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And Then There Was Agatha: The Best-Selling Novelist in History

queen of crimes
Agatha Christie, photo courtesy of Torre Abbey

Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime and the bestselling novelist of all time. With more than 60 detective novels and 14 short story collections, her works have sold more than two billion copies worldwide.

Born in an upper-class middle family in Torquay, Devon, England, Christie was initially unsuccessful. That circumstance changed when her book, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” featuring detective Hercule Poirot was published. Since then, she has continued to write a few books featuring the detective and other stand-alone stories.

Suppose you have yet to include this writer in your library. Here is one of the best Agatha Christie books to start reading today:

And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie described this book as one of the most difficult to write. First published in 1939, this book is considered the world’s best-selling mystery, with over 100 million copies sold.

The story starts with eight people who arrive on a tiny island off the Devon Coast. Each person received an unexpected personal invitation from the hosts Ulick Norman Owen and Una Nancy Owen. Upon arrival, they are greeted by the butler and cook-housekeeper, Thomas and Ethel Rogers, as the hosts have yet to arrive. Nevertheless, they were left with instructions to enjoy their stay.

A framed copy of an old children’s rhyme hangs on the wall in every guest’s room. In addition, at least ten figurines sat on the dining room table. After supper, a phonograph record is played, accusing each visitor and the Rogers of committing murder. After these accusations, the recording asks if any “prisoners at the bar” wishes to offer a defense.

As tension rose between the guests and staff, they soon learned that “U N Owen” was a play on the word “Unknown.” With the first guest dying of cyanide poisoning, it’s clear that each person is fated to die in correspondence to the rhyme. Will they find the killer’s identity first, or will they fall to their fate?

Some Interesting Facts:

  • “And Then There Were None” inspired countless adaptations from movies, plays, and a 2015 mini-series.
  • The rhyme that inspired murders was inspired by the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Indians.” However, it has since been rewritten to “Ten Little Soldiers.”
  • The book inspired countless parodies, including a famous Family Guy episode, “And Then There Were Fewer.”
  • Many online critics and fans consider this work one of Agatha Christie’s best books.

And Then There Were None is available on Amazon and other bookstores worldwide.

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