Read summary for 'And Then There Were None' & make your day exciting

If you look at the list of bestselling books of all time in any language then you will find ‘And Then There Were None’ in 6th place.

And remember, I said ‘bestselling books’ not bestselling novels.

“And Then There Were None” is one cult mystery novel that has been adapted in many television series, movies, and theatrical performances in several languages from the date of its publication.

Over one hundred million copies of And Then There Were None in more than 50 languages have been sold from the day of its release which shows the cult status it has gathered over the years.

Who wrote ‘And Then There Were None’?

The author of ‘And Then There Were None’ was Agatha Christie also known as ‘The Queen Of Crime’, who also created famous characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Christie herself told once that this novel was the most difficult novel she had written and it challenged her creativity in many ways.

But her effort paid off.

‘And Then There Were None’ made her the best-selling novelist of all time.

If you ask me which is the best novel by Agatha Christie then without any doubt I will say, or anybody who has read Christie’s work will say ‘And Then There Were None.’

When was ‘And There Were None’ first published?

‘And Then There Were None’ was first published in 1939 in the United Kingdom but its title was ‘Ten Little Niggers’.

This novel was then released in the United States in 1940 with the changed title ‘And Then There Were None’ which was adapted from the last 5 words of the American Children’s counting-out rhyme ‘Ten Little Indians’.

Read More : 101 Agatha Christie Quotes that fill your heart with bliss

Now, you know who wrote this novel and when was it first published but the exciting part is up ahead, which is the summary of this best-selling crime novel of all time.

I have given the ending of ‘And Then There Were None’ separately in this article.

Because you can choose to either read it or not read it in case you want to get to the ending by reading the novel yourself.

Summary for ‘And Then There Were None’

Eight strangers from different backgrounds, guilty of committing a crime untouchable by the law, are personally invited on an isolated island - the soldier island - of the Devon coast by Mr. and Mrs. Owen.

When they arrive on the island they meet two more people, a butler, and his butler/housekeeper wife, who themselves have received personal invitations by the same Owens.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers also inform the other guests that Mr. and Mrs. Owen will arrive on the island the next day. Till their arrival, they would take care of the guests and their food.

Before proceeding ahead with Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ synopsis, let’s know a bit about these 10 characters.

And Then There Were None character summary

  • Justice Wargrave - An old retired judge who thought that he would meet an old friend Constance Culmington on the soldier island
  • Vera Claythorne - A games mistress in a girls’ school, who thinks she has been hired as a secretary.
  • Philip Lombard - A mercenary who would be at the disposal of the owner of the soldier island for nearly a week
  • Miss Emily Brent - an old religious lady who is a spinster. She has been invited to spend the summer holidays at soldier island as a guest.
  • General McArthur - A retired World War I army general, who also thinks that he has been invited by an old friend
  • Dr. Armstrong - a Harley Street doctor who has been invited to look after the owner’s wife's health
  • Anthony Marston - 6 feet tall, a blue-eyed playboy.
  • William Blore - a retired police inspector but now a private detective. He has been given the names of all the other 9 guests and has been invited to look after Mrs. Owen’s jewels.
  • Thomas Rogers - a butler who is already on the island when these 8 strangers arrive.
  • Ethel Rogers - wife of Thomas Rogers and also a servant hired for housekeeping.

Each of the guests then goes to their assigned rooms which are well decorated after they arrive on the island.

They all see the following poem In their respective rooms which initially they couldn’t link with their current situation.

Read More : Thrilling mystery of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926

The poem

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 into 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 were out in the sun; One got all 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.

In the center of a round table in the drawing-room, they notice 10 little china figures.

All are having distinct conversations after the dinner when suddenly a recorded voice starts playing that reminds each of them of their committed crimes with the dates.

They pull out the source of that recorded voice to be a gramophone with a large trumpet.

Mr. Rogers tells them that Mr. Own ordered him to put that record in the gramophone.

After an intense discussion, they arrive at a conclusion that none of them know the Owens who invited them, even the Rogers.

Justice Wargrave deduces that the Owens, Ulick Norman Owen, and Una Nancy Owen are abbreviated as U. N. Owen, a name basically derived from the English word ‘UNKNOWN’.

and then there were none

As they discuss the situation, Anthony Marston dies from choking on his drink. The cause discovered is Potassium Cyanide which surprisingly is neither found in the bottle of whisky nor the soda water.

