“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie: Review (Spoilers)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: Review  (Spoilers)

Kayla Moriarty, Staff Writer

Agatha Christie is ubiquitously known for her “whodunit” bestselling mystery novels that often leave readers stumped in the end. “And Then There Were None” begins with ten people mysteriously receiving invitations to stay in a lavish mansion on a remote island. All of the letters are signed by the “Owen” family. When they arrive at the house, they discover that the hosts are not there, just Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, the housekeepers. The book starts with an eerie tone, and the Rogers are inherently strange in nature. They have very grim appearances, and Mrs. Rogers is described as “being afraid of her own shadow.” As they are getting settled into the house, an ominous voice from another room individually accuses each guest of murdering someone else. Shaken by this, the guests begin to question their surroundings, and more specifically their reasons for being on the island. It is determined that no one in the house knows or has met the Owens, not even the housekeepers. During this, a character suddenly chokes on a drink and dies in the other room. This is the beginning of the rapid character deaths, and everyone who was in the house ends up dying by the end. The book is set on Soldier Island, and each quest has a menacing nursery rhyme on the wall of their room about soldiers dying. After each death, small soldier toy figures on the kitchen table go missing. The true killer was a guest all along and ends up faking his own death to cause a red herring.

As someone who is an avid reader of Christie’s books, I was expecting someone in the house to be the murderer. However, in this book, I was completely wrong about who the true murderer was. I appreciated Christie’s smaller details, such as the nursery rhymes and toy soldiers. I feel that it added an element of depth to the story. I also find it interesting that every character had a guilty conscience based on their past, and Christie’s character descriptions are consistently intriguing. I also find Christie’s critique of some of the ideologies around her during the early twentieth century to be entertaining. She has the female characters be intuitive and almost close to solving the case, but the male characters dismiss their notions as “hysteria.” This small detail shows that Christie’s writing and ideas were truly ahead of her time.

I genuinely enjoyed reading “And Then There Were None,” and I truly find the ending to be clever based on the characters. Christie designates the ex-judge as the murderer, which is an ironic twist in the story. Justice Wargrave often used his credibility as a past justice to manipulate the guests into trusting him. They often listen to him obediently, and never question his ideas. He lies and deceives them into believing that he’s there to bring justice and fairness out of the goodness of his heart, but ends up killing them all. I don’t think designating anyone else as the murderer would’ve been as intelligent.