Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [TIME]

Memory Monday — And Then There Were None

I know I mentioned in a previous Memory Monday (click to read) about how much I loved Mary Higgins Clark while growing up. My mom handed me my first MHC the summer after 6th grade and I was hooked. But, there were only so many MHC books and I soon finished her back list. By 9th grade I had read everything she'd written, but was still desperate for some more awesome murder mysteries.

My mom suggested I try Agatha Christie. It makes sense, right?! I'm pretty sure she's like, the mother of all murder mysteries. My school library had two shelves just for her, so I decided to just go pull a random book off the shelf. I don't remember the title of the book, but I remember being disgusted. Her main character, Hercule Pointe (?) spent the beginning of the book complaining about the dentist. That was certainly not what I had been looking for. I was horrified and upset. Who wanted to read about a grown man complain about the dentist! I was about ready to give up on Ms. Christie when I found And Then There Were None.

I don't remember if it had been a recommendation or just a lucky grab but I read through that book in horrified fascination. 10 people are sent to a mysterious island where their host never shows up and a record begins to play, informing everyone that they had been invited to the island because they had committed a murder and gotten away with it. Justice had finally caught up with them and they had been invited to die.

They start to die, one by one and the ceramic Indian figurines being to disappear at the same rate. Not only that, but there is a poem — Ten Little Indians- and each death follows a line in the poem (stung by a bee= death by hypodermic needle etc). Everyone is scared, trying to figure out who the murderer could possibly be. And they know it has to be one of the ten. They have searched the entire island and there is no one else there. And, they are in the middle of an incredibly violent storm and there is absolutely no way to or from the island until the storm blows out.

I can remember being beyond fascinated as I read this book, but waiting, waiting for the next death, the next clue, so that I could figure out who done it. But I couldn't. There were a few times I thought I had it figured out, but then that character would die, or would be talking to another character when someone else was murdered.

I reread this one again a few years ago, and I loved it. I loved being able to watch the character interactions knowing the ending, knowing who was really behind the murders and being able to pick up on a bunch of clues I had missed the first time around.

I tell you what — this is a phenomenal book. If more of The Agatha's books are like this, it's easy to understand why she's still recognized as one of the greatest suspense writers.