And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


And Then There Were None
My memories of Agatha Christie books aren't very fond. Nor of Sherlock Holmes, for that matter. Much as I appreciate and respect their super smart and observant detectives, it does me little good to never be able to solve a mystery. And that's what I always feel like after reading either Christie's mysteries or the Sherlock Holmes books. Either the perpetrator is the person who was barely anywhere in the book and therefore feels like the least logical choice, or the crime itself is way too far-fetched. But most of the time, the mystery itself feels unsolvable and that's when the crime solver comes along to point out all the hints that the reader missed and then solve the crime.

Thanks, that made me feel so good! #sarcasm.

And so, I have never wanted to read any Agatha Christie books, even though she is revered heavily in the book industry. I may be selfish but I do like to solve a mystery before the detective does. But, And Then There Were None refused to step away from my radar. I may have come across references to this book twice or thrice this year alone. This book is based on the premise that if there are ten people in a room and one of them is murdered, then the murderer has to be someone in the room. (Of course, that's not necessarily true - the murderer could have slipped a little something into a drink and then left the room, but if more people in the room are being murdered in a variety of different ways, then the murderer HAS to be someone in the room).

And Then There Were None also happens to be an old nursery rhyme:

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 travelling 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 bumble 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.

Ten people who appear to have committed murders are invited to a remote island, where they listen to a recording of their crimes, shortly followed by the murder of one person. Soon, more of them start dying in mysterious ways and the remaining folks try to determine who the killer is. I certainly enjoyed this one more than I expected to - it was exactly the sort of edge-of-the-seat thriller that I enjoy, but when all is revealed, the story does feel implausible. Still, one does not read mysteries for plausibility so I had my belief suitably suspended while I read this one.

I wasn't a huge fan of the writing - sometimes, it was very distracted and almost shorthanded, which isn't something I would expect in a full-length novel, but that didn't bother me too much. There is also not much of a character insight in this book - again not something you would expect in a mystery novel anyways.

Overall, I'm glad to have read this one. It was more enjoyable than I expected it to be, it has certainly added one Agatha Christie book to my favorite books list. I'm hoping to read more books by her that are not necessarily cliched.


I borrowed this book from the good old library.


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