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The Act of Roger Murgatroyd by Gilbert Adair
The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, a play on Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, both pays homage to and parodies the murder mystery at the secluded country manor. On a Boxing Day in the 1930s, an uninvited guest, a gossip columnist with no shortage of enemies, is found murdered in a room locked from the inside and with no other way out evident. A snowstorm prevents the police from arriving, so a nearby retired Inspector agrees to investigate the crime. The other people in the house, including a mystery novelist, have a variety of secrets and motives that will have to be uncovered before the murderer is unmasked. The Act of Roger Murgatroyd has received positive reviews with the London Times saying, "Adair treats the genre with a proper intellectual respect and turns in a good period detective story that also comments on the novel as a form. Quite why he did it, though, is anybody's guess."