Published: November 6, 1939
In his masterpiece of writing , a group of people are lured into coming to an island under different pretexts, e.g., offers of employment, to enjoy a late summer holiday, or to meet old friends. All have been complicit in the deaths of other human beings, but either escaped justice or committed an act that was not subject to legal sanction. The guests and two servants who are present are “charged” with their respective “crimes” by a gramophone recording after dinner the first night, and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their actions. They are the only people on the island, and cannot escape due to the distance from the mainland and the inclement weather, and gradually all ten are killed in turn, each in a manner that seems to parallel the deaths in the nursery rhyme. Nobody else seems to be left alive on the island by the time of the apparent last death. A confession, in the form of a postscript to the novel, unveils how the killings took place and who was responsible.
I think we’ve all seen the 1965 movie entitled Ten Little Indians, based on Ms. Christie’s book but how many of us have read it? I hadn’t, so when I found the audio version on my Overdrive account, I snapped it up. The narrator, Dan Stevens, did a great job with all the voices and nuances of the characters and I loved it.
I had forgotten about the confession at the end so the murder’s identity was a mystery to me until the very end. If you haven’t read, listened or watched the movie, I highly recommend it. It’s creepy and very entertaining.