Book Review: “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie

Cover of "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie.
Cover of “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the book “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie! Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a little private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion:

“Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.”

When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale? Only the dead are above suspicion.”

Content Warning:

This book contains explicit descriptions of murder and suicide. It also does contain some racist terminology (in fact, the original title of the book uses racist terms and was later changed to the current title “And Then There Was None”), though keep in mind this was published back in the 1930s. If you are uncomfortable with this content, you may want to skip reading this book.

Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars

The plot kept me guessing who the killer was most of the way through. All of the characters’ little decisions drove the story all the way through, and I enjoyed learning more about all of them (especially the last remaining few). However, I thought that the ending of the story was a little too straightforward with all the explanations coming at the end, even if it did help resolve a lot of questions. It lacked the suspense that the rest of the book had before it. Other than the lackluster ending, however, this was a very good mystery book in terms of its plot.

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

None of the characters are exactly redeemable until they’re dead, except for one of them. That’s what made me keep guessing who the killer was. I initially thought it was Emily from the beginning, especially with how she lacked compassion for someone that once worked for her (thus leading to their suicide later on) as well as her rigid moral stances, but that changed after the characters did further investigations throughout the book. The eventual reveal of who the actual murderer was made sense with the character overall, as well.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

I enjoyed this better than “Murder On The Orient Express,” and I definitely do plan to read more by Christie sooner than later. If you do wish to read her works, I’d advise one to note the content warnings, especially on the use of racist terminology more than the actual murders.

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