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Hickory Dickory Dock: A Hercule Poirot Novel…

Hickory Dickory Dock: A Hercule Poirot Novel (edition 2000)

by Agatha Christie

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1,755154,022 (3.54)30
Title:Hickory Dickory Dock: A Hercule Poirot Novel
Authors:Agatha Christie
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, mystery, London, detective, Poirot, boarding house

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Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

  1. 30
    Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie (Porua)
    Porua: Just as Hickory Dickory Dock is set at a hostel for students, Cat among the Pigeons is set at a girls' school. Those who have enjoyed the ups and downs in the lives of the students living at the hostel in Hickory Dickory Dock, will also enjoy the atmosphere of carefree school days in Cat among the Pigeons.… (more)

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English (11)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Traditional Agatha Christie with lots of twists and turns. It's a bit hard to keep everyone straight because of she introduces so many characters to the story, but she was the master of surprising me. No one is innocent, but only one person is truly guilty, and every time I thought I had figured things out, she introduced another clue that proved me wrong.

Special bonus for a little bit more look at the infallible Miss Lemon, and small subtraction for limited Poirot--I like the eggheaded, arrogant little man. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
Always fun reading anything by Agatha Christie, even of it's okay it's never a waste of time, she always know how 2 write a mystery..
Needed a well written, easy read story and got myself one, thx Christie 4 that, and more.. ( )
  Samar.Abd-Allah | Feb 27, 2014 |
Hardly plausible and poorly plotted and somehow intriguing. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
This novel begins with a lovely description of Hercule Poirot's very efficient secretary Miss Lemon.

She is very much disturbed with a problem her sister Mrs Hubbard, who runs a student hostel in London, is facing.

Hercule Poirot frowned. ‘Miss Lemon,’ he said.
‘Yes, M. Poirot?’
‘There are three mistakes in this letter.’

His voice held incredulity. For Miss Lemon, that hideous and efficient woman, never made mistakes. She was never ill, never tired, never upset, never inaccurate.
For all practical purposes, that is to say, she was not a woman at all. She was a machine – the perfect secretary. She knew everything, she coped with everything. She ran Hercule Poirot’s life for him, so that it, too, functioned like a machine.

Order and method had been Hercule Poirot’s watchwords from many years ago. With George, his perfect manservant, and Miss Lemon, his perfect secretary, order and method ruled supreme in his life.
Now that crumpets were baked square as well as round, he had nothing about which to complain.
It is always interesting with these "nursey rhyme" novels to work out what is the connection between the title and the nursery rhyme. In this case, the student hostel is in Hickory Road but that is not the only connection:

‘Hickory, dickory, dock,’ said Nigel, ‘the mouse ran up the clock. The police said “Boo”, I wonder who, will eventually stand in the Dock?’
There are two murders in the time frame of this novel and eventually a revelation about an earlier murder committed by the same person. The author cleverly moves the finger of suspicion from one person to another over the course of Poirot's investigation. The sad thing is that the two more recent murders could have been prevented if the opportunity had been taken earlier to report the murderer to the police.

At the end Miss Lemon is returned to her usual efficient self by Hercule Poirot and the police discovering the identity of the murderer.

I think that Agatha Christie was struggling with this story to create and maintain the nursery rhyme connection, and really didn't do it all that successfully.

I read this as part of the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. and this is my 47th novel read mainly in order of publication.

My rating: 4.2

I did some research into the origins of the nursery rhyme. Here is the most interesting one:

Hickory Dickory Dock, is the Anglicisation of 8,9,10 in Cumbric ( North West England- the lake district) and devolved from the ancient Gaelic.. It was a language used by shepherds for their daily sheep count.
I don't think that adds much in this case though ( )
  smik | Dec 5, 2012 |
NOTE: This review contains spoilers.


Even great detectives have a blind spot. In Poirot's case, it is his highly efficient secretary, Miss Lemon. She runs his life so well that he cannot fathom it when one of her typed letters contains not one, but three mistakes. And then to find out that she made those mistakes because she was worried about her sister -- wait, what, she has a family?? But Poirot knows an interesting case when he sees one: Miss Lemon's sister runs a hostel that caters to students, and there has been a rash of thefts and petty property destruction. Eventually it escalates to murder. But what is the reasoning behind it? Poirot is on the case.

This was a fairly clever solution, somewhat in the vein of The Mysterious Affair at Styles in that obviousness is used to divert suspicion. And I always like stories involving Miss Lemon. The students were entertaining in their own way but the "non-English" students probably suffered from a bit of stereotyping, especially in the way their dialect was rendered.

One thing I did object to was multiple instances of "So and so has important information to divulge but decides to wait for a while before divulging it, thus ensuring that So and so will be murdered to preserve their silence." Once per book is enough, thank you. The second time it happened I actually almost groaned aloud. "Oh no, not again."

Overall though this is a decent book to cover an afternoon, or for when you don't want something too demanding. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jul 31, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425175464, Mass Market Paperback)

Poirot investigates a culprit who has curiously swiped a stethoscope, a tube of lipstick, and a cookbook.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Detective Hercule Poirot decides that a purported suicide was really a murder, but before he can act more murders are committed.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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