Agatha Christie’s story of 10 strangers who are picked off one by one after being lured to an island mansion, And Then There Were None, has beaten Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to be named the world’s favourite Christie novel.If my recollection is correct, the first time I read And Then There Were None (which, when published originally in the UK, carried the title Ten Little Niggers) was in high school. I re-read it only last year, after publisher William Morrow issued a 75th anniversary paperback edition of the novel. In neither case can I say I was disappointed.
The book, which Christie described as “so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me”, and which the New York Times, on its publication in 1939, said was “utterly impossible and utterly fascinating … the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written”, triumphed in a public vote launched by the author’s estate to find her most popular novel. Set up to mark Christie’s 125th birthday on 15 September, the poll saw more than 15,000 people from around the world cast their votes, with And Then There Were None collecting 3,211. Murder on the Orient Express came in second, with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd third.
READ MORE: “Sorry, People, You Chose the Wrong Agatha Christie,” by Val McDermid (The Guardian).