By Agatha Christie
4.5 /5 Gnomes
"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 a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
"Seven . . ."
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
I first read Christie’s classic in middle school. I thought it was okay, but at that time I was impressed with little when it came to reading. Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t enjoy it more. I was an Encyclopedia Brown enthusiast despite my complete lack of deductive reasoning. And Then There Were None is like the ultimate who-done-it mystery. Ten characters are introduced at the beginning of the story, and one by one those characters succumb to an untimely death. Being trapped on an island in a storm with a killer is creepy enough, but the characters had this exceptionally creepy nursery rhyme following them around, basically telling them how the next person would die. AWESOME!
Having a deep infatuation for a soothing English accent, I decided to pick up the audiobook and was very impressed with Hugh Fraser’s reading. There was some difficulty keeping names straight, but Christie smartly gives each character a description (doctor, judge, spinster woman) so I was never confused even without having the names right in front of me. My only complaint (and this goes back to Encyclopedia Brown and Sherlock Holmes), there is absolutely no way you could have figured out the murderer. Without the epilogue like bit, the mystery would have remained unsolved. Sure, I didn't feel like a failure for not having picked up on expertly placed clues, but trying to guess is half the fun. I would have at least enjoyed the opportunity to solve the crime on my own. That being said, I am definitely going to continue reading from her vast collection.
P.S. If you’re a fan of Christie’s And Then There Were None and you haven’t seen the 1985 cult classic Clue starring Tim Curry, you absolutely must. And vice versa.