And Then There Were None book report - detailed analysis, book summary, literary elements, character analysis, Agatha Christie biography, and everything necessary for active class participation.
And Then There Were None is a murder mystery novel written by the world famous mystery writer Agatha Christie and published in 1939. The book is considered by most fans as Christie's greatest work and lauded by critics of the time as ingenious and spine chilling. Over the years, many adaptations have been made of the book including plays, films, radio serials, video games and television shows. The novel continues to be regarded as a classic work of literature to this day.
The story revolves around a group of strangers who are all invited to an island off the English coast. Eight people were sent a letter by someone they know asking them for one reason or another, to come to Indian island. Some of them are expecting a relaxing vacation, some are expecting to find new work, all of them are mistaken about the horror that awaits them.
Shortly after arriving, the group is gathered in the drawing room when suddenly the lights cut out and a recorded voice accuses each person of a past murder that was never solved. Denial abounds, but soon the guests start mysteriously dying one by one and the truth of the recording and the subsequent punishment they're obviously facing, cannot be denied.
With no way off of the island and no obvious suspects to investigate, the group of strangers must come together to solve the mystery of who among them is picking them off without getting killed in the process.
Genre: psychological thriller, horror, mystery, crime
Setting: a deserted soldier island in 1939
Point of view: third-person
Narrator: not appearing
Tone: sinister, foreboding, dark
Mood: thrilling, suspensful
Theme: the story about ten strangers lured to deserted Island by a mysterious host
The novel begins on a train on it's way to the seaside town of Sticklehaven, England. Over the course of the first chapter we're introduced to all eight characters headed to a place called Indian Island for their own different reasons. Each character has received a letter in the mail requesting their presence on the island.
The characters are:
Justice Wargrave, a recently retired judge who was sent a letter from an old friend named Constance Culmington inviting him to spend some time on the island over a vacation.
Vera Claythorne, a woman who was hired as a secretary by the wife of the island's owner, a woman named Una Nancy Owen. Vera was reluctant to take the job and go to the island as she has been avoiding large bodies of water since the recent drowning death of someone close to her. We're told that she was present at the time of this person's death and has been cleared off all charges of her involvement, but we're not told who the person is.
Philip Lombard, a man who was also told he was hired for a job on Indian Island, but we're not told what that job is, only that he is being paid well for it. It is implied that Lombard may deal in illegal business of some type.
Emily Brent, a strictly conservative, very religious woman who is traveling to Indian Island for a holiday. She recently received a letter from an unknown source who would only reveal that they once shared a guesthouse with her. The signature on the letter, however is illegible. Regardless of that fact, Emily Brent decided to take the holiday.
A man called General Macarthur, we're told is taking a different, slower train due to some complications with his ticket. He was invited to the island by some old friends who wanted to see him. The general is glad of the invitation as he worries that because of an old rumor about him, his friends now tend to avoid him. We're not told what the rumor is.
Dr. Armstrong is taking a different means of transportation to Sticklehaven, namely driving. He has been asked to travel to the island to report on the condition of a Mrs. Owen. While driving, he reflects on an accident that happened some years earlier while he was still drinking heavily, that almost crippled his career. While driving he is passed by a man called Tony Marston, dangerously fast.
On a completely different train from the first two, the last introduction in the chapter, a Mr. Blore is skimming over a list of every character that has been reveled so far. He is aware that they are all headed to Indian Island and he is headed there himself for a "job" that we're not told the specifics of. He says that this job will be easy. The only other person on the train with him, an older man, tells him that a storm is rolling in over the Island and that the day of judgment is near. Blore only thinks that the old man is closer to judgment than him.
At the start of chapter two, all of the characters on the trains have made it to the Sticklehaven train station and await taxis to take them to the dock. Each of the guests are surprised but not necessarily unnerved to learn that they are all going to the same place, Indian Island, and that none of them have ever been before. Soon, a man named Fred Narracott shows up to ferry the group to the island. He inwardly wonders why Mr. Owen, the billionaire he knows to own the island, would invite such an odd group of people to his house, none of whom seem to know each other.
When they reach the island, Fred Narracott leaves and the guests are greeted at the door of a large mansion by the butler, Mr. Rogers and his wife, Mrs. Rogers. The Rogers' tell the group that their host has been delayed but that their rooms have been prepared and they should feel free to make themselves comfortable. Each member of the group goes to their own room to prepare for the evening. Vera notices a needlepoint on the wall of her room which spells out a nursery rhyme that she remembers from her childhood called "Ten Little Indians". In the rhyme, ten little Indian children are killed one by one in accidents while doing work. In the end of the rhyme only one Indian boy is left. He hangs himself and the rhyme ends with "and then there were none".
Later in the evening, Dr. Armstrong arrives and immediately recognizes Justice Wargrave as he passes him in the hall. He recalls having given medical testimony in Wargrave's courtroom several times. Wargrave asks Armstrong about Constance Culmington and is confused when the other man tells him that he's never heard of the woman. At the end of the chapter, the guests are all readying themselves for dinner and Macarthur notes that regrets coming and wishes he could leave. But he realizes that's impossible because the Fred Narracott's boat has already left and won't be returning for a few days.
The guests are soon called down to dinner and notice a set of ten china figures of Indians set up in the center of the dining room table. Vera points out that they match the rhyme hanging on the wall in her room. After dinner, the group moves into the drawing room to relax and have an a drink. All are chatting amongst themselves when suddenly a disembodied, recorded voice starts speaking over the chatter of the room. No one can tell from where the voice is coming, but it names every guest in the room individually, even Mr and Mrs. Rogers, and accuses them of a murder that happened at some point in their past. The voice gives specific details about each murder in an emotionless mechanical tone. After naming every suspect and their victim, the voice stops just as mysteriously as it began.
The room erupts into a cacophony of denial, with each guest protesting their innocence and launching into anger at being accused. They begin to search for the source of the voice and Philip Lombard soon finds and old-fashioned record player in the next room. Rogers, the butler, admits that he was told to turn it on at a certain time in the instructions for the night from his employer, but that he had no idea what it would play. Written on the record are the words, "Swan Song".
Everyone gathers once again in the drawing room and asks Mr. Rogers confesses to them that neither he, nor his wife have every actually met their employer, Mr. Owen. He says that he was hired by an agency and they received their instructions by mail. Taking charge of the situation, Justice Wargrave asks everyone to explain the circumstances that brought them to the island. Everyone, of course, explains an invitation that promised something different and the group realize that whoever Mr. Owen is, he has impersonated various friends and old acquaintances in their life to get them there together. Wargrave notes that the recording mentioned a "Mr. Blore" but that there is no one with that name in their group. At this point, Mr. Blore admits that the name he gave them, "Mr. Davis", was fake and that he is a private detective, hired to protect the jewels of a Mrs. U.N. Owen. Wargrave points out that U.N. Owen sounds like it could stand for 'Unknown' and that they might just have been brought together by a homicidal maniac.
Every member of the group is ready to defend themselves against the accusation laid on them. Wargrave, who was accused of killing a man named Edward Seton, says that Seton was only an accused murderer on whom he passed a sentence. Vera was charged with killing a boy named Cyril Hamilton but states that she was only his governess. He drowned while swimming in the ocean and she tried her best to save him but failed.
General Macarthur was accused of killing his wife's lover, Arthur Richmond, but insists that Richmond was one of his officers who died on a reconnaissance mission. He denies that his wife ever had an affair. Philip Lombard says that the murder he was charged with, the killing of twenty-one members of an African tribe, was misrepresented. He allows that he did take their food and abandon them in the wilderness, but only to save himself. Mr. Blore was accused of killing a man named James Landor. He says that Landor was a man that he testified against when he was a police officer, but that Landor only died later in jail. Dr. Armstrong outright denies even knowing the woman that he was accused of murdering, a patient named Louisa Mary Clees. Privately though, he admits that he does remember the case. Tony Marston is the only one in the group who admits that he is guilty of the charge. Casually, he confesses that the probably ran over his alleged victims, two children named John and Lucy Combes,by accident.
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers were charged with the death of Jennifer Brady, an old, sick women who used to be their employer. He admits that they did inherit some money after her death but that they had no hand in it. The sole holdout, the pious Emily Brent refuses to even speak to the accusation leveled against her.
After going through the accusations individually, Wargrave suggests that the group should cease participating in this little stunt and leave in the morning as soon as the boat comes back. All of the guests concur except Tony Marston who offers that they stay and solve the mystery of who U.N. Owen actually is. While speaking he takes a drink, chokes on it and then dies immediately. The other guests are horrified, but since Marston poured the drink himself, can only assume that he willfully committed suicide by poisoning himself. Marston's body is carried to his bedroom and covered with a sheet.
As it is getting late, it's decided that everyone should go to bed and lock their doors. The party assumes that they will be able to leave in the morning once Fred Narracott is contacted. Only Mr. Rogers stays awake to clean up after the dinner. He notices that one of the ten little Indian statues on the table is missing.
Alone in each of their bedrooms, the group can only listen to the sound of the sea crashing against the rocks outside and think about the truth of the accusations leveled against them. Vera, in particular, remembers the day little Cyril died and how she knew before he died that when he was gone her lover, Hugo would be able to inherit their families fortune. Before going to bed she notices the similarity between the first verse of the "Ten Little Indians" poem and Philip Marston's death. The first verse reads, "One choked his little self and then there were nine".
In the middle of the night, Mr. Rogers wakes Dr. Armstrong from a nightmare in which he must kill the patient on his operating table. Mr. Rogers tells the doctor that he is concerned because he realized after finishing cleaning and retiring to his bed that he could not wake his wife from her sleep.
Dr. Armstrong examines Mrs. Rogers and finds that she has died in her sleep from an overdose of some kind.
In the morning, the guests rise and go out to the dock before breakfast, hoping to see the boat coming back in. However, when it does not appear on time they start to worry. After breakfast, Dr. Armstrong tells the group of Mrs. Rogers death. Vera can't help but notice that her death also resembles the second line in the "Ten Little Indians" poem which reads: "Nine little Indian Boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight". Mr. Rogers is horrified to notice that there are now only eight Indian figures in the center of the table.
Later in the day, Emily Brent and Vera Claythorne take a walk together on the cliffs surrounding the estate. Emily assumes that Mrs. Rogers killed herself from a guilty conscience and tells Vera this. She also tells Vera the story of her accusation. Emily was accused of killing one Beatrice Taylor a young maid who worked for her years before. She confirms that a maid named Beatrice Taylor did work for her and that the girl fell pregnant after which Emily immediately threw her out of the house. Depressed, Beatrice drowned herself shortly after. Emily insists that she does not feel remorse for this.
Nearby, Lombard and Dr. Armstrong discuss the murders and decide that they don't believe that Mrs. Rogers killed herself, since the likelihood of two suicides happening within a twelve hour period in the same house is very low. Armstrong tells Lombard about the Indian figures disappearing and they both notice how the two murders that have happened so far match up with the first two verses of the rhyme. They decide that whoever this U.N. Owen is, he must be hiding somewhere on the island and committing these murders. They determine to search the island immediately. Because the island is mostly bare rock, the search doesn't take them long and they come up empty handed. Lombard, however, reveals that he has a revolver in his coat and this news surprises Mr. Blore. The men come to some cliffs and realizes that they will need a rope to get to the bottom so that they can search the caves within. Blore volunteers to return to the house to get one.
Meanwhile, Vera, alone now, comes across General Macarthur sitting by himself and staring off into the sea. The old man is clearly dazed and delusional, he insists that the end is coming and that they have very little time. He is calm, however, and wants to be left alone. He tells Vera that he is happy to be dying soon and that he has felt guilt over the death of his alleged victim, Arthur Richmond for some time.
Blore returns with a rope and he and Armstrong lower Lombard to the bottom of the cliffs to make a search of the caves. Inwardly, Blore notes that he finds Lombard to be a suspiciously good climber and that he thinks it odd that he would have a revolver. After a search, Lombard announces that he found nothing and the three men return to the house to begin combing it. This search goes quickly, as the house is modern and has few places to hide. At the end of it the three men are forced to conclude that there is no one on the island save for the eight remaining members of their group. After they conclude this, the men begin to argue. Blore demands to know why Lombard has a gun. Lombard insists that he was hired to do a job by a man named Issac Morris and Morris told him that he might run into trouble of some type on the island. Just then the bell rings to announce that lunch is ready.
All of the guests gather in the dining room except General Macarthur who Armstrong goes to fetch. Soon after he leaves, Armstrong bursts back into the room. Before he can speak Vera guesses that Macarthur is dead. Armstrong confirms that he is, saying that Macarthur was killed by a blow to the head. Vera notices that only seven statues now remain on the table. Macarthur's body is retrieved by Blore and Armstrong and placed in his room. Everyone gathers in the drawing room once again and Wargrave tells them that he has concluded that the murder must be someone in the group.
Everyone in the group, except Vera agree with this conclusion. He then asks if anyone of them can be cleared of suspicion and after some objections on behalf of the women and the more professional men, it is agreed that the group should proceed as if any one of them could be the murderer. It's decided that no one in the group has a foolproof alibi for all of the murders and in light of this, Wargrave warns them all to be careful of who they trust. Wargrave dismisses them and the group split up to talk about their suspicions.
Vera and Lombard talk in the living room, agreeing that they do not suspect each other. Lombard admits that he thinks Wargrave is the killer and Vera says she thinks it is Dr. Armstrong, since he is the only doctor present and could make up anything he wanted about the manner of deaths of the victims so far. Nearby, Wargrave and Armstrong talk as well. Armstrong worries that they will all be murdered in their beds that night. Wargrave thinks to himself that Armstrong has a "commonplace mind" and that the man annoys him. He says that while he has no evidence that would stand up in a court of law, he believes he knows who the killer is.
That afternoon, the group gathers for teatime in the drawing room. Mr. Rogers rushes in to announce that one of the silk curtains in the bathroom has gone missing. None of the group knows what this means but it reignites their nerves. The group eats dinner and retires to bed, locking their doors. Before Mr. Rogers goes to bed he locks the dining room door so that no one can remove anymore of the Indian figures.
Many of the guests sleep in the next morning and are confused as to why Mr. Rogers didn't come and wake them. They look for Rogers but are unable to find him but Vera notices in the now open dining room that another of the Indian statues is missing. Soon, the group finds Rogers body in the woodshed with a hatchet wound in the back of his neck. Upon seeing this, Vera points out the fourth verse of the rhyme: " Seven little Indian Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six." Slightly hysterical, she remembers that the next verse was about bees and wonders if there are any hives on the island. She comes to her senses only after Armstrong slaps her.
Emily and Vera decide to prepare breakfast themselves. While they cook, Blore tells Lombard that he thinks that Emily is the killer. He also admits that he did have more to do with the crime he was accused of by the recording than he'd let on earlier.
After breakfast is over, Wargrave suggests that the group convene in the drawing room again. Emily says that she feels woozy and wishes to stay at the table. After the others leave, Emily sees a bee buzzing on the window and realizes that there is someone standing behind her. Her thoughts are sluggish and obviously drugged. She assumes that the person behind her is Beatrice Taylor, the maid she inadvertently killed and feels a prick on her neck.
After discussing the likelihood of Emily being the killer, the others return to the dining room to talk to her only to find her dead of injection from a hypodermic needle. Armstrong admits that he has a needle in his bag and the remaining guests go to his room and find that the needle has vanished.
After this, Wargrave gets the idea to lock away anything that could potentially be used as a weapon, especially Lombard's gun and Armstrong's medical case. It is then discovered that Lombard's gun is also missing. They store Armstrong's medical bag in a case that requires a key and put that in another chest that requires a different key. One key is given to Lombard and one to Blore. This way, the two equally young and strong men would have to fight one another to obtain the other key and neither could break into the case or the chest without creating a ruckus that would bring the others in.
