Agatha Christie is one of the most iconic British and prominent mystery author! Our book club was thrilled that one of her books was our pick this month since it has been through our minds as one to read. Although not prone to who-dun-nit novels, each of us enjoyed this quick-paced read as it twisted and turned us round figuring out who was the infamous U.N. Owen.
Amidst detecting the culprit, we fund themes of human nature and group think along with the human psyche when it comes to guilt, trust, and believing what we wish to be true. One can say it is a cross between Clue, Lord of the Flies, and The Hunger Games! Initial theories that we shared included paranormal activity, hidden passages, pawns, imaginations, Dr. Armstrong, and a hint of Justice Wargrave. The latter was picked up as suspicious shortly after the first death of Anthony, describing Wargrave with “a cruel mouth now, cruel and predatory. Hooding his eyes, the judge smiled to himself. He’d cooked Seton’s goose all right!” (Christie 52-53). Along with this creepy depiction, we pondered the interesting take on the nursery rhyme that backed every single murder. Reading this aloud in a soft and eerie manner made us think we were close to Halloween:
- Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
- One choked his little self and then there were nine.
- Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
- One overslept himself and then there were eight.
- Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
- One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
- Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
- One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
- Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
- A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
- Five little Indian boys going in for law;
- One got in Chancery and then there were four.
- Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
- A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
- Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo;
- A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
- Two Little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
- One got frizzled up and then there was one.
- One little Indian boy left all alone;
- He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
The severity and order of each murder intensified, resembling the guilt of each of the criminals present. With that being said, 10 people was a lot to account for, making the audio book challenging to follow.
To add to the British theme, we decided to immerse ourselves as much as we were able by potlucking scones, cucumber tea sandwiches fish & chips, Cadbury candies, tea, British ale, and cauliflower cheese! Additionally, playing Dan Stevens perfect characterizations on audio book while discussing The Great British Baking Show emphasized the theme.
Here’s to our next book club selection, Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller! Almost Fall! 🙂