Before I get to my review I would like to thank all of you for well wishes earlier this week. I’m on the mend from my cold. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal by the weekend. I hate being sick, but being sick on a weekend–HORRIBLE!
Now, back to my review. When I admitted that I read my first Agatha Christie novel this fall many of you were stunned. Rightfully so. She was a prolific and well-respected writer. Fortunately none of you ridiculed me. Instead you took pity on me and started making suggestions. And Then There Were None was mentioned several times. Some of you were so ardent that it was such a great book I requested it from the library, right then and there.
Now I have to admit, that I’m disappointed. Not in the book. I’m disappointed that I never paid attention to Christie. She’s fabulous! Absolutely fabulous. This particular novel is her best-selling book. Over 100 million copies so far. That number is hard to fathom.
Ten strangers arrive on the mysterious Soldier Island. When all of the guests arrive the host is not present. As it turns out no one knows the identity of the host. Most have received an invitation either from Mr U. N. Owen or Mrs U. N. Owen. A few have been employed by an Owen. Not one has met this Owen.
At first no one is bothered. After dinner, a record is played accusing all ten people in the house of murder. Well that ruins a good weekend. No one likes to be accused of anything, especially ten people who believe in their innocence. Then one of them is dead. Then another. Another … is someone else on the island picking them off one by one? Or is the murderer among them? Nobody knows.
And I didn’t know until the very end. Oh, on many occasions I thought I had it all figured out. Then I was proved wrong. I came up with a different suspect. Dead wrong again. This novel is a fun one to read. I wouldn’t start it unless you can finish it quickly. You won’t want to put it down.
Now folks, I need to know which one I should read next. Suggestions?
I read this novel for my R.I.P. challenge.
I used to read Agatha Christie prolifically! Can’t beat her. I remember ‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?’ being really clever, though I can’t recall why.
Thanks Ryan. I’ll put it on my list. She’s good at clever 😉
Well technically I suppose you should start with The Mysterious Affair at Styles and end with Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (which is actually one of my absolute favourites because as far as I’m aware it’s never been dramatised on film or tv and ties up very neatly all lose ends). It’s hard to pick for me because I’m a bit of tragic fan; I always re read Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding during the festive season 🙂
Thanks for all of the tips. I may have to pick up the holiday ones soon. I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner!
I think I mentioned that the last time I read Ms Christie was in high school? Well, this summary rings a bell. A very soft, vague bell, but a bell nonetheless… 🙂 Must see if I can find any AC’s when I in the city again.
Good luck finding her.
She is great isn’t she!
Yes! I’m so glad I finally discovered her. I’m slow, I know, but I least I got around to her books.
I actually started reading Agatha Christie earlier this year at first and started with this one as well. After that I went on reading a few more, they were pretty good as well. I’d suggest Murder on the Orient Express. Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas are very good as well.
That’s two suggestions for Hercule Poirot’s Christmas so i must add that to my list. And i remember someone else mentioning Murder on the Orient Express. And Jo was floored when she found out I haven’t seen the movie either. Now both are on my list. Thanks so much!!!
I stopped after those but I’ve been trying to find some more. I’ll keep you posted if I read some more.
I actually haven’t watched any movies based on Agatha Christie’s books. I wonder if they are good.
Again I’m not much help with that one. Maybe someone will be able to tell you if the movies are good, besides Murder on the Orient Express.
Just got the ‘Death on the Nile’ DVD at a book fair for 50 cents. Thrilled to have a copy. Peter Ustinov is great in it.
Did you know “And Then There Were None” is the third title for this book? Political correctness dictated the changes.
For a reading suggestion, have you read Daniel Defoe’s “A Journal of the Plague Year”? It’s almost 300 years old, but still an intriguing read.
I saw the other titles and I totally understand why the publishers changed it. I think it was the publishers who did. The Defoe title is intriguing. I’ll look for that one as well. I do love classics.
This was one of my all-time favorite books growing up!
I can see why.
I was one of those who recommended this, so I’m glad you liked it. “Experts” (critics and fellow writers that is) say The Body in the Library is her best. I’ve read it but can’t remember it, not much if a recommendation. Glad you are feeling better.
The Body in the Library sounds perfect for me…I’ve always wanted to have a house with a large library. Hopefully no bodies though. Mysteries are fun to read, but I’m assuming not to live through.
I’ve been stalked and it ended as a court room drama… no murder happened but it was NO fun.
Goodness Caroline. That must have been terrifying and I hope all is well now. Stalking is such a scary thing to go through, from what I’ve heard. And very dangerous.
Oh it was a night mare. I will turn that into a novel some day. The guy was a schizophrenic with psychopathic tendencies a rare and dangerous combination. I emphasize this because schizophrenics are not normally dangerous but he was bad.
Hopefully he is getting the treatment he needs. The whole situation sounds terrifying and straight from a show I like, Criminal Minds–not sure you have it there. I really hope it is all past you now and that you can write a novel about it without it being too traumatic. I read about this stuff, but you actually had to live through it. That would be too much for many people. You are a brave woman.
I love that graphic!
Thanks, can’t take the credit though. It’s the graphic for the reading challenge.
I love Agatha Christie and Then there none is one of mine faves.
I couldn’t put it down…and the ending, still has me thinking.
So glad you’re better.
I too have never read her stuff. For some reason I thought it would be predictable. Now I’ll have to read this one and the Poirot Christmas book. Can’t even fathom 100 million sold.
Seriously, 100 million. I would be happy if my novel sound a 100 copies. Her numbers are way out of my range. I imagine some of her books follow a formula, but I haven’t read enough to determine for myself. But I can say she’s entertaining.