Everyone adjourns to the drawing room, where they must light candles to stave off the dark as Rogers was the only one capable of operating the house's generator.
As only five people are left, they all agree that only one person will ever go anywhere at a time, while the other four all stay together to prevent anyone from getting cornered. Vera goes by herself to take a shower in her room. When she enters the room she smells salt and sea and feels something wet and clammy touch her throat. She screams and the others come running only to find that a piece of seaweed is hanging from the ceiling. Lombard guesses that it was meant to remind her of Cyril's drowning and frighten her possibly to death. Blore fetches Vera a glass of alcohol but she refuses to drink it on the grounds that he may have poisoned it. This begins an argument that only stops when they realize that Wargrave failed to come upstairs with them.
Downstairs, they find him sitting in his chair with the red silk curtain that was missing draped across his chest and a gray judges wig made from some wool that Emily had lost. Wargrave is reveled to have been shot in the head and the group remembers the fifth stanza from the rhyme: "five little Indian boys going in for law; one got in Chancery [dressed like a judge] and then there were four".
After Wargrave's death, his body is moved to his room and the remaining four members of the party eat dinner quickly and then go to bed. Each person believes that they know the identity of the killer but none of them make an accusation aloud. Lombard notices that his gun is now back in his room. Vera lies awake remembering Cyril's drowning and admits to herself that she told him that he could make a swim out to a nearby rock knowing that he would fail and drown. She wonders if her lover, Hugo knows what she did.
Over in his room, Blore tries to go over the cold facts of the case but finds it hard to concentrate and keeps thinking back to his framing of his alleged victim, James Landor. He hears a noise in the hall outside of his room and slips out to investigate. A figure darts through the shadows going out the front door of the house. Blore wakes Lombard and Vera and they find that Dr. Armstrong is not in his room. Instructing Vera to stay put, the two men hurry outside to see if they can find him. Soon they return, admitting that they were unable to find anyone.
The three remaining guests find a broken windowpane downstairs and only three Indian figurines in the dining room. That morning, the Vera, Lombard and Blore eat breakfast. The storm that prevented the mainland from being contacted has passed and they consider different ways to approach leaving the island. Vera reminds the men of the verse in the rhyme that corresponds with Armstrong's disappearance: "Four little Indian Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.". Since red herring is a common term for denoting a false lead or a smoke screen, she posits that perhaps Dr. Armstrong isn't really dead at all and that he vanished only in an effort to distract them.
The trio spend their morning on the cliffs unsuccessfully attempting to signal the mainland using a mirror. After a few hours, Blore decides to go back into the house to get something to eat. Afraid to go alone, he asks Lombard for the gun but the other man refuses. Once Blore leaves, Lombard tells Vera that he thinks Blore is the killer. Vera insists that Armstrong may still be alive but also suggest that the killer could be supernatural, perhaps a spirit or an alien. Lombard suspects that Vera may be having some kind of mental breakdown over her guilt and asks her for the truth about what happened with Cyril's drowning. Reluctantly, Vera begins to admit her involvement in the boy's death but before she can they hear a loud crash from the house and go to find out what it was.
They find Blore dead, having been crushed from a bear-shaped marble clock that sat on the mantle in Vera's room. This fulfills the rhyme's eighth line: "three little Indian Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two". Vera and Lombard resolve to wait on the cliffs for rescue, thinking that Armstrong must still be in the house somewhere. Once on the cliffs, they spot something on the beach below and climb down to discover Armstrong's dead body. Suddenly without suspects save each other, Vera and Lombard see each other in a new light. Vera notices Lombard's "wolf like face and sharp teeth". She suggest that they move the body out of the tide and Lombard sneers at her, but agrees.
Bending over to move the body, Lombard quickly realizes that his gun is missing and spins around to see that Vera has taken it and is pointing it at him. He lunges at her but she pulls the trigger and shoots him dead. Feeling relief at having bested the obvious killer, Vera heads back to house to try and get some sleep before help arrives. She sees three statues left on the dining room table and breaks two, and examines the third while trying to remember the last line of the rhyme. She mistakenly remembers it as, "he got married and then there were none" obviously thinking of Hugo and reveling that he left her for another woman after Cyril's death. She suddenly begins to feel that Hugo is waiting for her upstairs.
