And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

'Ten...' Ten Strangers are lured to an isolated 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 an ancient nursery rhyme counting down one by one... as one by one... they begin to die. 

'Seven...' Which amongst them is the killer and will any of them survive?

Genre: Fiction, Crime, Detective, Mystery
Year: 1939
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 5/5

Oh what a jolly good mystery! I don't know what it is about Agatha Christie that makes me want to use the term 'jolly good', but jolly good it was!

As the blurb states, we have ten people stranded in a secluded mansion on an island. They have all been accused of having a deep, dark secret and slowly but surely they are being picked off. One by one.

Not only that, but the manner in which they are dying relates to a poem about the dire fate of 10 little soldier boys. We sure have a creative killer on our hands!

Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two Little Soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

But who is the killer? That is the question that plagued me to the very end. For once, I did not have a clue. Every time I had an "a-ha!" moment, and thought I had it figured out, Christie would prove me wrong.

The ending was a little far-fetched but as Christie states in the author's note, she had to write this book as a challenge to herself, because it would be hard to write a book where so many people die without it being ridiculous or without the murderer becoming obvious. I think she just managed to succeed.

And Then There Were None was a fun and quick read. The sort of light entertainment a good murder mystery provides. If you haven't read any Christie before than this book would be a great place to start.

I have a pile of nine other Agatha Christie books sitting on my shelf, thanks to my wonderful fiancé! I can't decide which one to read next. What is your favourite Christie novel?

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