And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie, 1939
My favorite quote: “Oh, yes. I’ve no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman—probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic.”
Notable characters: William Henry Blore, the PI; Isaac Morris, the owner of the island; Edward Armstrong, the doctor; Emily Brent, the spinster; General MacArthur; the retired war her; Philip Lombard, the mercenary; Vera Claythorne, the former governess; Mr. Justice Wargrave, the retired judge; Thomas Rogers, the Butler; Ethel Rogers, the housekeeper; Anthony Martson, the careless young buck … and very bad driver
Most memorable scene: For me, it was definitely when the record comes on, accusing each of the guests of their previous crimes
Greatest strengths: No one can hide a killer in plain sight like Agatha Christie can … there’s a reason she’s the “Queen of Crime”
Standout achievements: This book, like many of her others, somehow manages to be both cozy and macabre — a rare feat in a genre that’s often a little too “cute” for my tastes. I mean, it IS murder, after all …
Fun Facts: Described by Christie herself as the most difficult novel she ever wrote, this book is the world’s best-selling mystery and is the sixth best-selling title in any language with over 100 million copies sold
Other media: The radio, television, stage, play, and film adaptations of this one are too numerous to mention on any platform that limits character amounts. My best advice is to Google it
What it taught me: From Christie in general, and this book in particular, I’ve learned various ways of concealing my villains in situations where the baddies might be anyone
How it inspired me: This is the first Agatha Christie novel I ever read, which set me on my path as a lifelong fan of her work.
Additional thoughts: This is one of the few books I’ve reread again and again — and every time, I’m still somehow shocked by the big reveal!
My rating: 5 of 5
Haunt me: alistaircross.com