Bookshelf: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
This was the fist Agatha Christie, and the first murder mystery, I've ever read. That's an odd thing for me, because I love the genre. I happened to have a coupon, so I bought one of those fancy Barnes & Noble collectible editions. It also has Crooked House and Endless Night, so I’ll probably end up reading those two at some point.

I loved how integral the poem was to the story, because it’s featured right before the book starts because that’s where the inspiration for the title came from. But no, that’s how each person is killed. Follows it exactly. It was really interesting to see which characters would be one of the last to go. There wasn’t a situation where I couldn’t believe the decisions the characters were making, nothing that could be made fun of for being stupid in a parody mystery movie.

The killer was definitely not who I was expecting it to be. The character I thought was the killer was going to be Philip Lombard, the ultimate self-centered asshole. He was one of the final two characters, and he revealed himself to be the killer to Vera Claythorne, but he was lying just to keep himself alive and desperate to make it off Soldier Island. While he was serving in a war, he let men die and was pretty callous when talking about it.

The character I was rooting for most was Vera. She was clued into the puzzle from the beginning, and was the first person to put together that that is the way people were dying. I know that all of the characters are in this situation because they are responsible for someone else's death, with Vera being responsible for not stopping a boy in her charge from swimming in rough waters and being slow to save him in order for her lover to be in line for an inheritance, with the lover later leaving her because of it. She shows the most guilt for her actions, and by most, I mean only. So, while I was thrilled that she was the last survivor, I was a bit sad that she wasn't able to escape the island and succumbed to the killer's plan in a state of shock that accompanied her guilt.

Once I finished the book, I decided to look up if there were any film or tv adaptations I could watch, and I learned that in some, the ending was changed so that Vera and Philip survive. And since there was a successful Christie adaptation in 2017 with Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile coming in the fall, I would hope that other novels that don't feature Hercule Poirot to be made. I think And Then There Were None would be on the top of the pile, and maybe Vera could be the lone survivor and circumvent the fate of the 10 Little Soldiers poem that doomed her.
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