Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

The occasion: A secret house party

The setting: An island – suddenly isolated by a fierce electrical storm

The players: Ten teens from three neighboring high schools, with all the problems and tensions of male and female teens who have dated or competed at sports.

The warning: “Vengeance is mine” on a DVD

And then: A suicide? An accidental fall? Or murder?

One-by-one the teens die. As bodies pile up, Meg Pritchard tries to discover the killer. Is it a stranger on the island? A ghost in the house? Or one of the rapidly diminishing party of houseguests?

Even if you have read other mysteries about trapped people being stalked by a killer, Ten will keep you mystified and on the edge of your seat until the end.

If you aren’t already familiar with Agatha Christie’s classic mystery And Then There Were None (also published as Ten Little Indians), I recommend reading or listening to it. Dame Agatha, who died in 1976, wrote many innovative mysteries. Besides having multiple characters die, she also wrote a story in which everyone committed a murder and another in which the narrator is the culprit. I won’t spoil your fun by revealing titles, but if you’re curious, you can find many of her books at the library in print, large print, downloadable audio, and downloadable eBooks, as well as adaptations on video. If you’re an avid mystery reader, you’ll know that many of her innovative plot devices have been used or adapted by countless writers—including, Gretchen McNeil in Ten.

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