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First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon.Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. That night, Lombard finds his gun returned to his room.
Publications International lists the novel as the sixth best-selling title.
On 8 August in the late 1930s, eight people arrive on a small, isolated island off the Devon coast of England.
By lunchtime, General Mac Arthur is found dead, from a heavy blow to his head.
Three of the figurines are found to be broken, and again the deaths parallel the rhyme.
Wargrave suggests searching all the rooms, and any potentially dangerous items are locked up. When Vera goes upstairs to take a bath, she is shocked by the touch and smell of seaweed left hanging from the ceiling of her room and screams; the remaining guests rush upstairs to her room. The others find him seated, immobile and crudely dressed up in the attire of a judge.
Wargrave is examined by Armstrong and pronounced dead from a gunshot to the forehead.
All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. One by First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon.
All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate.
A framed copy of a nursery rhyme, "Ten Little Niggers" (called "Ten Little Indians" or "Ten Little Soldiers" in later editions), hangs in every guest's room, and ten figurines sit on the dining room table.
After supper, a gramophone (or "phonograph") record is played; the recording accuses each visitor of having committed murder, and then asks if any of "the accused" wishes to offer a defence.