Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Review - And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians)
Author: Agatha Christie
Year: 1939
Page: 272
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Yes
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? England: Indian Island (fictional)
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die.

First Sentence:
In the corner of a first-class somking carriage, Mr Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.

Why did I pick this book?
I am thinking of joining the local library book club, and this is the book they are reading for February. I thought I should read the book before going, and then decide whether to join or not.

My thoughts:
  • Even though I said Agatha Christie is a "new to me" author - it is not entirely true. I have read one of her books about 18 years ago, but since I don't remember anything about it (not even the title!), I decided that she is more like a new to me author. I have definitely heard about her even before blogging became popular. I love reading murder/mystery books, though 99.9% they are contemporary. So this is a good opportunity for me to read something considered to be "classic"

  • I like that her writing is quite straight forward (I don't like overly descriptive or "flowery" books... why describe what something looks like over 3 pages when you could have done so in one sentence?) Some expressions used though seemed a bit dated, but this is to be expected, and I guess add onto the charm
  • I also like that at the end of the story everything was wrap-up - it is frustrating to read a murder/mystery with unsolved puzzles (especially if the author made a big deal out of it, like it's a big secret, but never explained what it meant in the end, or its relevancy)

  • I enjoyed reading it - I didn't guess who did it; but at the same time, I didn't feel like WOW WHAT A GREAT ENDING! like I had with Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (that book started off a bit slow, and the writing wasn't something I particularly preferred, but I love a book with a good twist!)

  • It does make me want to read more of her books - especially about Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot -- which is just as well since I am doing the Marple-Holmes-Poirot challenge :)

  • It also helps that the version I read has a list of characters in the beginning of the book so it is easier to remember who-is-who

  • What I didn't quite like was - perhaps it was something I missed / didn't pay enough attention - Vera's story was a bit unclear (her motivation). But thanks to the internet, I could easily google more about it and had found my answer

  • I won't comment on the cover art since the version I had was different... plus there were so many versions out there (maybe interesting to do a post about that to see the differences! I always wonder why the UK and US versions are different, sometimes including the title)

  • Speaking of which, I found a couple of great sources that analyze the book (you may want to go to these sites AFTER you have read the book, as they may contain some spoilers: Sparknotes and Bookrags)

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.

Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there and then there were Seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law;
One got into Chancery and then there were Four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.

Two little Indian boys were out in the sun;
One got all frizzled up and then there was One.

One little Indian boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.


Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

100+ Reading


  1. I've been seeing a lot of Agatha Christie lately, and it makes me want to revisit her books. I read this one years ago when I was in high school. I don't remember anything about it, but I remember liking it.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. This is one of my favorites. I've read it multiple times, but I STILL don't know who did it. I think I've mentally blocked out the ending because I enjoy the journey so much.

  3. @Anna - I was not disappointed and am glad I read it! Definitely a different writing style than I am used to, but I am trying to read more widely this year :)

    @Charley - that's too funny :) But you are right, the journey was fun to see who was to be next!

  4. This is one of my all-time favourite mysteries and I'm glad you liked it :) I hope you get more used to her writing, the more you read her books!

  5. @Kals - you know, this book may be worthwhile to re-read at some point just because now I know who the killer is, and can look out for more clues (as listed here: I like murder/mystery that leave clues and analysis - I guess that's why I like the Lincoln Rhythms series by Jeffrey Deaver. Book club is tomorrow night, so it'd be interesting to see what we discuss!