And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie

Serious summary of And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie: 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.

My two cents

I decided to read this because: I’ve been a Christie fan since high school and this has been sitting on my shelf for ages and I’ve never read it! I did join the Agatha Challenge too, so I could catch up on my Christie reading!

I liked: The plot itself: put 10 strangers on an island with no means of escaping and they all start dying off. The common denominator for them all is that they have been accused of murder. Now, obviously the murderer (of these alleged murderers) is among the 10. But why? And who? I kept wavering back and forth throughout the book speculating on who it could possibly be, and was of course totally proven wrong each time the character was killed off.

As always, insight into human nature is part and parcel of this piece. Motivations for murder (and other things) are key to solving any mystery!

I didn’t like: I'm a nitpicker when I say this. Death after death can get a little boring. After all from the onset you know that everyone is going to die. I kept going back to the nursery rhyme which was established early on as how each person would die. Ok, 5 dead, 5 more to go … Ho-hum.

I also felt that the letter at the end which reveals whodunit would of course have to get to the police (typical of Christie to wrap things up nicely, but hey she has a very strong sense of justice). After all the murderer was among those dead too! For once it would be nice to have a totally unsolved mystery!

Verdict: One of the better(er) Christies. And no Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot in sight!

Factoids: Having sold 115 million copies to date, making it the world’s best-selling mystery! The original title was Ten Little Niggers in the 1930s (can you imagine if it were still named this?). This has been on stage, film, radio, TV, a PC game, and soon, a graphic novel [Via].

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.

The book in one sentence: A wonderful whodunit of 10 people being killed off one by one on a remote island with no means of escape.

Who would you recommend it to: If you are an Agatha Christie fan, don’t DON’T miss this one! Anyone who likes a good mystery.

Random quote:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self, and then there were nine.
Nine Little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves then there were six.
Six Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumble-bee stung one then there were five.
Five Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery then there were four.
Four Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one then there were three.
Three Indian boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one then there were two.
Two Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got all frizzled up then there was one.
One Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall