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The Clocks (1963)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot (33)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,004483,471 (3.53)85
A typist uncovers a man's body from behind the sofa... As instructed, stenographer Sheila Webb let herself into the house at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. It was then that she made a grisly discovery: the body of a dead man sprawled across the living room floor. What intrigued Poirot about the case was the time factor. Although in a state of shock, Sheila clearly remembered having heard a cuckoo clock strike three o'clock. Yet, the four other clocks in the living room all showed the time as 4.13. Even more strangely, only one of these clocks belonged to the owner of the house...… (more)
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English (44)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
So hard to put down. :) ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I truly enjoyed this Christie mystery. It wasn't too convoluted at the end when they revealed the killer. ( )
  bcrowl399 | May 22, 2021 |
A remarkable crime involving a faked appointment, a blind woman, and four clocks each set for the time of 4:13 confound the police and the not so innocent young passer-by. I always like when Christie has her detectives make comments on other writers books, and Poirot, who has embarked on a project of sampeling all detective fiction has plenty to say, and, in a book that features one of the more pendantic jobs, that of typest for a final draft of a novel, it makes sense. I also like the hint that the young passer-by, who has reasons of his own for being in the neighborhood, just might be the son of the infamous Detective Battle. Not her best by any means, but still a fun read. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
I don't know what it is. I am either blown away by Christie or totally underwhelmed by her books. There is never a really nice happy medium I am finding. I think one good thing about reading all of these books back to back like this is that I am able to pick up on plots that Christie has used previously.

I can now see why it took so long for my library to track down this book and make it available to me. It's not that a compelling read of a Hercule Poirot book. One wonders if Christie was playing with having another detective type character to play with or what. Instead that is all done away with by the end of the book.

Even though this is a Hercule Poirot book, he does not enter the scene so to speak until about page more than half way through. And even then he only makes a small amount of appearances. He has decided that he will solve Colin Lamb's case without going to the scenes or talking to witnesses, doing this apparently is supposed to awe all around Poirot with his wonderful grey cells.

The main character is actually Colin Lamb. It becomes apparent that Colin's last name really isn't Lamb. That he is actually a son of one of the men that Poirot has come to know over the years. The name is never said, so I am going to guess Superintendent Battle because of some of the descriptions that Poirot uses to describe Colin's father.

I was not impressed with Colin at all. From his insistence one of the suspects could not be the murderer because he was attracted to her and kept "my girling" her every-time he thought or talked to her, I was actually surprised at the end when we see what Colin has really been up to and how smart he is.

The other characters in this book were actually written either very well or poorly. Once again no middle ground with Christie. The random coincidences that they all found themselves to be tied to though, I honestly had a lot of problems swallowing.

There were two main plot lines in this book and I think that neither one of them was really done very well. Especially because one was revealed towards the very end and it caused me to actually go back through the book to see if I had missed something. Nope, I hadn't missed a thing, it was just kind of dropped there at the end of the book.

The main plot-line of discovering who murdered a man at number 19 Wilbraham Crescent took up the majority of the book.

My biggest complaint besides the switch from first person point of view to third person narration was that the entire plot of this book could have been lifted from Dead Man's Folly, with only a few small changes here and there. I was really unimpressed with Poirot's final reveal of who dun it and why.

There was some mention of Hastings being in South America and how Poirot missed him and I tried to not laugh. There has not been any mention of Hastings in the last couple of books, it feels as if Christie recalled that Poirot used to have an affable side kick that worked his cases with him. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
The Clocks (1963) (Poirot #37) by Agatha Christie. Here we have Poirot proving his point that a detective need not snoop about like a bloodhound, traipsing across the countryside, magnifying glass in hand, just to catch a killer. Sitting and thinking after the facts have been presented to him is all he does in this outing. And, of course, it works.
Here the problem presented is one so extraordinary that it could never happen in real life. Sheila Webb is a young woman who is a typist in an agency that specializes in temporary office workers. She is sent to an upscale address where she discovers a murdered man. There are six clocks set about him, four having been stopped at 4:13 while a cuckoo clock sticks 3.
Sheila runs from the house and into the arms of a Special Branch agent looking into a mystery of his own which has brought him to the same address. Questioning the locals gives him an odd assortment of answers and, puzzled, he turns to Poirot for revelations. It seems the young man’s father and Poirot worked on cases of their own and he had heard marvelous things about the little Belgian.
This is a nice tale and a good puzzle and we find Poirot at his best, sitting and thinking. This is a good read for people who are currently loathe to leave their residences for any reason and proof positive that important work can continue from your own home.
Yeah! ( )
  TomDonaghey | May 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baudou, JacquesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bockenheim, KrystynaTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carones, MomaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chandler,KarenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Groot-d'Ailly, A.E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freitas, Lima deCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guasco, ThéodoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harvey, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kopperi, Pauli A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margalef Llambrich, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendel, Jean-MarcTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prudente, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riambau, EsteveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodrigues, Fernanda PintoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwarz, Martin MariaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my old friend
Mario
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A typist uncovers a man's body from behind the sofa... As instructed, stenographer Sheila Webb let herself into the house at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. It was then that she made a grisly discovery: the body of a dead man sprawled across the living room floor. What intrigued Poirot about the case was the time factor. Although in a state of shock, Sheila clearly remembered having heard a cuckoo clock strike three o'clock. Yet, the four other clocks in the living room all showed the time as 4.13. Even more strangely, only one of these clocks belonged to the owner of the house...

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary
tick tock who is dead
neighborhood of prime suspects
red herrings to boot
(hardboiled)

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