I've never had such an extraordinary response to a competition before and, believe me, that's saying something—I've run a lot of competitions in my time.
Within seconds of posting the competition I had answers streaming in, as revealing as they were engaging, and I'd love to share a little of what I have learned.
I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who took part. I was overwhelmed by your enthusiastic and heartfelt replies. Some of you put a lot of thought into your choices and really brought the books back to life for me. Sadly, I could only reward the first 12 respondents, and all of them have now been notified. I have also endeavoured to get back to each and every person who participated, whether you won or not, but if for some reason you haven't heard from me, huge apologies. I really did appreciate your feedback but the competition is now officially closed.
So which books struck a chord?
Having gone through all the entries, I thought you might want to know which of Dame Christie's books were the most popular and why. So, envelope, please, and drum roll…
- MOST POPULAR BOOK: Murder on the Orient Express This was, hands down, the most highly rated mystery amongst all the participants, receiving almost every second vote. And I'm not surprised. I love this one, too, and for all the reasons you gave. Most of you indicated that you loved the train setting, the wonderful characters, and the surprising twist at the end, and I couldn't agree more. In the words of one participant, it's a classic!
- SECOND MOST POPULAR: And then There Were None. Now this one took me by surprise! It's been a long time since I read the story of ten 'strangers' brought together at a secluded mansion, and I had forgotten just how gripping the plot is until you reminded me. One participant echoed the thoughts of many when she wrote, "The plot was interesting and (it was) suspenseful trying to keep up with who would die next!" What more can you ask from a mystery novel?
- RUNNERS UP: Death on the Nile was also a regular favourite, and the Egyptian setting much beloved, while others, like Evil Under the Sun, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Hallowe'en Party and The Mystery of the Blue Train were each mentioned time and again, and there I'm not surprised. Each and every one of them is a delight.
So a hearty THANKS everyone for embracing this competition and making it so informative for me, and such good fun. I loved reading all of your replies and promise to do another competition as soon as possible. Until then, I'm off to hunt down an old copy of Then There Were None. I have a mysterious dinner party to attend…
Happy reading, everyone.