And Then There Were None

And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Believe it or not, I hadn’t read any Agatha Christie before, so I thought I’d start with what is perhaps her most famous mystery, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. The book held a number of surprises for me, some good, some not. Getting the things I didn’t like out of the way first, I was very surprised by how sparse the prose is. There’s very little in the way of description or detail, to the point where it reads almost more like a script than a novel. (Although in Christie’s defense, I found there was often just enough for my imagination to fill in the blanks.) There’s not much in the way of characterization, either. In the earlier parts of the novel, I had trouble telling the difference between several of the characters, particularly the older male characters like Justice Wargrave, Dr. Armstrong, and General Macarthur.

Still, once I got used to Christie’s style, I enjoyed AND THEN THERE WERE NONE very much, especially as the story went on and the number of suspects dwindled while the number of victims grew. I’m proud to say I figured out at least one small part of how the mysterious U.N. Owen pulled it off, but certainly not all of it, and I most definitely did not guess Owen’s true identity. I can see why this is such a popular novel. It’s the ultimate locked-room mystery, where the room is a remote, isolated island and there’s a good chance the killer is still be locked in with you. Definitely worth reading!

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