Book Review: And Then There Were None

Egads, don’t look up the original British title.

The Book

And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Amazon Link

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.

Non-Spoiler Review

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

Next week:

I’m reading the Oliver Twist inspired Bent Heavens!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: And Then There Were None

  1. Berthold Gambrel says:

    I’ve never read it; sounds interesting. My favorite mystery stories are the ones like this, where the setting and atmosphere are the real attractions, overshadowing the “whodunit” aspect.

    I know you don’t like Sherlock Holmes, but I would definitely put “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” which is far and away the best Sherlock Holmes story, as that kind of mystery. With that one, I usually have to stop and think for a minute to remember what the plot was. That’s secondary; I just remember the big creepy house on the moor with howling dogs at night.

    Do you think you might read more Christie books? I’ve read a few of hers, but can’t remember which ones. I generally like the Poirot stories.

  2. D. Wallace Peach says:

    I haven’t read this one, HRR. It’s interesting how some “older” books just don’t quite capture us like newer ones. Writing styles and reader expectations change over time as expected. I’m glad Christie threw you off a little. Happy Reading!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.