The thing that has the same premise as that other thing, but slightly different.
This post is about my favourite mystery novel, and two books that pay homage to it.
My favourite mystery is And Then There Were None. I love the book. I’ve seen the play and two movie adaptations. I adore the recent miniseries. Ten strangers are invited to a remote island by U. N. Owen. They are all a little on edge, and getting to know one another when a recording airs their dirty laundry, with accusations of a variety of crimes. And then, one by one, they start to die.
This book has a place on my re-read hall of fame shelf. I read it every few years, when some of the details become fuzzy.
So, when I found out there were not one, but two books that bill themselves as an homage to ATTWN, I was intrigued.
Endgame by Jeffrey Round is a contemporary tale about the reunion of a notorious punk band on, you guessed it, a remote island. The former band mates aren’t on the best of terms, but they, along with a group of band adjacent people are determined to have a good time. Until a secret from their past is revealed. And then, one by one, they start to die. I was really excited to read this book, and it did not disappoint. I also enjoyed that the characters knew each other before arriving at the island, versus the strangers of ATTWN, and that there was one incident that sparked the murders, instead of ten.
Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente is another contemporary tale where nine comedians and a personal assistant are summoned to a private island with the offer of working with a comedy legend. The comedians are in different stages of their careers – some starting out, some at their peak, some past their best before date. It comes as a surprise to the group when their host shows up via video, rather than in person. And then, one by one, they start to die. While familiar with the ATTWN plot, this book still managed to surprise me. I found the motivation(s) for the murders a little petty, but the book as a whole was enjoyable.
Are there any ATTWN homages I’m missing? Are there any favourites of yours with a worthy homage?