“One of us in this very room is in fact the murderer.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None
I was first introduced to Agatha Christie’s writing when I was in middle school. I immediately fell in love with detective fiction and Monsieur Poirot, a little Belgian detective with a huge mustache. The books always left you in suspense about who was the murderer until the very end–they were, in fact, the best of the “who dunit” genre. I vigorously devoured the books, as there were many of them. Written during the twentieth century from the British perspective, many themes including colonialism, Orientalism, and outright racism are found in the works.
However, I did not realize this until I was much older. Upon selecting this particular book as suggested reading, I was surprised to discover that the original title of And Then There Were None was Ten Little Niggers. Once that was deemed offensive, it was then changed to Ten Little Indians. Subsequently, that title too was changed and it became formally known as its present name. After discovering this information, I had extreme reservations about recommending this work. Then I realized that it is important to be exposed to things that demonstrate the ideology of the past.
Per Amazon.com, “The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks…including And Then There Were None, the world’s bestselling mystery, in which ten strangers, each with a dark secret, are lured to a mansion on an uninhabited island and killed off one by one”.