10 Similarities Between Ten by Gretchen McNeil and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I finished Ten in anticipation of watching the movie on Lifetime over the weekend (which turned out to be a disappointment). It was actually the perfect time for reading the book because Agatha Christie's birthday was just on Friday, September 15. Oh, wait, this book isn't And Then There Were None? It sure seemed similar.

Overall, I liked Ten but didn't want to write a review so here I decided to show you all the similarities of the book when up against Christie’s classic.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 9/18/12
Pages: 296
Source: purchased
Add it on Goodreads

Shhhh! Don't spread the word! Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island. You do not want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

*There are spoilers in this post for both Ten by Gretchen McNeil and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.* (All gifs found on Tumblr.) Here's 10 similarities between Ten by Gretchen McNeil and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie:

Party for 10 People

In Ten, a group of ten teens go to an island after being invited to a party of a lifetime. In And Then There Were None, a group of ten adults were invited to a party on an island.


Each book takes place on an island.

No Way to Reach the Mainland

In both books, there is no way to reach the mainland. Due to a raging storm, the party-goers cannot make it ashore and must wait until the ferry returns to pick them up.

Murder Clues

In Ten, a DVD introduces the true reason why they are on the island, to be judged for their crimes. The killer then, after murdering someone, will put a tally mark in red paint by the front door. A diary is discovered which outlines the killings in order. In And Then There Were None, a record player introduces their crimes and tells them to prepare for judgment. The killer then, after murdering someone, will break off a soldier boy from the centerpiece in the dining room. The soldier boys coincides with the Ten Little Soldier Boy rhyme that gives the victims a way to decipher who may be next and by what means.

Similar Deaths

I understand that when an author wants to write a death scene, there are only so many ways one can die. Both novels have characters who pass on from hanging, a blow to the head and by gunshot.

Strange Invitations

In Ten, the teenagers are invited to a party by Jessica, who some barely even know. Jessica never makes an appearance on the island. In And Then There Were None, the adults are invited by an identity that turns out to be false. 


In Ten, Ben has a nut allergy. In And Then There Were None, a character has a bee allergy.

Budding Romance

In Ten, a romance blossoms between two characters, Meg and T.J. Near the end of the book, a panicked Meg shoots T.J. in suspecting he was the killer. In And Then There Were None, two characters, Vera and Phillip, are attracted to one another. Near the end of the book, a paranoid Vera shoots Phillip in suspecting he was the killer.

Dark and Stormy Weather

In both novels, a rain storm is raging outside that does eventually stop after the first few deaths.

Killer Fakes Death

In both novels, the killer fakes his own death to avoid suspicion.

According to the publisher's website, "A smart and terrifying teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, from Get Even author Gretchen McNeil—coming soon to TV screens as a Lifetime Original Movie!" However, it was strange that And Then There Were None is not mentioned anywhere in the physical book of Ten by Gretchen McNeil (acknowledgements, dedication, etc.).

I believe there is a difference in finding inspiration in a work and a retelling. An inspiration should give the author the idea for a novel—it may start off with a similar setting or similar characters—however, it should then branch off into something original. A retelling is more of a classic story being retold in a new light. Ten is very much a mirror image of its inspiration, which makes it seem much more like a rip-off than anything else. I say skip Ten and read And Then There Were None

What's the latest retelling/inspiration you've read? What is similar to its original? Have you read Ten by Gretchen McNeil? What did you think of it?

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  1. Hmm. I read & adored And Then There Were None, & I have to say I’m kind of with you that this book feels far too similar for my comfort. I actually just made a comment a few days ago on another blogger’s review, which didn’t mention the Christie book, about how similar they seemed — at the time I thought it was a coincidence, but reading your review, I can’t help but wonder at how much inspiration the author drew without even crediting Christie. I do like the concept of this book, but I think it borders just a bit too much on the plagiarism side for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, friend — I won’t be picking it up anytime soon (I’ll settle for a reread of And Then There Were None instead! ;))

    Topaz (Six Impossible Things)

  2. My first Christie novel and it was a damn good place to start. Though I've been told her mysteries are so unpredictable, I did find that my speculations and guesses were actually right at the end of this specific novel, but hey, I still have the rest of her writing to explore. I would definitely recommend to any one who loves mystery or who wants to start reading mystery.