Date Read: September 28, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Number of Pages: 245 pages
First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
[Blurb from Goodreads]
I am in awe, I am speechless and I cannot believe what just happened. I feel a bit foolish for being too late in becoming one of the millions of fans of Agatha Christie. Her name has been popping here and there but it was not only a couple of weeks ago that I finally decided to read one of her best works (and one of her favorites, I may add) which was And Then There Were None. Disclaimer: I’m still a bit frenzied with what I’ve read so this review may come a bit overreacted or such. Oh and yes, spoilers ahead.
Now I know why Agatha Christie is called The Queen of Mystery, I only read one book but I have never read anything remotely close to it. It was so brilliant that I still cannot comprehend how in the world did she execute the nursery rhyme to become a marvelous murder mystery. The nursery rhyme was entitled “Ten Little Soldier Boys” and as the title implies, there are ten guests who were invited to the infamous Soldier Island where Mr. U.N Owen lives. Each guest was sent a letter as an invitation to come to Soldier Island, little did they know that it was an invitation to their own death.
“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…”
I guess the best part of the of the story, for me, was that each guest dies the same way (some, close enough) as the “little soldier” died on the nursery rhyme, I keep coming back to the page where it was written to review how the next move is going to be. Not to mention, the author’s little touch of the missing figurines on the table was also noteworthy. In a way, it adds a bit of a humor to the story.
Downstairs in the dining room, Rogers stood puzzled. He was staring at the china figures in the centre of the table. He muttered to himself:
“That’s a rum go! I could have sworn there were ten of them.”
But of course as I neared the end of the story, I too was on the edge of my seat, wondering who was the mastermind behind the murders on Soldier Island. And as it was revealed at the end (I won’t mention the name, don’t worry. I’m not that cruel), somehow within the corners of my mind, I knew it was him (yes, it’s a him) who planned everything all along. It was carefully done, the plot was balanced and unexpected, and all of the characters really brought life into the story. Oh and did I mention how the placement of the red herring was indeed very clever.
The writing was unique, you could tell that Christie already mastered her own writing style, her own craft, but still leaves her readers wanting for more and not being saturated by the same thing over and over again. It was a mystery that was a definite page-turner but not the intense kind, it piques your curiosity just enough and really makes you think until the very last page. Plus, what’s great about it is that, Christie didn’t have to write huge backstories to make it work, she wrote a masterpiece within 245 pages.
When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men. And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Soldier Island.
I have read some reviews as well that And Then There Were None was by far, Christie’s best work. Oh and I’m pretty sure you’re all aware that Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is now actually a movie and will hit the screens by November 2017 (that’s here in our country though, not sure for others) so I guess I’ll be reading that one next to prepare myself for the movie. I would definitely recommend this to everyone, beginners or not, but especially to those folks who have soft spots on solving mysteries. I’ll be adding another Queen on my list, I’ll bet you would too.