They conclude that Marston must have committed suicide in the absence of any rational explanation.

That night all guests go to sleep dejected, however, Mr. Rogers notices that the number of China figures has reduced by one.

Vera Claythorne also notices the similarity between Marston’s death and the first two lines of the poem from the mantelpiece.

The next morning, they discover that Mrs. Rogers died in her sleep.

They all want to leave the island but the boat that comes to the island every day with supplies hasn’t arrived. They realize that they are trapped.

Mr. Rogers tells Dr. Armstrong that the number of little China figures has reduced to 8.

Armstrong, Lombard, and Blore start out on a tour of the island to find out U.N. Owen. Meanwhile, General McArthur believes that he has little time to live hence he sits out looking at the sea.

When Dr. Armstrong goes out to call General McArthur for lunch, he finds him dead. He examines the cause of death as a blow on the back of the head.

Justice Wargrave discusses the three deaths with the remaining 7 people and concludes that one of them is a killer.

Storm strikes and heavy rain pours further lowering down their hopes of the boat arriving at the island.

That night, Mr. Rogers locks the dining room and puts the key in his pocket so that no one can play the trick of removing a china figure on the occurrence of a death.

The next morning, all of them except Rogers find out the number of china figures reduced to 6 in the open dining room.

However, Mr. Rogers's dead body is found in the washroom, the cause of death being the use of a big chopper on the back of his head. He was chopping wood to light the kitchen fire while he was killed.

That day after breakfast, Emily Brent sits alone in the dining room as she feels giddy while a few go in the pantry to help Vera Claythorne with washing up the plates.

Emily Brent feels a prick on her neck and she dies with the probable reason - injection of Potassium Cyanide.

Scared and suspicious, everyone sits together after an organized search of everyone’s belongings.

Vera Clathorne goes to her room to take a shower where she screams on seeing a seaweed hanging from the ceiling.

Blore, Lombard, and Armstrong run upstairs to check, and when they return, they find Justice Wargrave in the chair shot in the head, draped in a curtain that looks like a judge’s robe.

In the night, Blore hears someone walking in the corridor, he figures out that Dr. Armstrong is missing.

Philip Lombard and Blore search for Dr. Armstrong only to find him nowhere. They along with Vera Claythorne come outside of the bungalow feeling that they would be safe outside.

Mr. Blore goes back to the house to get some food when a big clock falls from the second floor, crushing him to death.

Freaking out at the death of Mr. Blore, Vera Claythorne, and Philip Lombard move further to the seashore where they found Armstrong’s corpse in the water.

With only Vera and Lombard remaining, Vera is convinced that Lombard is the killer. She snatches away the gun from him and shoots him thus becoming the last survivor.

She retreats to her room relaxed. But when she sees a noose in her room, she feels attracted towards the last line of the ‘Ten soldiers poem’ thus hanging herself and committing suicide.

The ending of and then there were none

When Police arrive at the island they don’t have a clue who the murderer is.

A few days later Scotland Yard receives a manuscript that was obtained by a fishing trawler. The manuscript was floating in a glass bottle.

Manuscript in glass bottle

Justice Wargrave confesses in the letter to be the murderer.

He confesses about his lust to kill, and punish those whose crimes are untouchable by the law.

When doctors told him he had little time to live, he wanted to make it grand by killing guilty people. He chose to murder them in the style of his favorite nursery rhyme.

Wargrave thus chose his victims and lured them to Soldier Island by using different baits.

Justice Wargrave feigned his own death. He convinced Dr. Armstrong to help him frame his own murder as an attempt to catch the original killer.

When Dr. Armstrong met him outside the house, Wargrave took him to the edge of the cliff and pushed him off directly into the sea.

After his last victim hanged herself, he shot himself in such a way that it appeared as if his body was laid on the bed by the killer.

Final touch - And Then There Were None Novel’s summary

If you are reading the conclusion then you’re already thrilled from reading the synopsis of ‘And Then There Were None’.

I am sure you now know why this novel is the best novel of Agatha Christie.

Don’t let this summary stop you from reading the entire novel because the thrill which you get from reading it word by word, page by page is going to be phenomenal in comparison to reading its plot.

So, when are you planning to read ‘And Then There Were None’?

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