Conflict- The main conflict is simple, survive a mysterious murderer who has the main characters trapped on an island. Throughout the novel the characters must struggle to survive, while each one is picked off one by one in shocking and mysterious ways.
Originally the book went by a very controversial title (which I will not write here, but you can find online), and was forced to change its title before being published in the US, as well as the nursery rhyme that is mentioned in the book, which also went by the same controversial title.
And Then There Were None has gone on to become the world’s best-selling mystery novel since its publication.
The novel was initially highly criticized for ‘being too much of a mystery’ novel and therefore being too difficult for readers to try predict the outcome, yet over time it received acclaim for this as it broke out of the traditional parameters that bound the mystery genre.
And Then There Were None opens with all of the main characters traveling to a ferry that will take them to a mysterious island known as Indian Island. They have all been invited for what they are made to believe will be a fun filled experience, however they are sorely mistaken. The ten guests are housed in a mansion on the island belonging to a family by the name of the Owen's, yet they are away, leaving the guests to be attended to by Thomas and Ethel Rogers. Once settled in, the guests gather for dinner that evening. At the dinner table the guests notice ten toy soldier figurines on the dining room table. During their meal, a gramophone record plays and on the tape the guests hear accusations that each one of them has been involved in crime. The guests are finally aware that their island get away is actually a trap, however they are unable to escape as the ferry that had been going back and forth has quit making its rounds. Slowly throughout the novel they are murdered one by one by an unknown character. Each death parallels a verse of a nursery rhyme, which is framed in the house, with one of the figurines being removed after each murder. Investigators are puzzled by the ten island deaths, as the murderer is not accounted for, however in the end of the novel it is learned that a deranged and slightly crazed man, Justice Wargrave, is responsible for the murders, believing he was cleansing the world of criminals who had not received justice.