This was my first ever Agatha Christie read! She wrote so many books that I didn’t know which one to try. The good people of Book Twitter had some suggestions. And Then There Were None was mentioned the most. It’s a standalone novel, first published in 1939. The title we use today is the American one, as the original was offensive (you can find out more about it elsewhere).
The story is about a group of people who stay at a house on an isolated island, each having been invited for a different reason. They discover that whoever invited them intends to murder them one by one. They then deduce that one of their party must be the murderer, with hints provided by a traditional rhyme. Will any of them survive and work out who the murderer is before it’s too late?
An intriguing concept, this story emphasises the mystery rather than the murders, which are described sparingly. I did want to keep reading and find out the answer. The plot is certainly clever, but I didn’t much enjoy the reading experience. The characters are mere sketches. The writing is stuffed full of adverbs instead of original description. Dialogue is often ‘[character’s name] said:’ and what they actually say is begun with a new paragraph, which is irritating to read.
In summary, considering that it has influenced many crime writers since, this book does stand the test of time. However, the writing style was not my cup of tea and it might be a while before I consider reading any more Agatha Christie.