Agatha Christie Month #1: And Then There Were None, The Man in the Brown Suit

To kickstart 2017 we’re going to be reading one of the worlds most famous authors in Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie has a lot of books and we’re going to tackle some of her best.

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None is mystery novel that revolves around the story of ten characters who are strangers to each other are summoned to a private island for different purposes. All of these guests have committed a murder and escaped from the clutches of law. They all meet their fate and one by one each one is killed as described in the nursery rhyme.

Agatha Christie, the mystery novelist and a prolific writer is at her very best in this novel. Every death in this novel sounds poetic and is planned to perfection keeping your adrenaline levels elevated with the death of each character. The ten strangers are all invited by an unknown host for example Vera Claythorne thinks she has been employed as a secretary, William Blore who is an ex-detective and Philip Lombard who is an adventurer think they are hired to resolve the anticipated trouble to occur over the weekend. Dr. Armstrong think he is summoned to treat the wife of the owner of this island. Judge Wargrave, Emily Brent, Tony Marston, and General Macarthur, think they are here to pay visit to their old friends. When all these strangers arrive on the Indian island they are greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Rogers who inform them that the owner Mr. Owen will not be able to reach until the next day. the guests gather for dinner that evening and after a delicious dinner they hear a pre-recorded voice intimating them about the murder each one has committed which was never uncovered. Here they come to know that none of them has any clue of the mysterious owner and they all have been summoned under a strange plan. The next morning Tony Marston dies which is followed by death of Mrs. Rogers. The remaining guests realize that one among all of them is a murderer and the death is carried out as per the dictates of the nursery rhyme. As the novel progresses, the mystery baffles the readers and finally they learn that Judge Wargrave had summoned all the murderers to punish them for their crimes.

Indeed, And Then There Were None is the most brilliant detective novel that intelligently represents the ten characters of Indian figures in the nursery rhyme and with the death of each one, one figure disappears until the end – “And Then There Were None”.

The Man in the Brown Suit

Anne Beddingfeld, a penniless orphan who arrives to London witnesses death of a man on a crowded platform of London’s busy station. A mysterious man in the brown suit claiming to be a doctor pretending to examine the body leaves a piece of paper with a cryptic message “17-122 Kilmorden Castle’ written on it. Following the clue, Anne sets off on her investigating journey which takes her on a voyage from London to Africa to follow the trail of mysterious killing.

The Man in the Brown Suit seems to be like Agatha’s biography and is related with her own experiences. This novel is an adventure story mixed with murder, mystery, suspense and organized international crime. As it is customary, there are multiple suspects and Anne has to intelligently work out on whom she can trust and believe. This is a thriller woven around the two mysterious deaths, one on a platform and second death of a celebrated dancer. Colonel Race is a secret agent who assists Anne on her trail to unravel the mysterious deaths. Anne’s appealing charm attracts many benevolent protectors on the ship in the name of Suzanne Blair and Sir Eustace Pedler. This is more an adventure story that has exotic locales weaved with coincidences and creepy criminals. Anne’s travel is discussed in detail which again reflects Agatha’s own journey. There is romance, melodrama, and adventure involved in this novel. Anne is threatened, kidnapped, assaulted and shot but she rises up against all odds. Amidst many activities that follow there are killings to be investigated and the theft of uncut diamonds worth thousands of pounds to be uncovered along with the search of mysterious man in the brown suit.

This early novel by Agatha has boring detailed descriptions and has many lapses but undoubtedly, the Queen of Mystery has succeeded in weaving an intricate plot that makes her mysteries timeless and award-winning.

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