It’s a rainy, dreary Sunday… the perfect day to curl up with Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. Have you started reading yet?
For my first post, I want to give a few clues and tips about the early portion of the exposition. Please feel free to comment, answer questions, or add to this post.
The Poem… Christie starts the book off with what seems like a silly nursery rhyme about 10 little soldier boys who, one by one, are killed in what seem to be tragic and sudden accidents.
Question 1: What do each of the 10 characters have in common?
Every character seems to have a secret criminal past. The voice on the gramophone describes each of them as murderers in some way or another, and yet each character seems to be shocked at the accusation.
How does each character react to hearing their dirty little secret made public to a house full of strangers? Who faints?
The voice on the gramophone adds to the frightening atmosphere surrounding this “vacation” for our 10 guests. Suddenly, the guests realize that they are surrounded by people who have committed serious crimes and they also realize that their own pasts, which they formerly thought were hidden, are public knowledge.
Can you describe the emotional setting of the novel — what are the characters feeling? How would YOU feel if you were trapped on this island. Be able to describe the physical characteristics of the island, as well as the emotional atmosphere shared by the guests.
Question 2: Describe the connection between the poem and the major events of the plot. SPOILER ALERT!!!
SOLDIER 1 – “Choked his little self” – How does the first death occur? Who is the first to go?
SOLDIER 2 – “Overslept himself” – How does the second death occur? Who is the second guest to die?
Can you predict how the rest of the guests will meet their tragic ends?
Question 3: Who is Mr./Mrs. U.N. Owen? His identity is hidden… but some of the guests have hidden identities as well. Who are the guests who have secret identities or have hidden information from the guests regarding how and why they arrived at the island?
Think about Blore and Lombard. Who are they, really? How are they different from the other guests?
There are a lot of mysteries unfolding on this island. Please add to this post with any answers you have to the questions or any clues you have about the mysterious deaths happening daily on Soldier Island.