How I discovered
I have joined Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise with her Agatha Christie Reading Challenge and this is part of that.
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
— from Fantastic Fiction
When one thinks of the essential Agatha Christie mysteries, one cannot help but think of this one. Myself, I think what makes it classic and why I rate it (cutting to the chase here) 5 stars is the poem at the center of the piece:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Indian boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Indian boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
and how Christie and the murderer craft the murders of the nine people on the island based around the poem.
When I gave the 5-star rating to the book on Goodreads, one of my friends, Kara from the blog Not Just For Kids, said:
5 stars? Seriously?
And I said, “Yes, seriously,” and then asked her why she hated it, to which she responded:
I didn’t hate it, but I just found that it stretched credibility to a ridiculous extent. When I think of some of her other books, which require more gray cells than suspension of belief–it’s just too sensational for my taste, I guess.
I agree with her that it did stretch credibility and maybe even “to a ridiculous extent,” but I thought the way in which Dame Christie put it all together was masterful anyway, and that is why I rated it 5 stars.
If you’d like to judge for yourself, I encourage you to do so. It’s less than 200 pages and can be read in one sitting. Personally, I believe it will be worth your time.
5- Classic, must read, worth not only owning, but buying extra copies for friends
4- Worth owning a copy
3- Worth picking up at library
2- Worth skimming at the bookstore
1- Worth being a doorstop
If you have reviewed And Then Were None and would like your review to be listed here, add your link in the comments and I will add here as well.
FTC Disclosure: I didn’t receive a copy of this book from the publisher, but took it out from my local library.