Customer Review

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And then there were few better than this., 24 Dec 2004
This review is from: And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie Collection) (Mass Market Paperback)
Surely everyone in the world has read this book by now! Surely it tops the best-selling list of a best-selling author! Older readers may not recognize it by its current title, its original and a later replacement having been deemed too racist. Nothing racist, I hope, was picked in my school English classes, where I used it to help develop pupils' appetite for reading.
Agatha Christie's achievement is remarkable. She creates ten characters, all suspected of murder, who are lured to an island. She has them meet their deaths one by one as nominated in the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" which is displayed in their rooms. She has each murder occur in a situation where almost all the other island guests might have had opportunity to commit it. As if devising all this were not enough, she also frequently takes us into the minds of the various characters - something that the whole nature of detective fiction usually prohibits. This construction is not only intricate but also compact; it is one of her shorter novels. Built on this scheme, the book must exclude Mrs Christie's regular sleuths, Poirot and Miss Marple. Instead, the dwindling number of island guests generate their own investigation.
So here is a book that offers double the pleasure that murder mysteries provide. As well as challenging you to solve the mystery, it also amazes you that so ingenious a mystery could be contrived.
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Location: Kangaroo Ground, Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 864