February tends to be a challenging month in the world of teaching. Christmas break is but a distant memory for both you and your students, and spring break is not yet a light at the end of the winter tunnel. You’re tired and lacking motivation; they’ve gotten comfortable enough with you to have tuned out the sound of your voice.
To help bring me out of the doldrums of the school year, I chose The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie as my February 2016 reading resolution book. If a classic whodunit couldn’t wake me up and get me going again, what could?
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was my father-in-law John’s choice for me to read this year. He is a connoisseur of the mystery/detective genre, and my enjoyment of Agatha Christie novels is entirely due to him. Before I married into the Pierce family, I had little interest in detective stories. John’s enthusiasm for them, however, soon had me reading Death on the Nile and The Body in the Library. I happily gave them both 4 stars on Goodreads.
So it came as no surprise that John’s choice for my reading resolution this year would be a Christie. He selected The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in particular because he enjoyed the twist in it, and he thought that I would, too.
One of the reasons I find Agatha Christie so fun is because of the utter British-ness of her characters and choice of settings. Roger Ackroyd takes place in King’s Abbot, a small village in rural England with a leading family (the Ackroyds) and their assortment of busybody spinster neighbors, eccentric family members, and questionably loyal servants. Apart from the murder and intrigue, it’s like I’m reading Barbara Pym or Jane Austen.
Roger Ackroyd indeed surprises its readers with a twist that I fully admit I did not see coming. Hercule Poirot is the detective for this tale, and the clues he finds and the mysterious hints he gives still left me in the dark. But that’s where the fun lies – in the not knowing and in the subsequent reveal. I was more than entertained for the whole of this novel, and I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.