Friday, 17 March 2017

And Then There Were None

As most of you will know, I've set myself the challenge of reading all 66 of Agatha Christie's detective or mystery novels in chronological order. I usually read one each month and I've now read 26 of them, And Then There Were None being the latest.


I usually read in bed just before I drop asleep, or I allow myself to indulge on a Saturday or Sunday morning before getting up, depending on what time I wake, however, I got about half way through this book and was so involved that I finished the rest off one Sunday afternoon.

Ten strangers, each having a guilty secret, are lured to an isolated island off the Devon coast. One by one they begin to die. An ancient nursery rhyme seems to be counting them down...

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

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

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

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

Six little soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.

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

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

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

Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was One.

One little soldier boy left all alone;
He went and hanged himself

And then there were None.

I would heartily recommend this book, whether you're an Agatha Christie fan or not, whether you've read any of her books before or have yet to discover this author. Out of the 26 of her books that I've now read, this is by far my favourite. This book shows off Agatha Christie's talent for crime writing, keeps you guessing right to the very end and, in my opinion, is the perfect whodunnit.

If you want to know what else I've been reading lately, you can find a list in the sidebar. This shows all the books I've read this year and there's also lists of the books I've read right back to 2012.

38 comments:

  1. Is this the one with the very unPC original title. I mentioned the original title on a blog post and the whole US threw up their hands in horror!!

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    1. You're thinking of the right one, in fact, I believe this is the third title it's been given. I was going to mention the original title but then decided against doing that as it's hard to know exactly how to word it without causing offence.

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  2. You're doing well reading all the Agatha Christie books. This is one I've read but think I'll read again as I don't remember much about it. Happy reading. Flighty xx

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    1. I thought it might be hard to find some of the books but I haven't had any trouble yet, I bought a set new and the others have been picked up from charity shops, Ebay or loaned from the library. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend you reading it again if you can't remember the outcome.

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  3. I love nursery rhymes and I hadn't heard that one before, a rather gruesome one I think xx

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    1. Like the title of the book, I think the words have been changed over time. It is rather gruesome though, very apt to be included in this particular book.

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  4. I watched a film of this last year and it was chilling. In part of my mind I could imagine anyone being the 'who' who dunnit. And in another - it didn't seem that it could have been anyone. I certainly didn't guess 'right'.

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    1. I can imagine that this book would transfer to a film very well. You've got it spot on, very hard to imagine anyone being the murderer but it has to be one of them and very hard to guess right.

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  5. Sound intriguing Jo & now I think I'll have to borrow it from the library. Like you I only read before I go to sleep, so take a while to get through most books (nearly finished Monty), but hers are usually not too big, so should be able to get it read reasonably quick. Have a good weekend & take care.

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    1. I find I can get through books faster on my Kindle, I'm not sure why, it just turns out that way. I really enjoyed this book so it's definitely worth looking out for in the library.

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  6. I read this while watching the BBC adaptation two Christmasses ago. It was very well done but differed slightly from the book. I have just read all the Miss Marples - just her 'last cases' to go and apart from the two stories where I knew whodunit, the others all kept me guessing. I really enjoyed them.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. I've managed to guess a few of the endings of the books I've read so far but that was purely through guesswork rather than putting clues together as I think Agatha Christie is a genius at red herrings. This book is very clever and I'd have never guessed the murderer in a hundred years. I'll have to look out for the BBC adaptation, it would be interesting to see it now I've read the book.

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  7. Well...I just have to read that now, don't I?xxx

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  8. Great challenge, Jo. I read all of Agatha Christie over the years and this one is a favorite. I think I'm ready to start reading them over again. P. x

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    1. I read quite a few Agatha Christie books in my teens but I can't remember any of them now so I'm enjoying working my way through them all.

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  9. I haven't yet read any of Agatha Christie's books, but I would like to. I have, however, visited the hotel where she mysteriously disappeared to back in 1926. :)

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    1. I'm sure you'd enjoy her books. The disappearance was rather mysterious, wasn't it?

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  10. You've got my interest piqued with this one - I've added it to my library list.

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    1. I really liked the idea behind this story, very clever. I hope you enjoy it if you manage to find it.

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  11. I have read this book and really enjoyed it, I'm not really one for going purely for an author though...I tend to pick books on the blurbs if I think they sound good...doesn't always work though!!

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    1. I tend to stick with an author if I enjoy one of their books, not that I end up enjoying everything they've ever written in some cases. I do enjoy a series as I think you get to know the characters better.

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  12. I keep meaning to read Christie again. I had a collection in one big volume when I was a teenager and read most of it, and I remember liking it, but I hardly remember their content now so it would be like having brand new books to read, ha.

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    1. I'm the same, I read quite a few Agatha Christie books when I was in my teens. I remember enjoying them but I can't remember any of them now so I'm enjoying them all over again.

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  13. Nursery rhymes have such gruesome histories behind them, I'm not a Agatha Christie fan, but I have got a copy of Monty Don's book Nigel my family and other dogs to read.

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    1. They have, you don't realise when you sing them to children what their meanings are. I hope you enjoy the Monty Don book, there's some sad bits in it but I enjoyed reading it.

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  14. What a great challenge! I've just started to get into mysteries, I will have to add this to my list!

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    1. This is a great one, it keeps you guessing right to the end.

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  15. Well done with that reading accomplishment. As for the nursery rhyme, they are just so horrible. Ring around the Rosie is another awful one.

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    1. I think this nursery rhyme is particularly gruesome, most of them have some unpleasant meanings behind them.

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  16. I saw this one as a TV series a while ago.

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    1. I'm going to look out for the TV adaptation, I think it would transfer to TV well.

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  17. This was the adaptation we watched the on TV and it was marvellous, glad you enjoyed the book just as much.
    Lisa x

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    1. It's such a good story, one that keeps you guessing right to the end.

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  18. I read this back in the 60s, under the original title, which of course we can't mention now!! But what is now an unacceptable word, wasn't used in a derogatory sense in the book's title.

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    1. That's often the case, but of course, it's totally unacceptable these days. The book had a second title which was also changed for the same reason.

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  19. Sarah loved the BBC adaptation of this on at Christmas last year! Of course, the fact it had Aiden Turner in may have helped.....

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    1. Oh right, you've just piqued my interest even more.

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