Although I usually enjoy mysteries, I’ve never considered myself to be a big fan of Agatha Christie. I didn’t really like the Poirot books I’ve read (though admittedly I’ve only tried a few of them) and Miss Marple didn’t appeal to me either. If only I had started with this one instead!
At the beginning of the book we are introduced in quick succession to ten people who have all been invited to a house on Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon. Each person has been given a different reason as to why their presence on the island is required, but on arriving at the house the group discover that their hosts are mysteriously absent. When, one by one, they begin to suffer gruesome deaths in accordance with the children’s rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers” it becomes obvious that one of the ten is a murderer.
The thing that makes this book such an exciting and suspenseful read is that all ten characters seem suspicious and the more you learn about them the more it appears that any one of them could be the killer. Halfway through the book I thought I had worked it out as there was one character in particular that I had suspected from the start (although it was more just an instinct rather than anything specific that he or she had done). As the story moved towards the conclusion it looked as if I was going to be right…
Do I need to tell you that I got it entirely wrong? I admit that solving whodunits is not one of my strong points, but I think most people would be baffled by this one! Christie expertly leads you to believe one thing, then a few pages later proves you wrong. I was sure that as more and more of the ten were eliminated one of them would emerge as the most obvious suspect, but that didn’t happen.
Have you read this book? Did you guess the solution to the mystery?
12 thoughts on “And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie”
I’ve only read two Christie novels now, one Poirot, and this one. I tried to read a Marple but was bored really quick, though I do like the movie versions. The Poirot wasn’t my favorite, but I really liked this one!! Especially since I’d heard that the movie Clue is loosely based on it.
I haven’t had much luck with either Poirot or Marple but will probably give them both another chance at some point.
This book must win the award for the text with the most different titles. It has been published under at least two other names to the best of my knowledge, mainly because it’s original title ‘Ten Little Niggers’ was latterly recognised as racist. It was also a successful West End play under the title ‘Ten Little Indians’.
It would have been easier if they’d just used the current title from the beginning, wouldn’t it!
I am a HUGE mystery / crime fic fan and love Christie books. This one is my favourite though – I first read it when I was about 12 and have read it a few times since and I forget each time “whodunnit”. Fantastic book!
It’s good to know that it stands up to re-reading. I think I’ll have to wait for a few years though and hopefully I’ll forget whodunnit too!
I love Christie and have never read this story, I know my mum has it on her shelf with the original Ten Little Niggers title. Probably worth some money. I better read it quick incase she sells it!
I’d recommend reading it soon anyway – it’s a great book!
I have read this more than once and I still love it. The logic definitely appeals to me.
As I said in my reply to one of the above comments, I’m glad to hear that it can be read more than once and still be enjoyed.
I read this book in high school when I went through an Agatha Christie phase. I don’t remember much about the book, other than that I liked it. I prefer mysteries that I’m not able to figure out right away or even half-way through. I like to be kept guessing, and then when I finally find out, to think back to the clues that I missed.
I’m always disappointed when I guess the solution to a mystery halfway through. I’m not very good at figuring out mysteries though, so it doesn’t often happen!