Egads, don’t look up the original British title.
And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
This is somewhat cozy. It’s probably your prototypical mystery, in fact, because you have a closed house and a limited number of potential perps. Beyond your typical murder mystery stuff, this is a pretty normal book that shouldn’t contain anything to really spook anyone.
This was my first Agatha Christie novel, and I’m glad it was my first! I enjoyed it more than I usually enjoy murder mysteries. I definitely enjoyed it more than Sherlock Holmes, that’s for sure.
I think the best part of And Then There Were None was the almost gothic setting. While the setting had the modern feel of being in the 1920’s or 1930’s (the book was written in the 30’s), there was a very distinct feeling of dread throughout. There was something haunting about the house and the island the characters were on, beyond the whole murder mystery bit about why the 10 vacationers were slowly dropping like flies.
I’m not sure if there was a book about this premise before, but the general idea is pretty much given away by the poem in the introduction: 10 little soldier boys (or, in this case, vacationers) come to an island at the behest of mysterious Mr. Owen. From there, characters begin to die in the manners prescribed by the poem. The paranoia sets in, and it continues to grow as the characters remain trapped on Soldier Island.
As far as the mystery part goes, I’m strangely good at picking out the murderer after first introductions. However, I will say that Christie had me there for a while after she did something (Spoiler: she “killed” off my suspect) to throw me off. At the same time, I feel like I didn’t have all the information at that critical part and there’s no way I could have suspected anything else as long as the narrator seemed reliable. Even after the questionable event, the palpable psychological tension was ever present.
The ending, thus, was still somewhat of a surprise to me even though I’d picked out the killer. The book did keep me interested from start to finish, and because of that I was pretty well pleased.
2/5 Discoball Snowcones
I’m reading the Oliver Twist inspired Bent Heavens!