Ten Missing Minutes to Disavow the Passing of Hours: A Psychological, Analytic Rereading of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Alistair Rolls


This article reviews and applies a number of analytical theories in order to perform a close reading of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. While the approach is not strictly Bayardian, the article reviews Pierre Bayard's re-solution of Christie’s article, notably by critiquing Bayard’s use of intertextuality. While no new murderer is assigned in this reading, the taboo of incest is raised as a new focus of the novel. Most importantly, the proof of the Sheppards’ incestuous relationship is constructed on a period of time that is elliptically erased from the text. This period of erased time is shown to be considerably longer than the ten missing minutes on which James Sheppard’s guilt famously hinges in Poirot’s solution.


analytic detective fiction, Pierre Bayard, Agatha Christie, incest

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Copyright (c) 2018 Alistair Rolls