- Title: And Then There Were None
- Author: Agatha Christie
- Genre: Mystery
- Publishing Date: November 1939
- Publishing Co.: Collins Crime Club
- Length: 300 pages
- Format: Kindle, Paperback, Harback, Audiobook
- Acquired: Bought a used paperback at a book fair
- Amazon Link: And Then There Were None
“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 . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
Final Judgement: 4 Stars out of 5
The back cover blurb basically sums up this entire novel. 10 strangers are dying one by one on an island that they are unable to leave. They–and the reader–have to figure out who the killer is, before everyone dies. Luckily, there is an old poem that hints at how each of the killings will occur.
This novel has been on my TBR for ages. It was actually my first Agatha Christie novel, and it has solidified my desire to read more of her work! Definitely a classic. I was left guessing through the entire story. I had an idea at the beginning, but I changed it half a dozen times as new evidence came to light.
The mystery was very well-written, allowing no person to elude suspect, while also not highlighting the actual killer. I liked that kind of mystery–where it wasn’t obvious. I’ve seen other reviews that rated the novel low because of this exact reason, because they were not able to puzzle out the real killer on their own. But I think that this is the epitome of mystery novels! It should be easy to figure out who did it. In fact, it reminded me of the old TV show Columbo.
I will say that the novel is, of course, old, and so the language and characters are very old fashioned. A reader needs to go into the novel remembering this, and luckily I did. The one thing that I had an issue with the novel was the characters. I wanted them to be much more fleshed out. It was difficult in the beginning to keep track of who everyone was as well as their occupations and motivations for being at the island. I think if the novel had spent a little more time developing each of the unique characters, it would have lent much to both the story and my enjoyment of it. I was engaged because I wanted to solve the mystery, not because I cared about the characters–which I didn’t.
Overall, a great beginning to my dive into classic literature. I recommend this for anyone wishing to try their hand at puzzling out an extremely difficult mystery, one that may not be solvable.