On the second day of Bookgiving, my true love gave to me:
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.
One of the best (and, with good reason, most popular) mysteries ever written. Christie is best known today for two of the series detectives she created – the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and the shrewd, elderly village amateur, Miss Jane Marple. And Then There Were None concerns neither of them – it stands on its own as one of the finest "impossible crime" novels of all time.
Ten people are invited to spend a few days on a lonely island off the British coast. When they arrive on the island, they discover a peculiar setup: the person or persons who invited them to the island don't seem to be there; a children’s nursery rhyme has been framed and placed in each of their rooms; they are completely cut off from the outside world; – and even more disturbing – it quickly becomes apparent that there is nobody else on the island except the ten of them. And then the deadly countdown begins as - one by one - they are murdered...
It's an amazing tour de force, building up to a nightmarish finale. Christie used clever misdirection to keep the reader guessing. Even on rereading, it keeps all of its power. It's not the most typical Christie mystery, but, in my opinion, it remains one of her best. It is available in a mass market paperback edition from HarperCollins. There's an Amazon Kindle edition for e-book readers, and for those who prefer to listen to their mysteries, there is an Audio CD.
And Then There Were None was also turned into a great movie, directed by René Clair. While there's one whopping difference between the book and the film, it is, for the most part, a very good and faithful version, and it's amazing the amount of suspense built up by the atmosphere. As with the book, I highly recommend the movie!
(If you came in late, here's what we're doing - I hope you'll join in!)