I’m a Christie fan if you know me at all. The setting of her books has no similarities with each other. Every time a new mystery, a new murder. After reading Poirot stories, this book is a refreshment as we don’t have Poirot unfolding the mystery instead this is an open and shut case with no investigation needed.
And There Were None is a story of 10 strangers stranded on Soldier Island. Each has been invited by a man called U.N. Owen, their host for their stay.
An island disconnected from the world has only 10 people on it. They have nowhere to go, nowhere to run to. The first murder takes place. This means the murderer is on the island. No one is present on the island except those 10 strangers. This means the murderer is one of them.
There is a children’s poem about “10 little Indian” soldiers which decides the fate of the 10 strangers. The poem describes the death of 10 soldiers, the last line of the verse is – And There Were None. Ten soldier figures are placed on the dining table and the copy of the rhyme is hanged in every bedroom. One by one the count of the figure decreases when there is a murder. The murder takes place exactly in the same manner as described in the poem.
How does the murderer crafts the crime in exactly the very same style and destroys the figure on the table exactly at the very same time?
The novel sets the mood right from the beginning. Christie doesn’t beat about the bush with this book and immediately throws the reader into the skin of a detective. It is a well planned and executed mystery and I wonder how she came up with it in the first place with such finesse.
It is a teeth-gritting book, captivating and unputdownable read. I enjoyed it thoroughly because till the very end I couldn’t guess who the murderer was. Though I had my suspicions from time to time I failed to speculate and ended up being confused all the more. I laid out my guesses post a murder, trying to think like Poirot would but in vain.
The whole time my suspicion transferred from one character to the other because it is that unpredictable. Christie gives enough space and history to each of the characters but I failed to connect with either of them. In the beginning, it was difficult to keep up with so many characters and their history once I got the hang of the story it got easier.
Honestly, I didn’t even want to relate to the characters. I found the flashbacks of the characters less interesting because when there is murder mystery I get more inclined towards finding the murderer rather than knowing the what, who and why.
The Queen of Crime won’t disappoint you with this book. In a nutshell, it is a classic, page-turner crime fiction with interesting twists and turns. You can pick it up if you are in a mood to lighten up after a heavy day or a heavy book. Recommended.
Like this? Try Murder on the Orient Express
Have you read this book? Do you have any Christie favourites?
If you consider getting a copy after reading this post, please buy it from Amazon