing them to justice.

To me, next to "Murder on the Orient Express", this is classic Poirot.

Poirot is at the top of his game in this book. We also get a great cast of characters and a classic locked room murder mystery. I think at one point I had looked at the room's diagram at least 50 times in my version trying to figure out how the murder was committed.

I thought the writing was top notch and you really have to pay attention in order for you to get to who killed Roger Ackroyd and why. I was stumped from beginning to end. Once I got to the ending I actually went back and read the book again with the new information that was provided to me and smiled throughout.

The setting of the village of King's Abbot reminded me a bit of Miss Marple's St. Mary's Mead with a lot of colorful people running around.

Even though this is not the first Poirot book in the Hercule Poirot series I always recommend that people read this one first just so they can see the brilliance of Christie.




If you have an opinion about the most surprising Poirot, let us know in the comments! We'd love to hear from you!


Blue has the next topic - the most boring Poirot. Look for it on her blog tomorrow!