With the 125th anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie coming up on September 15, the "official" Agatha Christie website has announced that And Then There Were None has been voted the favorite among all of that author's 66 novels. The mystery, which features neither Hercule Poirot nor Miss Marple, was voted best over second-place finisher Murder on the Orient Express and third-place holder The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
According to the information on the website, more than 15 thousand votes were cast in more than 100 nations worldwide. I find it interesting and rather heartening that the largest number of voters were in the 25-to-34 age group, which is younger than I would have expected.
You could argue that each of the top three finishers breaks a few of those much-discussed "rules" for mystery writing. But that, to me, simply shows Christie's genius at transcending that sort of thing. If, by some chance, you haven't read any of those (or the others listed in the "top ten" from the poll), you really are missing a treat. And Then There Were None really is my favorite Christie book - extremely clever, rather dark, with interesting characters and a mounting tension that doesn't end until the very last chapter. No wonder that her books are outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Happy Birthday (a bit early) to the Mystery Queen - and give yourself the present of reading her books.