AUTHOR – AGATHA CHRISTIE
PUBLISHED IN – 1939
Murder mystery! Who doesn’t fancy a nice little murder mystery? Truthfully, Christie has never been one of my favorites. She had mentioned that this book was one of the hardest for her to write. I don’t doubt that but somehow I still prefer Sidney Sheldon over her. Of course, they are different from each other but Sheldon’s books make my blood rush. This book did make me sit on an edge, trying to consume the entire thing so as to figure out who the murderer was. I do have to blame to myself for the lack of enthusiasm with which I read it because I accidentally read who the killer was, on the internet while searching for the BBC series of the same name. So, that was bad luck.
On with the plot! Ten strangers get invited to an island. They discover then that their host is not present, just the ten of them. A gramophone plays while they are all gathered together for a drink. The instrument calls out the murders committed by each of them, leaving them dumbfounded and then the murders begin. One by one they start dying. Funnily, their deaths match with a poem which was hung on everyone’s room.
Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine.
Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
Eight little soldier boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.
Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.
Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were Five.
Five little soldier boys going in for law; One got into chancery and then there were Four.
Four little soldier boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.
Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.
Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One little soldier boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself
And then there were None.
That was really wicked and cool. As people start dying, the rest come to a conclusion that the killer must be one of them.
Although, I did read who the killer was prior to completing the book, I was shocked when that said character died as well. Faking death? How? It didn’t make any sense until I came across the last chapter which was essentially the killer’s message to the world on how he had managed to perform the killings. I am so glad that I didn’t turn to the last line of the last page at any point of time because the killer has signed it off.
I found this line in “Author’s note” and it had me laughing for a while:
Ten people had to die without it being ridiculous or the murderer being obvious.