Monday, August 17, 2015

Mystery Monday: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

For my first Mystery Monday, I wanted to start with a classic, one of my favorite books of all time, let alone one of my favorite mysteries. For me, And Then There Were None is a constant answer to the question, "If you were on a desert island, what would you want to have with you?" I have read and re read this book so many times, and continue to pick it up at least once a year, sometimes more.

It is a mystery novel, it is a horror story, it is a psychological study of the evils that men do, it is a commentary on what justice really means (and how it can mean different things to different people). It is a lesson in the proper use of red herrings and twist endings. It is a classic for so many reasons.

And Then There Were None is the story of a group of people who have been summoned to an isolated island by a person they have never met. When they arrive, they discover that they have been brought there by a madman, who accuses them each of committing a horrible crime they were never punished for. People start to die in the manner of a nursery rhyme, and the readers and characters come to the horrifying realization that there is no one else on the island, and the killer is among the guests. U.N. Owen has been among them all along.

A particularly chilling scene puts the readers in the characters' heads, allowing them access to their thoughts-but Christie doesn't reveal which character is which. Thus, you are reading the thoughts of a murderer, still not knowing who that murderer is.

The ending packs a powerful punch, a twist you don't see coming. You will want to immediately re read the book to see what clues you may have missed. And Then There Were None offers something new to its readers every time it is opened.

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