And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie follows ten guests that are mysteriously invited to an island mansion by a “U.N. Owen.” During the dinner, a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret. By the end of the night, one of the guests dies.
The group becomes stranded by a violent storm, while being haunted by the nursery rhyme that seems to be counting down their lives. Which among them is the killer? Will anyone survive?
Agatha Christie is known as the Queen of Mystery for good reason. Her mysteries helped define the genre and reinvent it at the same time. Mystery has always been one of my favorite genres. I love trying to guess whodunit and why. My favorite part of reading them, honestly, is how wrong I can be about my theories. It’s actually more disappointing when I’m able to guess the end of a book. This definitely isn’t the case for this book. This is one of my all time favorite mysteries.
“In the midst of life, we are in death.”
I knew I was going to like this book when I first bought it. I had heard all about Christie books, this one being the most talked about book by her, and for good reason. This book follows multiple characters throughout, creating a dynamic and well-rounded read. I enjoyed reading about the different characters, and discovering their big secrets that brought them into this predicament.
Just when I thought I knew who the murderer was, that person was killed off too. This was exactly the type of mystery I love. There were many shady characters and many who believed they had done nothing wrong. It was hard at times to know who was telling the truth. The characters aren’t super fleshed out, but you get a rough idea of who each one is and where they come from. It was hard to like some of them after you figured out their “guilty secrets.”
“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”
This isn’t a terribly long mystery, coming in at less than three hundred pages. Personally, I believe this helped make the story strong and effective. The book definitely didn’t drag and was a nice speedy read. Some of my favorite books get right to the point and keep the momentum going the whole way through. This book definitely kept up the suspense, but in a more subtle way at times.
One thing I love about reading Christie books is how well she wraps things up at the end of her books. This book wrapped up beautifully and the conclusion shocked me. I was reeling for days after finishing this. I really enjoyed the idea behind the book and it kept me guessing the entire time. The premise was very similar to Clue, but with a clever nursery rhyme and more death.
“It had come about exactly in the way things happened in books.”
I recommend this book, along with many other Christie books, to anyone who loves a good mystery. I would consider this a cozy mystery to read at any time of year, but especially summer. This story is timeless in plot, but brings you back to the late 1930’s. This book was shocking and brilliant. This book made me fall in love with classic mysteries.