Monday, 25 January 2016

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

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...

I expect hundreds if not thousands of people were inspired to read And Then There Were None after the recent BBC adaptation starring Aidan Turner and Charles Dance amongst others. And Then There Were None is undoubtedly Agatha Christie's best selling book ever, indeed it's thought to be the seventh best selling book of all time! I started reading Agatha Christie when I was 11 and staying at my grandmother's house. Wanting something to read but not feeling ready to dive into the books of Catherine Cookson and Danielle Steele I picked up And Then There Were None and fell in love. It was the first grown-up mystery I had ever read. Previous experience up to then was limited mostly to Nancy Drew and the Famous Five so this was completely amazing.

Christie writes mystery as if she was born to do it. All of her books, this one included, are fairly short but pack a lot into them. This is the third or fourth time I've read this one and I still get caught up in the rhyme and the mystery, of who is next and who is the murderer. I had completely forgotten about the extra chapter at the end involving the full confession of the murderer thrown out to sea in a bottle. I remember being completely shocked at who it was on the first time of reading but of course, looking at it through adult eyes, there's only really one candidate.

This has turned out to be a not-review really but it has inspired me to launch into a personal reading project for the year and that's to re-read all the Christies I read in my teen years and then to start on all the stories I never got round to so look out for a lot more of Agatha Christie appearing on the Outsider in the future!

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.

Four little Indian Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

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 Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
Publisher - HarperCollins
Release date - November 1939

1 comment:

  1. I had this one on my radar before I knew there was going to be a BBC programme. I read the book in December and just loved it. She really does know how to write the best kind of mystery. I've seen two episodes of the three of the series and so far I really like it!


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