'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 travelling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there and then there were Seven.....'
Eight strangers are invited to an isolated mansion on Indian Island off the coast of Devon. On their arrival they are greeted by the butler and his wife.........and then there are ten. On the wall of each bedroom is a copy of a differently worded but still familiar old rhyme and at dinner they notice an unusual centrepiece of ten little Indian figurines. During coffee a 'voice' is heard accusing each guest of murder and shortly after one of them chokes and dies, the first of a succession of deaths that leave the remaining members of the group increasingly afraid and suspicious of each other.
Agatha Christie takes the traditional 'country house' setting and adds her own ingenious touch. From the beginning the reader knows what is going to happen and the suspense is built by not knowing who, when or how. With no detective it's also left to the reader to seek the clues and try to figure out who the murderer is - I certainly didn't but it was fun trying! Very clever and I can see why it's considered to one of the author's best works. A short, fast read which I enjoyed immensely.
Vintage Mystery Challenge - Golden Age Girls