It’s likely you have heard of Agatha Christie, the English novelist, most notably for murder mysteries. It’s also possible you have heard of Ten Little Indians, the famous novel written by Christie.
The BBC has produced a new version for television, And Then There Were None. Think Downton Abbey meets Gosford Park meets dark murder mystery.
This retelling is rather bleak , but also engrossing. The time briskly passes while watching as you try to solve the murders before it’s too late. Just as the characters hope to figure it all out before their own untimely demise.
But do they? That’s the question you’ll have to watch and find out.
In the novel, a group of people are lured into coming to an island under different pretexts, e.g. offers of employment or to enjoy a late summer holiday, or to meet old friends. All have been complicit in the death(s) 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, yet gradually all ten are killed in turn, in a manner that seems to parallel the ten 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.
It is Christie’s best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold, also making it the world’s best-selling mystery, and one of the best-selling books of all time. Publications International lists the novel as the seventh best-selling title.