This is part of the Cool Down With Agatha Christie summer extravaganza. Three participants in today’s discussion will win a copy of next month’s readalong book, Ordeal by Innocence, as well as an Agatha Christie mystery prize pack. Next month we will be reading Ordeal by Innocence, if you would like to join us, please sign up on the Google form.
The beginning of the newly released edition of And Then There Were None begins with an Author’s Note which is really a section on And Then There Were None from Agatha Christie’s autobiography that is simply fascinating:
I had written this book because it was so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me. Ten people had to die without it becoming ridiculous or the murderer being obvious. I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it. It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been.
- What were your general impressions of the book?
- And Then You Were None is probably one of Christie’s most famous works, and almost certainly her best-known standalone. Was this your first experience with this book? If so, was it on your radar before this? If not, how did it hold up on the reread?
- As Christie referenced in her autobiography, And Then There Were None is perhaps the ultimate in locked door mysteries. Did you have any idea who the culprit was or how he or she manufactured the crime? Who did you initially suspect, and did that change as the book progressed?
- Even though I had read this before and remembered the basic outline – and before long even the murderer – And Then There Were None terrified me in a way that none of Christie’s other books have. Did you find it particularly frightening? What about it lends itself to palpable fear (if, indeed, you believe it does)?
- What was your opinion of the use of the device of the epilogue to solve the murder, when nobody else was able to do so?