And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Agatha Christie is the world's bestselling author of all time. I love mysteries and crime novels, but I had never read one of hers. I was expecting to be wowed, but for an author who wrote over sixty novels, who is hailed as one of the best, I was a little disappointed.
I don't know why I chose this particular title, but the "blurb" reeled me in. Ten people - who all harbor a secret wrongdoing - are lured to a Soldier Island to spend a weekend with an unknown host. Among them are the husband and wife who are to be caretakers of the mansion (Thomas and Ethel Rogers), a doctor (Armstrong), a former police officer (Blore), a former nanny (Vera Claythorne), a retired judge (Wargrave), , a Puritanic spinster (Emily Brent), an army general (Macarthur), a former mercenary (Lombard), and a wealthy ne'er-do-well (Marston). There is also Isaac Morris, a man also accused of deadly mischief, who is hired to make arrangements for the guests to reach the island.
Once in their rooms, each guest discovers a framed nursery rhyme in his/her bedroom that begins "Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine." They rhyme counts down to "...and then there were none." They also notice ten figurines on the dining room table. They soon discover that the murders are occurring according to the rhyme, and with each murder, a figurine also disappears. Although they are terrified, there is nothing they can do to leave the island, no boat, no communication, and a storm is brewing that would prevent anyone from boating out to the island. If they are all dead, who will discover the murders, and who can explain it?
At first, I thought I would have a hard time keeping up with all of the characters, but I didn't because they were mostly one-dimensional. I was expecting a complex, emotional, and fascinating story. I thought the story was clever, but did not have the depth and intrigue I expected. The motive, which was revealed in the end, didn't really impress me, nor did the identity of the killer. I wasn't surprised.
I liked the story, but I sure hope that she wrote other, better, mysteries.
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