Monday, January 17, 2011

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

About the book: 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.

First line: In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in The Times.

My Thoughts: I read this book, first published in 1939, especially for one of my challenges, the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge. It is one I've been wanting to read for awhile as well. This version has the characters going to the more politically correct Soldier Island instead of Indian Island. I was surprised to find this one thing changed while other things that would seem to me to be more offensive were left in. After reading it I think it is a must read for any mystery fan. I found Christie's story compelling as she took me to Soldier Island and through the final hours of ten murderers who had been judged and condemned by a stranger. None of the characters were particularly likable, which is just as well. Christie shifted the viewpoint from character to character where you learn the truth of of what each had done. The roller coaster ride continued as the characters tried desperately to solve the mystery before they all died. I was kept guessing whole time. It was full of mysterious cliches: the thud of a body in the hall, the crash of a fallen tray of glasses etc. It is not a very long book and I read it all in one sitting, fully engaged the whole way.



Rating:

Quote: There was a silence—a comfortable replete silence. Into that silence came The Voice. Without warning, inhuman, penetrating . . . “Ladies and gentlemen! Silence, please! . . . You are charged with the following indictments.”

Links:
Wikipedia
Spark Notes

Agatha Christie


5 comments:

Bev Hankins said...

This is one of my all-time favorite Christie novels...cliches and non-pc elements may abound, but it's such a clever little mystery! Thanks for the review. I've got you up on the tally board.

danya said...

Oh, I've heard great things about this mystery classic but haven't actually read it yet...adult mysteries aren't generally my thing but this might be a great one for my "outside the comfort zone" challenge...thanks for the review!

Teacher/Learner said...

This sounds like a great mystery! I love novels where a group of strangers are brought together by common circumstance. It makes you connect the dots to see their link.

carolsnotebook said...

This is one of my favorites of Christie's, too. Just a really clever little mystery.

diaryofaneccentric said...

I read this one ages ago and really enjoyed it. I've been wanting to read more Christie but just haven't got around to it. She was my go-to author in high school.