And Then There Were None. Agatha Christie. Harper Collins (2011) (First Published 1939). 247 pages. Genre: Mystery.
First Line: "In the corner of a first-class smoking 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."
Summary: Ten people have received a letter inviting them to Soldier Island. Some have been offered jobs, others invited to visit a friend they haven't heard from in a while. As they arrive on the island and begin talking amongst themselves, they discover that no one has ever met their host. However, everything is arranged. Food and drinks have been brought in, a butler and a cook have been hired. While having drinks the first night, a mysterious recording accuses each of them of playing a part in a crime. By the end of the evening, one of them is dead. Within a few hours, another is dead and they discover there is no way off the island. If any of them are going to survive, they will need to work together. But who can be trusted?
My thoughts: If reading the summary of this one doesn't make your hair stand on end, reading the book definitely will. This is a fast-paced story that keeps you turning pages to find out who did it.
In most stories I need to have a connection to the characters. This book is the exception. It was definitely a plot driven story. That is not to say that the characters weren't interesting, they were. But, there wasn't a main character, they were all main characters as long as they were alive. Some of them were likeable, others not so much. But, it didn't really matter. All that mattered was moving forward in the story to find out what happened. It was interesting to see who decided to work together and why.
Agatha Christie is called the Queen of Mystery for a reason. I don't want to say much more than that. If you have already read this, you understand why. If you haven't read this, you should and it is best to go in with as little information as possible.
"The whole party had dined well. They were satisfied with themselves and with life. The hands of the clock pointed to twenty minutes past nine. There was a silence - a comfortable replete silence."
"'My dear lady, in my experience of ill-doing, Providence leaves the work of conviction and chastisement to us mortals - and the process is often fraught with difficulties. There are no short cuts.'"