Sunday, January 9, 2011
Alphabet in Crime Fiction: The Letter A
Back in December I signed up for The Alphabet in Crime Fiction, a community meme sponsored by Mysteries in Paradise. Each week she'll be expecting participants to produce a post featuring a mystery/crime novel or novelist related to that week's letter. We're off and running on Monday, January 10th with the letter A.
I'm hitting the alphabet from both sides with And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie.
From the frontispiece (of this edition--which is also mine):
Their host was sudden death!
Ten house guests found themselves trapped on an island--the prey of a diabolical killer. The first guest was poisoned after dinner. The second just didn't wake up in the morning. When the general was clubbed to death, they realized that the murderer was one of them. As their number grew smaller with each killing, their terror mounted. Was there no way out? Somehow, soon this vicious killer would have to be caught--before he had the pleasure of announcing: "and then there were none."
This is my all-time favorite Agatha Christie novel. Even though I've read it many times, I still get nearly the same pleasure from it each time I reread it. Of course, the pleasure would be complete if I could conveniently forget the solution--but the story is told so well that I don't mind knowing ahead of time what will happen. I have had an ongoing practice of telling my friends whenever I find out that they plan to read this one, "If you can honestly tell me that you figured out who did it before the end of the story, I will buy you dinner--wherever you want to go." Twenty-five years and counting....I have not had to pay up yet.