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The Act of Roger Murgatroyd by Gilbert Adair

The Act of Roger Murgatroyd

by Gilbert Adair

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is supposed to be a send up of Golden Age detective fiction, and I suppose it is, but I have to say I agree with the previous reviewer and think it more enjoyable because it is a whodunnit, rather than because of all the 'send up' going on over ones head.
You develop a fondness for the characters, and I second guessed myself a few times over 'whodidit' so worth a read if you like that sort of thing.
  Elisheba | Mar 8, 2011 |
Here's another book I thought I'd like but couldn't get going with. I picked it up at the library to read over Christmas - it's an Agatha Christie pastiche sort of a thing, set in a snowed in manor on Boxing Day. I gave it 50 pages to grab me before I took it back to the library on a snowy February weekend. It delivered on about page 45 and turned into another book I wanted to read to the end without putting it down. It's full of clever word plays and insights into the Christie stereotypes, but mostly I feel like I probably missed a lot of them. I wonder if I'd have been just as happy reading a real Agatha Christie and not worrying about what was going over my head. It was fun alright, but I felt that was mostly because the genre it's taking the mickey out of is fun rather than being fun in its own right.
  nocto | Dec 8, 2010 |
For those of you who know your Agatha Christie, or the Golden Age of British crime, the title of this book will speak volumes. It is, as you would expect, a spoof of the great era of crime writing, and, in part, a homage to Christie's exceptional The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. This book involves a British manor house, an amateur sleuth, the usual range of British upper class (and not-so-upper class) characters, and a locked room mystery.

It is rather amusing stuff, with a great meta-analysis feel as our amateur sleuth, Evadne Mount, is a writer of mystery novels herself, with some gentle fun being had at the expense of the genre. Lots of "oh, but when I wrote cheesy murder mystery title..." comments, and a general disdain of locked room mysteries, which Miss Mount would never write, oh no. Particular mention also has to be made of the map at the front of the book: completely useless and unnecessary, and then one of the characters gets to complain about completely useless and unnecessary maps at the front of murder mystery novels.

And the crime itself was rather good, I didn't guess whodunnit at all. I'd read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd a few years ago, and it was good having it sort-of-fresh in the back of my mind, but not essential to enjoyment of this book, I would think.

I won't rush out for the next Evadne Mount book, but will happily pick it up when I see it at the library. (And how does one pronounce "Evadne"??) ( )
  wookiebender | Jul 19, 2010 |
Flotte Krimischnurre mit Übersetzungsschwächen: DIe Kurzbeschreibung des Verlages ist völlig zutreffend und bedarf somit keiner Wiederholung. Das Buch bietet ein echtes Lesevergnügen und ist mit seinen knapp 300 Seiten auch nicht zu lang, so dass das Verfahren der ironischen, leicht persiflierenden Übererfüllung des Who's dunnit-Musters bis zum Schluss nicht ermüdet. Man muss aber schon ein paar von Agatha Christie's Romanen gelesen haben, Miss Marple (auch in ihrer filmischen Realisierung) und Hercule Poirot und die Grundkonstellationen klassischer britischer Kriminalromane kennen, um seinen Spaß zu haben; die Story allein gibt wahrscheinlich keinen allzu motivierenden Spannungsbogen her.
Das Buch ist auch als Produkt schön ausgestattet. Bedauerlich ist lediglich, dass die Handvoll Stellen, an denen der (Wort-)Witz von einer sprachreflexiven Idee lebt, geradezu stümperhaft übersetzt wurden. Dem im Klappentext eigens als literarischer Übersetzer praktisch auf Augenhöhe mit dem Autor vorgestellten Translator ist an solchen Stellen einfach nichts eingefallen. Man stutzt, weil man merkt, hier müsste eigentlich etwas sein, und erst wenn man sich dann überlegt, wie das wohl im Englischen geheißen hat, kann man die eigentliche Idee nachvollziehen. (Zum Beispiel an einer Stelle, an der "voice" sowohl "Stimme" als auch "aktiv/passiv" im grammatischen Sinne meint und das im Deutschen völig unverstehbar als "Stimme" durchgezogen wird.)So wird man also drei, vier Mal durch handwerkliche Mängel aus dem ansonsten schön formulierten Lesefluss geworfen; aber insgesamt bleibt doch der Eindruck einer angenehmen Lektüre. Keine Schenkelklopfer, aber feiner literarischer Humor!
  r1hard | Nov 22, 2009 |
A clever, witty pastiche of intra-war English cozies. ( )
  TheoClarke | May 29, 2009 |
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Detective and mystery stories. Mystery fiction. Boxing Day circa 1935. A snowed-in manor on the very edge of Dartmoor. A Christmas house-party. And overhead, in the attic, the dead body of Raymond Gentry, gossip columnist and blackmailer, shot through the heart. But the attic door is locked from the inside, its sole window is traversed by thick iron bars and, naturally, there is no sign of a murderer or a murder weapon. Fortunately (though, for the murderer, unfortunately), one of the guests is the formidable Evadne Mount, the bestselling author of countless classic whodunits. In fact, were she not its presiding sleuth, The Act of Roger Murgatroyd is exactly the type of whodunit she herself might have written.… (more)

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