I don’t think there’s quite an experience as reading And Then There Were None for the first time. I went through a Christie phase several years ago, and I’ve been meaning to get back into her work. I do remember that I enjoyed the ones that didn’t involve Poirot or Marple better. If you want something a little bit different, check out Death Comes As the End – a murder mystery set in ancient Egypt! It may not be among her very best, but it’s a break from her typical fare.
Set in ancient Egypt…that is interesting. I may have to read that just to find out how she did it. Thanks!
The Secret of Chimneys is a favorite of mine, but I don’t think you can go wrong with anything by Agatha Christie. And it’s the perfect time of year to explore her world of intrigue.
I’m loving it. It’s been getting dark earlier and the wind has been blowing. Perfect weather for reading about murder. All the sounds make me jump.
When I read a bunch of her books in a row they did seem to get a little formulaic, but if you space them out well enough (maybe 3 or 4 over the course of a year) you probably wouldn’t have that problem.
Murder on the Orient Express was really interesting, and Death on the Nile was also fun (both of those are Poirot books), so I’d probably suggest looking at those two.
I can see that reading too much of her at once could ruin it a little. I think many of you have suggested Murder on the Orient Express so that is going on the list for sure. I’ll look into Death on the Nile as well. You were one of the bloggers who piqued my curiosity about Christie earlier this year.
Hi TBM! It’s been so long since I’ve read an Agatha Christie novel, I can’t rightfully recall which one was it by now. I know what you mean though about not paying enough attention to prolific authors – I have the same feeling right now with Ray Bradbury (I’m on a Bradbury phase) and thankfully, I’m in my third book now for the month (I’ve read Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked this Way Comes, and now deep into The October Country). Enjoy more mystery novels!
I haven’t read Bradbury yet, but I keep meaning to. I’ll put him on my hopeful list for 2013. Happy reading to you!
Glad you are on the mend. I should probably re-read her books, it’s been years!
Enjoy if you do!
I haven’t officially “read” Christie but have listened to several of her books on audio. Favorites are The 7 Dials Mystery and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans and The Man in the Brown Suit. All of these have a similar vibe: spunky female characters and their male counterparts who decide to become amateur sleuths because of some mystery they stumble in to. They have an element of romance, some fun comedy of manners elements, and are very entertaining. They remind me of mystery versions of P.G. Wodehouse stories. I’d also recommend the short story collection The Mysterious Mr. Quinn. It is a great collection of stories featuring a gentlemen who always seems to find himself in a conversation about a formerly unsolved crime and this mysterious, almost supernatural gentleman named Harley Quinn shows up to lead him in solving the crime.
And Then There Were None is one of my favorites because I’ve seen the play based on it, Ten Little Indians, several times. There is a great old bw film version of it that is suitably creepy and worth checking out. I think it has the same name as the novel.
Spunky female characters. I like the sound of that. Reminds me a little of Nick and Nora. Wow you haven’t mentioned Wodehouse in a while. Nicely done, Carl. Nicely done! I’ll put all of your suggestions onto my TBR. I should keep track of how many books you actually add to it. I could have a Carlometer and then measure how many I get to. I do have to admit, you haven’t suggested a bad book yet. Gaiman, Wodehouse, Asimov, Sanderson…oh so many wonderful writers that I’ve discovered thanks to you. Keep up the good work!
Give me time, I’ll throw you a disappointing one at some point, though of course it will be unintentional! I don’t ever mention Wodehouse, do I? ;p
You, not at all 😉
Hello! I’m finding you via the RIP link-up and I’m happy to see that you’ve found (and enjoyed!) Ms. Christie. I’m new here but just had to comment: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is by far my favorite Christie. It’s lesser known, but I promise you when you find out “who done it” at the end it’s total shock. I, personally, swore out loud when it was revealed and promptly flipped back to the start of the the book to read a bit again…how did I miss it! Drove me crazy and I must bow down to Christie as being a master of her craft 😉
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the first Christie I read and loved it. Totally fell for the twist. That twist hooked me and now I want to know if she can always surprise the heck out of me. This book did not disappoint…now many many more to go.
I’m still gathering the courage to attack the whole of her Hercule Poirot series. I think I’m saving that for a rainy day…a few years down the line 😉 But I know it’ll be amazing when I get there!
That would be a fun project. Will you chronicle it on your blog? I would love to follow the journey.
If I do it, I would certainly chronicle it…*gathering courage* lol
I’m glad you are improving! Hope it won’t be much longer before you are back to feeling 100%.
I think I will be soon! When does the weekend start?
It occurs to me that I’ve never read any Agatha Christie either, but your review has inspired to transfer a stack of her books onto my e-reader just now and I’m really looking forward to reading this one first. I have seen the Mousetrap though, that was good fun, have you seen it yet? It is a London institution.
As you suggested I finished it quickly, and it would’ve happened anyway as I couldn’t put it down. And I loved it too! Interestingly in my copy the island was called Indian Island, not Soldier Island as per your review. I guess editorially that was changed for political correctness, but I wonder when that happened. I wouldn’t think that it would alter the story at all though.
Not sure when the actual change occurred, but it was the second time it did. The first was a reference to blacks, but the term used was not kind and is not accepted in today’s world. Aside from all of that, I really did enjoy the story. Hard to put down!
It is a great story and your review makes me want to read it again! But, I no longer have copies of any of these and my library doesnt have a copy! Boo! I’ll have to keep my eyes open and see if I can pick up a copy somewhere.
Thanks for making me want to have a revisit!