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The Clocks by Agatha Christie

The Clocks (1963)

by Agatha Christie

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Title:The Clocks
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The Clocks by Agatha Christie (1963)

1960s (14) 20th century (25) Agatha Christie (82) British (38) British literature (17) British mystery (13) Christie (14) crime (90) crime fiction (38) detective (54) detective fiction (23) ebook (16) England (39) English (12) English literature (11) fiction (229) Hercule Poirot (89) murder (22) murder mystery (15) mystery (442) Netherlands (16) novel (34) own (11) paperback (14) Poirot (101) read (20) series (11) to-read (13) UK (13) unread (14)



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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Quite fun this one was! Loads of good psychology here too and it was refreshing to have a disabled character as one of the main protagonists. Didn't quite feel like a Poirot novel since he makes such a small appearance but I didn't care - Colin was lovely. ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
The Clocks is one of Agatha Christie’s later books, published in 1963. I read it before but kind of forgot the story and now I finally read it again. I got to know it has a TV version too which now I am planning to watch. This book also contains the famous character of Hercules Poirot, but he does not appear until about halfway into the book.

Wilbraham Crescent, The Cavendish Secretarial Bureau, and a secret service agent - all are tied up with the mysterious happenings in house No. 19. On a certain day, they all unexpectedly collide when Sheila Webb a typist-for-hire, who arrives at her afternoon appointment on Wilbraham Crescent in Crowdean on the Sussex coast finds a well-dressed corpse surrounded by six clocks, four of which are stopped at 4:13, while the cuckoo clock announces it is 3 o'clock. When a blind woman enters the house about to step on the corpse, Sheila comes screaming out of No. 19 straight into the arms of Colin Lamb. He reports the death to Detective Inspector Hardcastle and together they investigate. Later the famous Poirot gets involved because Colin knows him.

This book is definitely a good read and certainly explains why Agatha Christie is known as the Queen of Crime. ( )
  Hanneri | Oct 13, 2013 |
I seriously could not remember if I had read THE CLOCKS before.
I think perhaps I must have because I worked the solution out well ahead of time.

What I found particularly interesting is the way an aging Hercule Poirot tries to demonstrate his ability to solve the mystery from his armchair. Eventually he comes to London to be closer to to the scene of the crime, to satisfy his curiosity, he says.

Colin Lamb, into whose arms Sheila Webb flees when she rushes out 19 Wilbraham Crescent after finding the body, decides to consult Hercule Poirot, a friend of his father's, when he is stumped by the mystery, and Poirot uses him as his sniffer dog, interviewing the residents of nearby houses.

The plot is similar in ways to Christie's previous novel, THE MIRROR CRACK'D FROM SIDE TO SIDE, written the previous year, in which an aging Miss Marple does a spot of armchair detection, and uses her friend Dolly Bantry to get the facts so she can work out who killed Heather Badcock.

The admission here is that both Christie's popular detectives are aging, as indeed the author herself is. To be honest they haven't aged as quickly as she has, having already been quite elderly when they made their debuts 50 years before. The inference is of course that though they are each becoming more infirm, that their brilliant minds are still capable of deduction. This despite the fact that those around them sometimes regard them as a little "gaga".

Of course armchair detection has to be possible if one is given all the relevant facts, because that is what we, the readers, indulge in.

There are a few little things that don't quite work in THE CLOCKS, and I thought the story became rather too convoluted, as if the author had changed her mind several times about which solution to adopt in the end, resulting in rather too many red herrings ( )
  smik | Sep 22, 2013 |
Unworthy of her. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
A young stenographer finds a body in the home of a blind woman in a room with four extra clocks set to 4:13. Things get more interesting when it turns out that the blind woman did not hire the stenographer, no one knows who the dead man is, and more murders are committed. The town’s Detective investigates the case with the help of his friend, a British secret agent, who just so happens to be chummy with Hercule Poirot.

Even though this is one of the Hercule Poirot mysteries, he plays a minor role, appearing in only three scenes as an armchair detective. I thought I had the case solved and was growing frustrated by the lapses of the police and secret agent, but I was humbled when the all-knowing Poirot revealed the more complex solution. One thing that detracted from the book was the side case that the secret agent was pursuing, his hunt for Communists. This concern has always been baffling to me, so I can’t take it seriously. But I suppose it was part of the times and necessary to bring his character, and therefore Poirot, into the fold. ( )
  aliciamay | Mar 17, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kopperi, Pauli A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my old friend
with happy memories of delicious food at the Caprice
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The afternoon of the 9th of September was exactly like any other afternoon.
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Book description
The little Belgian detective Hercule Poirot has a problem - four clocks, all set at 4:13 and left at the scene of a murder. The witnesses are a blind woman, a young secretary, and an innocent passerby,
Poirot must solve this case in time, before another life is lost.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425173917, Mass Market Paperback)

The Queen of Crime clocks in with a classic of untimely demise.

At her new job, Sheila Webb finds a corpse surrounded by five clocks, each set to a different time. Fortunately, Hercule Poirot has nothing but time to piece together one of his most puzzling cases.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:55 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Hercule Poirot, the relentless Belgian detective, investigates when a body is found in Miss Millicent Pebmarsh's sitting room with four strange clocks set at 4:13.

(summary from another edition)

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