Climbing the stairs to her room, she drops the revolver on the floor without noticing and walks in on a noose hanging from the hook in her bedroom ceiling that had held the seaweed the night before. Exhausted and delusional from shock, she assumes that Hugo wants her to hang herself and remembers the real last line of the poem; "he went and hanged himself and then there were none". Vera pulls a chair over, puts her head through the noose and hangs herself.
The book ends with an epilogue in which two police detectives discuss the case and reconstruct it's events. They have investigated and been able to make a time line of the deaths based off of the diaries that several of the guests were keeping. It is clear to them that Vera was not the murderer since when they arrived to the island the chair that she had kicked away to hang herself had been neatly set upright against a wall. They reveal that Issac Morris, the man who hired Lombard and Blore, bought the island under the false name of U.N. Owen and died of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills the night that the guests arrived on the island. The detective's then discuss a manuscript that was found by a fisherman and given to the police.
The book continues by showing the manuscript itself. It was written by Justice Wargrave who admits that he has knows the solution to an unsolved crime. Wargrave continues that he was a sadistic, sociopathic child who had a lust for killing that he satiated by becoming a judge so that he could sentence people to death, effectively killing within the confines of the law. He states that after many years of this his desire to kill became stronger and he wished to deal death personally. One day a doctor told him about a couple that he suspected had killed an old woman by withholding a needed medicine from her and allowing her to die. The doctor told Wargrave that the murder couldn't be proven so the couple went free. This conversation made Wargrave think about the number of murderers that go unpunished because their cases can't be fully solved. He resolved to read up on some of those cases and plan multiple murders to punish these unjust killers.
We learn that Wargrave also killed Issac Morris, a man who had sold a drug to a young acquaintance of Wargrave's who then killed herself.
Wargrave goes on to detail every murder he committed and his reasoning for doing so, taking care to note that he only did it because of his innate sense of justice. He also says that he tricked Dr. Armstrong into becoming his ally and that the doctor helped him fake his death by pretending to find a gunshot wound on the man's forehead. After Lombard and Blore placed Wargrave back in his room, he sneaked out and met Armstrong on the cliffs. He then pushed the doctor into the ocean, killing him.
Wargrave says he could've killed Vera himself, but since he wanted her death to fit the "Ten Little Indians" rhyme he instead set up the noose in her room and was pleased to find that her own guilt drove her to use it. He further notes that he was the only one not guilty of the crime that he was charged with by the recording on the first day, since by sentencing Seton to death he was only sentencing a guilty man.
In closing, Wargrave admits that he discovered that he was terminally ill some months ago and intended to kill himself after the members of the party. He details the lengths he went to to stage his own suicide to look like a murder. By setting up the revolver to shoot from a distance with a mechanism of his own making so that he would fall back on his bed as if someone else shot him. His last words are that the police will find, "Ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island".
Justice Wargrave - a former judge and natural leader, Wargrave has a reputation of being a 'hanging judge' or a judge that usually put down a guilty verdict and sentenced many people to death. Wargrave is a highly intelligent man and a born manipulator. After the first murder, Wargrave takes over as the groups de facto leader. The group trusts him and that makes it easier for him to kill them off one by one without garnering any suspicion. Wargrave is a troubled man, who takes sadistic joy in murdering but thinks that he is able to uphold a strong sense of justice while doing so. He is clearly insane and is reveled to be terminally ill in the end of the book, resulting in his suicide.
Vera Claythorne - Vera is a slightly delusional, troubled woman who comes to Indian Island with the intention of becoming a secretary for a rich man that lives there. She is desperate to escape her past as she is guilty of impulsively killing a small boy so that the man she loved would inherit his estate. Although she was cleared of all blame, Vera's lover Hugo still left her for another woman. She becomes somewhat of an audience viewpoint in the story and she is the one to initially bring up the 'Ten Little Indians' poem and note it's similarities to the murders.
