I’ve finally read my first Agatha Christie book! What on earth was I waiting for?
“Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U.N. Owen.”
“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . one by one they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”
Who among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
How do I even begin to review a book like And Then There Were None? It’s a classic mystery, considered one of Christie’s best, for a reason. Having never read her books before, I was excited to see whether the build-up would pay off. Trust me, it did.
I was totally charmed by the clever plotting, the tricky twists, the seeds of doubt that accompanied every apparent clue. The drama of this book is so carefully constructed that even though I looked closely for the tip-off to the solution, I never found it.
The introduction in my edition is an excerpt from Agatha Christie’s autobiography, explaining the challenge of pulling off what she accomplishes in this book:
I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had an epilogue in order to explain it. It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been.
I really enjoyed And Then There Were None, and I’m glad I chose it as an introduction to Agatha Christie. It’s a very quick read, almost begging to be finished in a day’s worth of binge-reading.
I’m looking forward to reading more of Christie’s books, and I’d love recommendations on any favorites!
Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication date: 1939
Length: 300 pages