The Clocks

By Agatha Christie

Rating: 3 stars

This is as much a Hardcastle and Lamb mystery as a Poirot one, with the little Belgian not even showing up until half way through the book. It reminded me of 4.50 from Paddington in that regard, with police Detective Hardcastle and his friend (and spy) Colin Lamb doing the hard work and presenting their findings to M. Poirot for analysis, getting back only cryptic rhymes until the Big Reveal at the end.

For me, the book definitely suffered for the lack of Poirot’s charm and eccentricity, since although Hardcastle and Lamb had their charms, they were very much just the usual bumbling policemen who don’t have the flair of the private detective, as is traditional in these sorts of stories.

One nice touch about M. Poirot in this novel is that he’s currently fending off boredom by cataloguing the works of fictional detectives and their authors, lending the whole thing a somewhat post-modern feel.

The central mystery itself is intriguing enough, but I don’t feel that this is one of Ms Christie’s better efforts.

Book details

Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of publication: 1963

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