Vera stays alive longest on the island by being one of the most intelligent characters in the book, but her bouts of hysteria ultimately do her in in the end when she kills herself over the guilty delusion that Hugo is asking her to.
Philip Lombard - Lombard comes to Indian Island to escape a past which is not detailed in the book, but seems to have involved some mercenary soldier work in Africa. Philip is a very cunning, smart man and uses that throughout the book to attempt to find out who the killer is.
He is kept alive longer than almost any other character in the book but is killed in the end by Vera using his own gun.
Dr. Armstrong - Dr. Armstrong is said by Wargrave to be a very gullible man. He is accused of killing a patient on his table at the beginning of the book and later inwardly admits that he did accidentally kill her by operating on her while drunk.
Armstrong has a very weak personality which Wargrave exploits by convincing him to help him in his quest. It's never revealed whether Armstrong knew that Wargrave was the killer but in the end he is pushed off of a cliff by Wargrave anyway.
Mr. Blore - a former police detective and current private investigator, Blore is bold to the point of often being foolhardy. He is accused of falsifying his testimony in a case at the request of a criminal gang. Blore frequently suspects the different people of being the killer throughout the novel and never actually lands on the correct one.
Emily Brent - a pious, religious old woman who reads her bible frequently, Emily Brent was accused of killing Beatrice Taylor, a pregnant maid who she fired. Unlike the other characters, Emily remains steadfast in her own innocence until her death, when she starts to hallucinate that Beatrice Taylor is the one coming to kill her.
Emily is a god-fearing woman, who is so sure of her own righteousness that she doesn't admit her crime even to herself.
General Macarthur - an old, former army man who is accused of sending a lieutenant that he discovered to be his wife's lover to his death in World War I. Macarthur has since also lost his wife. He does admit to the murder and is so guilt-ridden and exhausted that after the first murders take place he becomes resigned to the idea of his own death and moves out to the seaside cliffs to await it.
Anthony Marston - although he is the first to be killed and therefore is only in the book for a short time, Marston makes a big impression. He is painted as a rich, handsome, car-loving man who is slightly sociopathic and shows no remorse for the two children he allegedly killed in a hit and run style accident. Wargrave kills Tony Marston first because he believes that Marston was the least responsible for his crime of the group, being that he may not have understood that what he did was wrong in the first place.
Mr. Rogers - the butler of the house. It is reveled after people start being killed that Mr. Rogers has never met his employer, Mr. Owen and is only following the directions laid out in a letter that was mailed to him. Rogers is accused of purposefully neglecting to give a former employer, an old woman needed medication and therefore killing her. Rogers is committed to being a dignified servant, so much so that he continues to act as the butler even after his wife is found dead in their room.
Mrs. Rogers - a frail, weak nerved woman who faints after the recording is played detailing her crimes. Wargrave suspects that Mrs. Rogers was led into killing her former employer by her husband and thus decides to give her the comparatively easy death of overdosing on sleeping pills.
Dame Agatha Christie was born in Devon, England in September of 1890. She is one of the bestselling authors of all time and one of the most widely published world wide.
Christie authored 66 detective novels in her lifetime and 14 short story collections, most of which revolve around the investigations of characters like, Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, to name a few. She also wrote the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery called "Mousetrap".
Christie was a nurse in World War I and an accomplished musician, playing both the piano and the mandolin.
Originally called Agatha Miller, Christie married Archibald Christie in 1914. The couple had one child, Rosalind. The marriage was troubled, and Archibald asked Christie for a divorce in late 1926 on the grounds that he had fallen in love with another woman. This was followed by the famed mysterious disappearance of Agatha on December 3rd 1926. Christie was missing for 10 days during which a massive manhunt was organized by the police. On the 14th of December she was found at a hotel in Yorkshire with no memory of the last 10 days or how she ended up there. She was diagnosed as having amnesia and never regained the memory of those 10 days.
Christie eventually remarried and later went on to earn the title of "Dame" for her contributions to literature. She was also named Commander of the Order of the British Empire where she was called Dame Commander.
In 1976 at the age of 85, Christie died of natural causes at her home in Winterbrook, Cholsey, England.