And Then There Were None
by Agatha Christie
Among of all works of Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None is my favorite, its also Christie’s best-selling book with over 100 million sales to date, which makes its the world’s best-selling mystery book ever.
The story and the plot of the book are among the simplest yet most complicated puzzle mystery , I have read the book four times and watched two difference film version of it, yet, when I re-read it again last night, although I had a clear clue of who the murderer was, yet toward the end of the book, again doubt come in and I mistaken somebody else for the murder.
The story goes like this: Ten people, all strangers to each other have been invited to a big mansion in an island by a mysterious host, whom none of them know him personally. While waiting in the dinning room, a gramophone record player start playing, accusing each of the ten as been a murder and sentence them to death. Soon they all realize that they have been ticked into coming to the island, try to leave, but there are no boats and they are stuck there. That is when it all happen, one of by on they get killed. They search for the murder in the island, but there is no one there except the ten of them. They come to a conclusion that the murderer is one of them, but who is it? They are all charming people and behave normally toward each other, yet one of them is the murderer, who can it be?
What is so great about Christie is that she gives you all the clues to the identity of the murder and most of the time even the plot twisting of the novel, yet, because she is a master of simplicity we are always tricked into a puzzle that toward the end we give up at solving the mystery and eagerly wait the outcome of the story.
Take the nursery rhyme in the book. When the guest move into their rooms they each find in his/her room a framed copy of the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers” aka “Ten Little Indians” hanging on the wall, and that is the clue of their death, they soon realize how each of them gona die and the fact the murder is one of them, yet they are unable to stop the murders. As a reader, toward the end of the boo, it seems to us that there are no logical explanation to the murders anymore, yet, there is one, it is very logical and very simple and we find out what it was, we take ourselves for a fool. That is the mastery of Agatha Christie, she is always a few step ahead of us.
“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 traveling 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 bumblebee 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 out and hanged himself and then there were none”