About the Book

Book Protagonist: Vera Claythorne
Publication Date: 1939
Genre: Drama, Suspense and Thriller


And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie

'And Then There Were None' is a deceptively simple read, yet it ranks beyond the archetype of a regular mystery novel. Here are reasons to love this mystery masterpiece.

And Then There Were None‘ by Agatha Christie has remained a favorite among many generations of mystery readers. However, among critics, the reception is mixed but mostly positive. Here is a breakdown of the elements that make the novel the celebrated piece that it is.


Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None‘ narrates the story of ten strangers who are brought together from several walks of life to an island where they are all killed in mostly mysterious circumstances. It turns out that these characters had all at one point or the other in their lives, committed murder but got away without being punished for it in any way at all.

The manner of their deaths is patterned around the nursery rhyme, ‘Ten Little Indians.’ Also, when they arrive on the Indian Island, there are ten soldier figurines on the dining table whose number keep reducing to match the number of people who have died at any moment in time.

The story of ‘And Then There Were None’ significantly advances Agatha Christie’s reputation as a pioneering and influential mystery writer. The novel’s ingenious plotting, impactful endings, and complex characterization showcase Christie’s talent and earned her the title “Queen of Mystery.” Its enduring global appeal, cultural significance, and exploration of timeless themes further solidify her status as one of the most celebrated authors in literary history.

Plot Twists

The plot twists in Agatha Christie’s, ‘And Then There Were None’ is widely acclaimed and considered some of the best in the mystery genre. Christie’s gradual unraveling of the mystery, suspenseful tension, and unexpected revelations keep readers engaged and guessing throughout the story. The twists have multiple layers and present moral dilemmas, adding depth and intellectual stimulation to the narrative. The iconic ending, in particular, leaves a lasting impact on readers

Great Characterization

One key strategy that Christie employs in the presentation of her characters is long internal monologues. In this way, she gives the reader an insight into the personality of the character. She also employs a variety of techniques to enact the ominous and suspenseful mood that subsists throughout the story. For example, when the old man who is on board the same train as Blore tells him that a storm is coming and that it is judgment day, that already foreshadows the subsequent events which are going to happen shortly afterward. There is also a buildup of psychological suspense even before the deaths begin to happen. Christie can achieve this through that voice recording which accused the characters of murders that they had one way or another been associated with earlier in their lives. This triggers guilt feelings in the characters, thereby setting the mood for the deaths to seem inevitable and justified.

The author did a splendid job with the characters she created. They are part of what helps sustain the mystery of the plot through to the end. Christie took the time to differentiate and develop each character with just the appropriate amount of detail, personality depth, and complexity. That is part of how even the characters themselves become wary of each other. There is no room for taking anyone at face value. Because there is always more to each one of them than meets the eye. The same attitude is what the reader is forced to adopt throughout until the full resolution of the story.

An Outlier

The novel had sometimes been criticized as an unfair mystery story, the idea being that in a standard mystery sequence, a crime is committed, then a detective emerges to solve the crime, and the reader follows along as the detective makes his discoveries. In other words, by following the excursion of the detective who is attempting to solve the crime, the reader expects to be able to put things together and tell with a considerable degree of certainty who the villain is. Agatha Christie breaks this familiar pattern and keeps the reader guessing all through to the end. And even so, the reader does not find out for sure who the killer is until the Epilogue and by a written confession of the killer himself. This means that technically the crime is not even solved, or it is solved, but the criminal and the detective are rolled up in the same character by the name of Wargrave. In this way, Agatha Christie renders the story doubly mysterious.

The novel, nevertheless, does assert a certain moral order. The actions of Wargrave do not go entirely unpunished. By taking it upon himself to kill these other people on the pretext of being an agent of justice, he in turn makes himself a murderer. This means that even according to his own standards of justice, he cannot afford to go unpunished. In this way, the author manages to reassert the code of classic detective stories whereby every crime goes with a certain punishment, and nobody gets away with any infraction, no matter how insignificant or secret.

'And Then There Were None' Review
  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Themes
  • Lasting Impact on a Reader

'And Then There Were None' Review

If ever there was any doubt as to the renown of Agatha Christie as ‘The Queen of Crime’, she rids every iota of that doubt with the brilliance and creativity she displayed in ‘And Then There Were None’. The novel engages the mind and imagination of readers so much that readers find themselves wondering about the supernatural. After taking readers down a maze of suspense and plot twists, the reader is rewarded with an ending so reasonable and logical that it cannot be faulted. Agatha Christie is indeed the author to read for all lovers of mystery.


  • Characters with Depth
  • Plot Twists
  • Suspense
  • Artistic Quality
  • logical Resolution


  • Graphic Details
  • Too Many Deaths
Israel Njoku
About Israel Njoku
Israel has a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. He loves entertainment, pop-culture and the arts and tries to extract themes with wider reaching implications from them through rigorous analysis.
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