Voted the clear winner in a global vote to find the world’s favourite Agatha Christie book for her 125th birthday in 2015
– And Then There Were None
[ About the Book ]
1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war.
Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime. When one of the party dies suddenly they realise they may be harbouring a murderer among their number.
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
[ My Thoughts ]
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie was first published in 1939 and is one of the best-selling books of all time, a world bestselling mystery.
Like many I have watched numerous Agatha Christie TV adaptations over the years but, and this is where I hang my head in shame, I had never read one. So at Christmas I purchased a box set with good intentions and finally, last week, I spent a very enjoyable few hours reading this captivating tale.
And Then There Were None is such a wonderfully executed complete classic mystery. In reading it I was fascinated with how the plot-lines of many more recent reads were rooted in this story. Many years back I was very lucky to see The Mousetrap in St. Martin’s Theatre in London. The secrecy of the ending really appealed to me and I never mentioned it to a living soul since. There is something exciting about the whole secrecy aspect of the play and, for me, this book feels the same.
And Then There Were None is an extremely tense and atmospheric tale set on an isolated island, Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon. A group of very random strangers are invited, under different pretexts, to spend time at the home of a Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen. It’s the late 1930’s and with Europe on the brink of war, all the guests welcome a diversion, a break from the horror and inevitability of war. A relaxing few days being pampered and waited on is just what they all want. But on arrival to the island, they receive a message that their hosts will be delayed and that they are all to make themselves at home and enjoy themselves. There is a butler and a housemaid at their disposal, the cupboards and drinks cabinet are well-stocked. What could possibly go wrong?
When they each check in to their bedrooms they discover that they all have an odd little poem hanging on their wall, a rather dark nursery rhyme. They initially pay little heed to it, seeing it as a quirk When one guest, unexpectedly and very suddenly, dies in their midst, the atmosphere changes immediately. The following day a second unexplained death is revealed and the remaining eight suspect that the murderer is possibly sitting among them. But who? And why? The fear escalates, the suspense is palpable. The guests are now fighting for their very survival. But will anyone escape Soldier Island?
And Then There Were None is a wonderfully constructed mystery, a puzzle expertly pieced together. There is a constant sense of foreboding with the reader left totally in the dark until the very end. In 1972 Agatha Christie was asked what her Ten Favourite books were and she listed And Then There Were None as one of them, describing it ‘as a difficult technique which was a challenge and so I enjoyed it, and I think dealt with it satisfactorily.’
And Then There Were None is a tightly woven classic mystery, a well-plotted tale, a highly entertaining read. Highly recommend!
Now which will I read next?
[ Bio ]
Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie became, and remains, the best-selling novelist of all time.
She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation.
For more details check out www.agathachristie.com