Friday, June 12, 2015

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Publication Date:  November 6, 1939
Publisher:  Collins Crime Club (past) and currently published by a wide variety of publishing companies
Series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  264
Genre:  Mystery
Synopsis:  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.

Review:  Agatha Christie was a pure genius.  There is a reason she is called the Queen of Mysteries.  I honestly cannot believe how I had not read her books before.  I mean, I have only been told about them for years.  Don't make the same mistake.  Read any and all Agatha Christie books you can get your hands on.  You won't regret it.

I love Agatha Christie's crisp, proper writing.  She has a very clear way of laying out the facts without revealing too much.  This book is a masterpiece in deception.  It keeps you second guessing at every page.  As soon as I would suspect one character, Agatha would shine light on another.  I am usually fairly good at figuring out mysteries way before the end of this book, yet Agatha Christie had me fooled. 

The suspense of the story not only drives the characters mad, it drives you mad, too.  It has this atmosphere of deceit and danger, never allowing you to even vaguely trust any of the characters.  It is such a cleverly pieced together plot.  How is it possible to write a novel set on an island where there are only ten characters to suspect and still be able to mislead the reader?  I don't know how she did it. 

The characters themselves are an eclectic bunch.  However, there is one thing they all have in common:  murder.  Out of them, there are ones I liked and ones considerably less so.  It is a solid cast of characters to drive such an enthralling mystery.  Each of them felt entirely realistic.  I wouldn't be surprised to meet them in real life, flesh and bone.  

By far the creepiest part of the novel is not the homicides.  It is that all those deaths mirror a children's rhyme at the start of the book. That those soldier statues on the dining table are taken, one by one, as more of the characters start to die.  If you were trapped on an island with nine other people and the group was slowly being killed of to coincide with a children's poem, what would you do? 

And Then There Were None is one of the best mystery novels I have read in my short existence on this planet.  I have no doubt that I will continue to read her multitudes of books until I run out, and then I will simply begin again.  

5 Keys


  1. That plot setup sounds like the creepiest thing ever 0_0 I even had a dream of this which was weird and turned into a nightmare pretty quick. But I'd still read this for Halloween ha. Nice review!

    1. It really is! Imagine if it was real...yikes. I can't imagine any dream of something like this NOT turning into a nightmare! Thank you for commenting!

  2. I've never read an Agatha Christie book!! Is this one a good place to start?! I know there are a lot and, gawsh, it's a bit daunting. But you got me at "crisp writing". I LOVE CRISPY WRITING.

    1. You should! This was my first one and I think it was a GREAT place to start. It's amazing and a lot of people say it is one of her best. Haha, I do love her writing. Very British, if you know what I mean! :D