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Mrs. McGinty's Dead Paperback – Aug 1 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (Aug. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007121008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007121007
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

'So simple, so economical, so completely baffling. Every clue scrupulously given, with superb sleight of hand.' Sunday Times 'The plot is perfect and the characters are wonderful.' San Francisco Chronicle 'The best Poirot since such pre-war classics as Cards on the Table.' New York Times

From the Back Cover

Mrs. McGinty died from a brutal blow to the back of her head. Suspicion falls immediately on her shifty lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes reveal traces of the victim’s blood and hair. Yet something is amiss: Bentley just doesn’t seem like a murderer.

Could the answer lie in an article clipped from a newspaper two days before the death? With a desperate killer still free, Hercule Poirot will have to stay alive long enough to find out. . . .

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First Sentence: Mrs. Ferras died on the night of the 16-th-17th September—a Thursday.

When Mrs. Ferras has commits suicide, it is speculated as being due to her guilt over poisoning her first husband. There are also rumors she was being blackmailed and that she had a secret liaison with Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy resident. His friend, Dr. Sheppard, receives a mysterious call telling him Ackroyd has been murdered, and murdered he was. Can Sheppard’s new neighbor identify the killer?

It’s always wonderful to start with a cast of characters. Those of us readers who are getting slightly older do appreciate it.

The introduction of Poirot is delightfully done. He reminds our narrator of a friend not yet on the scene. He also assumes Poirot to be a hairdresser, judging by the moustache. One cannot help but love Christie’s descriptions of people—“I am sorry to say I detest Mrs. Ackroyd. She is all chains and teeth and bones.” We are missing Colonel Hastings in this book, so our narrator is Doctor James Sheppard, one of the village residents and a main character.

Even with the initial cast of characters, Christie takes just eh right approach to introducing each characters as they enter the story. It is also fun that although we meet Poirot fairly in the story, he doesn’t truly become a focus of the story until later. One cannot help but smile at—“That, too, is my watchword. Method, order, and the little gray cells.”—and that we learn his eyes are green.

It is refreshing to have an inspector isn’t completely set on one suspect, but still can’t ignore the evidence leading a particular direction—“I’m trying to judge the thing fair and square….I’m not wanting him to be the guilty one—but it’s bad whichever way you look at it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot has been enjoying his retirement. His main concern of each day is planning the menu for his next meal - it is a pity that one can only truly enjoy three meals a day! His old friend Inspector Spence asks him to look into a case for him. Mrs. McGinty, a charwoman in a small village was brutally murdered. Spence has already caught the murderer, (the woman's lodger) a jury has found him guilty and the date for the execution has been set. The only problem is that the good inspector has doubts.
Poirot agrees to look into the matter and sets off for the village of Broadhinny, where the crime took place. He takes up residence in the only available lodging in town, a very disorganized bed and breakfast, suffering dreadfully from the terrible accomodations and worse meals and begins working on the case. While there Poirot mets an old friend, Ariadne Oliver, famous mystery novelist who was in Broadhinny working on a stage adaption of her work. In the end of course, Poirot solves the crime and sees that justice is served.
The mystery here is a recurring theme of Christie's, an old crime that has resurfaced years later and requiring many old secrets to be revealed. The only problem with this particular novel is that it is quite complicated with many characters and their stories that tend to become a bit difficult to keep straight. On the plus side we are treated to yet another visit with Ariadne Oliver, always a delight. We are also introduced to the Summerhayes family, a wonderfully disorganized group that really diserve their own book.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm sure that I read "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd," by Agatha Christie, decades ago, but I'd more or less forgotten the plot when I picked it up again at the beginning of February. This is from 1926 and is one of the early Hercule Poirot tales, in which our Belgian sleuth has retired to a small village, King's Abbot, to grow marrows. His quiet retirement is interrupted by the sudden murder of the wealthy local man, Roger Ackroyd, and he has no shortage of suspects in his quest to solve the case. In fact, there may be too many motives for him to be able to sort it all out....Agatha Christie is, of course, considered the Queen of Crime and this book is the one that truly cemented her popularity among readers; as such, it is of course a classic. The plotting is tight, the characters are well-drawn (if a bit stereotypical for the period) and the clues (or "clews" as they're called here) are fairly disbursed. I'm pleased that I figured out - or remembered - who the murderer was, but really one reads Christie for comfort more than to test one's deductive abilities. Recommended, especially on a cold winter's night!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first reached for the book I didn't expect it to be a controversial read. Six hours later, I was agape, in denial and most certainly scandalized. Without giving away the plot, suffice to say that Dame Agatha had written her ultimate masterpiece when she decided to write "...Roger Ackroyd".
For first-time readers: Don't be fooled by the length of the novel. The clues are there, sprinkled neatly and merrily along with the darned red herrings. You have to read it slowly, as it was with most of her novels.
The story: a doctor was called by Roger Ackroyd to discuss an important matter, but before he could divulge it further he was interuppted by the evening post. The matter was left there, and the doctor went home, seeing his host a bit disturbed. When he got home another call came in and announced that Mr Ackroyd was dead. Thus Poirot came into the scene and began nosing around. The solution was truly one of the most surprising in literature history.
The novel became the measuring rod for future mystery and detective novels, although its controversy is undeniable. My suggestion is that you ignore the controversy for the moment and concentrate on the story.
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