And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Release Date: November 6, 1939 (ed. Mar. 1, 2003)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rated: Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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'Ten...' Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island 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?

After finishing Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train, I was dying to read another thriller or mystery. And who did I turn to? The Queen herself, Agatha Christie. I normally stick to reading Poirot's mysteries, because the other books didn't seem to carry the same charm for me, but I decided to give this one a go. My sister has raved and raved about this book, claiming that she always gets the endings to Christie's books well before the reveal, but this one stumped her. So, of course, I decided to dive into this one, and WOW. I'm telling you: I've read several of Christie's novels before, and they're all amazing, but I can see why this one is regarded as the best of her books.

The story kind of shifts between the ten different characters, and the perspectives start to narrow down as more of them are killed off. The thing with Christie's standalone books is that you don't feel a particular attachment to any of the characters because they're all just players in a game, and you're waiting to see who comes out on top. That being said, while it was interesting to see why each of the characters were guilty, it was far more interesting to see the manner in which they died. There's a poem (or rhyme) that goes along with the novel:

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 bee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little soldier boys going in for law; 
One got into 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 and hanged himself,

And then there were None.

—Frank Green, 1879

Rather haunting, isn't it? The only nuisance with this one is that I had to keep flipping to the front to find out what the rhyme was to figure out the manner in which they died...and how the next person was going to be killed off.

The ending actually had me confused, despite it's brilliance (of sorts). I had to discuss it with my sister to understand it, and only then I had a clearer answer of the motive behind the murders. Watching the 2015 miniseries (trailer below) actually helped, because not only did it pretty much stick to the original story, it gave a visual answer as to how everything happens and why. It's a fantastic adaptation as well, so I definitely recommend it to those who are fans of this novel or are in for a thrill!

There's absolutely no doubt from me: And Then There Were None was excellent. An excellent mystery written by an excellent author. I wholeheartedly think that this is the best one she's written–her masterpiece. If you haven't read this one, or any other of Agatha Christie's're seriously missing out.

If you like this, try...

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  1. I've never actually read an Agatha Christie novel ever, so you're way ahead of the game. As far as good mysteries go, you have to read Night Film by Marissa Pressl if you haven't. Also, S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst.

  2. I have yet to read one of these but they do sound fantastic. Glad you had so much fun with this one!

  3. Agatha Christie's books are so great! I agree though you can't really connect with the characters, but honestly I'm not reading her books to form a connection. I'm 100% there for the murder mystery and she does those well for sure.
    The ending in this one was definitely a bit confusing for me too, but it was great. I have to check out the show.
    Great review!


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