Some bad folks gather on an island. They start dying, one by one, in methods outlined by a nursery rhyme posted in everyone's bedroom. Then you find out whodunnit.
Personal problems: The name of the killer is on the last page in bold. IN BOLD. Don't turn to the last page to check how far along you are, or how many pages you have left. Just guesstimate. Also, my copy was purchased from a used book store and the previous owner wrote the names of Every. Single. Victim. on the nursery rhyme in the beginning, next to their corresponding method of death.
Enterprising stranger? I hate you with much violence and wish you stale cookies and spoiled milk forever and ever, amen.
The Not So Happy: Christie introduces the characters one by one, giving very little backstory. By the time you've met all 10 people, you have no idea who is who and who is a colonel and who is a female and who said what or what the hell is going on. It's very "Sally is a girl with shoes. John is a man with a diabolical past who prefers you not look at him. Laura is an old maid who is scary and knits things, you know, like an old maid. That blond guy is dashing. That other blond guy is not dashing.. etc, etc." Eventually you get the hang of it, but by that point half of them are dead so meh? Who cares.
The Happy: It's so masterfully suspenseful that I ended up balled up on the end of the couch, and at the last page I finally relaxed so fast I scared my cat. Also? Every mystery with more than five people in it since this one are based on it. I've heard Clue is also based on this book, and who doesn't love that movie? NO ONE.
To summarize: confusing cast of characters, stupid used book copies, masterwork of a genre, don't look at the last page, VERY VERY SCARY, Tim Curry.
Four stars out of your mom
BONUS: Funniest scenes from Clue