Dame Agatha Christie (née Miller) published more than 80 books and plays; and the Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the best-selling novelist of all time with roughly two billion copies sold. ‘And then there were none’ was originally published in 1939, with an un-politically correct title; and it is still the world’s best-selling mystery (with more than 100 million sold). It is also number six on the list of best-selling books of all-time.
The plot concerns 10 guests and staff holed up on a small, isolated island off the Devon coast. One by one, they meet their maker in a homicidal sequence choregraphed by a retired judge with both a “savage bloodlust and a strong sense of justice”. Okay, two (very stressed) protagonists actually top themselves. The novel is full of surprises and the fateful question (on repeat) is who’s next?
Similarly, CBRE bidding for Telford was a double surprise (seller and buyer) and reduces the listed UK Housebuilding Sector by one to 17. And, the second question on everyone’s lips (after “why CBRE?”) is: “who’s next?”
Of course, outside the Sector drawing room, we have Bovis and its agreed bid-inprogress for Galliford Try’s residential units including Linden Homes. Plus, that other Luddite (contracting and housebuilding combo), Kier, is selling its homes’ business. This is not ‘Ordeal by Innocence’ or ‘Destination Unknown’.
It is a ‘Postern of Fate’.