Book: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery, Classics
Publication Date: March 19, 2011
Synopsis: Ten unsuspecting people find themselves on Soldier Island, home to an estate shrouded in mystery and often gossiped about in the news. Among the guests are Mr. Justice Wargrave, an aging, well-known judge; Dr. Armstrong, a renowned doctor; Vera Claythorne, a young woman on a secretarial job; and five other guests with peculiar backgrounds, along with two house servants. Upon their arrival, the guests discover that their elusive host is not on the island, and are urged to make themselves comfortable. When one guest dies from what appears to be a suicide, the guests are shaken; however, when more begin to perish one by one, they quickly discover that a murderer is among them. With no way of escape, the guests desperately try to uncover who among them is the killer, before it’s too late.
Thoughts: Agatha Christie is one of the quintessential mystery writers of the twentieth century, and this novel proves to be a puzzle that is almost impossible to solve. As someone who doesn’t typically read mysteries – and have usually only done so by accident – I decided to change things up and give this classic whodunit a try. Overall, I did enjoy this book, but I’m realizing that most people who have read and reviewed this book love it. I just…didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong – I liked it! My reasons for not loving this book most likely stem out of the fact that I’m just not a huge fan of mysteries in general. This book very plot-driven and primarily revolves around investigating and solving crimes committed; although each character’s background story provides potential clues to solving the mystery, it isn’t what I would call a character-driven novel. For me, a book has to be character-driven for me to get really invested, and I didn’t particularly like or relate to any of the characters. There were a few characters that I simply didn’t like at all, and was generally indifferent toward the rest.
As far as the plot goes, I decided about halfway through that there was no way I was going to be able to solve the mystery. I suspected all but maybe two or three characters to be the culprit, and as I continued to be proven wrong, I finally decided to sit back and let the mystery happen. I tried to pick out clues here and there, and would probably notice a lot more if I were to reread the book. I was kind of annoyed by the ending, as I felt duped by the somewhat unrealistic outcome; however, if I were to read it again and pay more attention to the clues, I might feel differently. With that said, I still think Christie deserves applause for the complexity of her writing, and can see why this book is so popular amongst readers who like mysteries.
Bottom line: Although I didn’t love this book, I really did have fun reading it. I would definitely recommend it to someone looking to read a classic murder mystery, or who enjoys plot-driven novels.