Hickory Dickory Dock
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Hickory Dickory Dock (Hercule Poirot #30)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  8,146 ratings  ·  268 reviews
Miss Lemon is the perfect secretary. She runs Hercule Poirot's life so that order and method rule supreme. Then one morning she presents a freshly typed letter to Poirot and he finds three mistakes. He knows that something is seriously wrong...
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 7th 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1955)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
First off I do understand the criticism aimed at this book. There are too many characters for such a short book and as such hardly any of them are fleshed out. Also Poirot plays a relatively minor role and a lot of the interrogations are actually carried out by his inspector friend (although it is Poirot who finally pieces everything together).


What made this book stand out for me though was the final revelation of the villain. I find that so many detective stories try to shock...more
Beautifully written, as are almost all of Agatha Christie's mysteries (with thus far in my reading experience the notable exception of "The Big Four" which seems as if it was written by Christie's 12-year-old nephew :-), this is however not one of her best works. The principal problems are the plethora of at times clumsily handled characters, and a crucial unexplained plot flaw.

The characters first: there are a lot of them, but then the setting is a student rooming house, so this is understandab...more
Rob Smith
'Hickory Dickory Death' is a nice mystery with a slew of suspects, but a suspect plot. Hercule Poirot rather stumbles into what seems to be a mere issue of theft until turning into murder. His involvement seems a bit of a stretch to begin with, but as the story goes the narrative seems less Poirot and more the authorities as if Poirot seemed more interested in the theft than the deaths.

There area long string of suspects that Christie does her best to discern, but still seems a bit too similar a...more
Hercule Poirot is asked to investigate a rash of theft and vandalism at a boarding house for students and young workers. The items involved seem random - a diamond ring, a scarf, a backpack, light bulbs, eye wash, etc.- but Poirot suspects a sinister motive may underlie the incidents. When Poirot threatens to call in the cops a young woman, Celia Austin confesses to some of the small thefts but claims innocence of the other incidents. Pretty soon several people connected to the boarding house ar...more
Cleo Bannister
Hickory Dickory Dock was first published in the UK in 1955 and was the first full length story to feature Hercule Poirot's ultra-efficient secretary Miss Felicity Lemon, although she had previously appeared in some of short stories featuring the Belgium detective.

When Miss Lemon makes an uncharacteristic mistake, or three, in a letter Poirot realises that something is amiss with his usually precise secretary. His questioning leads him to discover that Felicity Lemon has a life outside her work,...more
Miss Lemon really comes to life in this book, admittedly she could have played a greater role but the opening scene completely endeared me to the novel and perhaps I was willing to overlook things that I was less fond of because of that. The opening chapter is the high point of this mystery, the characterisation and use of language is just superb - very comic.

That said I wasn't 100% head-over-heels in love with this book. Too many characters were introduced and then never mentioned again or not...more
This book cost me $2 at a country market... not bad, really. Nearly a cent per page. It did smell suspicious but hey, I won't complain.

"What are you doing, Poirot?"
"I dissect rucksacks. It is very interesting."

I love Christie's subtle humour. It makes me laugh, every time.

Square crumpets. LOL.

Anyway. This book was quite interesting, although I did feel, as I feel with many of her books, that there were so many characters. I understand why, if there were only two then it'd be pretty damn obvio...more
I'd have given it one star for excessive racism AND the nursery rhyme title whose connection to the story was tenuous enough that she could've just renamed it, but she did let one "Asiatic" guy yell at all the Britons something like "You ask why is the Mau Mau? You ask why does Egypt resent the Suez Canal?" AND she lets Poirot make a nice point about how his being foreign to English people doesn't make all other non-English people familiar to him.

Nonetheless: The inoffensive African guy talks al...more
hmm... to start lets say that the plot was very good for an ingenious crime or a great ending. But the amount of characters were very much and to give justice to each was not possible(i guess). Although the characterization was a bit up and down, the plot as i say was very interesting. The title doesnt relate to the story,she could have kept a more relating title (not possible anyway now!).
Anyways its an enjoyable read, and the main culprit was so cruel as he killed the person who loved him and...more
Book Concierge
Hercule Poirot goes to a youth hostel to investigate a series of small thefts. He quickly determines who the culprit is, she apologizes and either returns the items or makes restitution. But the next morning she is dead – an apparent suicide. Or … was it murder?

As is typical of a Poirot mystery, there are plenty of suspects what with all the students and young people living in the rooming house. The police investigate, but it will be Poirot who solves the crimes. Christie throws in a few false...more
P S Karr
Hickory Dickory Dock, as the name suggests, is part of Agatha Christie’s nursery rhyme mysteries, or mysteries that are based on a rhyme or song or poem. I reviewed a similar one, And Then There Were None, earlier in the series. At the time of its release, Hickory Dickory Dock did not have a very warm reception. Inspite of being a Hercule Poirot mystery, it lacked punch. And the nursery rhyme in the title had hardly any connection to the mystery itself.

Miss Lemon, Poirot’s efficient secretary, s...more
Saya sangat tertarik sama sinopsis di belakangnya. Bagaimana ya, rasanya menarik saja. Selain daripada karena setting-nya, yaitu pondokan mahasiswa (di tahun 1950-an) juga karena kasusnya terdengar sedikit di luar kasus-kasus yang ditangani Poirot.

Well, hanya saja pandangan saya berubah ketika terjadi pembunuhan pertama. Wah, ini mah tidak heran jika Poirot muncul. Haha.

Saya cukup curiga sama beberapa tokoh, tapi saya sama sekali tidak menyangka bahwa ada yang membantu si pelaku utama! Saya piki...more
Michael A
I love how travel frees up time for reading. Sadly, though, I'm not very impressed by this book.

If we grant Christie all of her conceits here, it's merely okay. But her attempt to write foreigners really doesn't work. The idea of people innocently smuggling in drugs in the way they do here seems really odd -- not to mention the policemen would have to be real idiots to not figure out the method. Political elements are superficially tacked on to make the world of the crime seem more wide in scop...more
Amanda J
I usually really enjoy Agatha Christie, but this was not one of my favorites.
It featured reoccuring character Hercule Periot, Belgian detective, whose antics I find amusing. Unfortunately, the were too many undistinguishable characters and the story was convoluted. Christie usually sprinkles clues throughout the novel, but in this case, it seemed that all the pertinent details bombarded you at the end.
A highly enjoyable tale that comes slightly undone at the end (I think AC tried to throw too much into the ending and it got a bit convoluted and burdensome). But overall, an entertaining morsel to snack on in between the big books.

I did like what a snapshot this was of race relations in England during the 50s. Interesting to compare to that of the US.
I've always loved Miss Marple, but not so Monsieur Poirot. So it was with disappointment that I realized this was a Poirot story, as the first Christie I was sitting down to read.
He comes off as slightly arrogant and condescending in his opening incredulity about his secretary Miss Lemon's errors in her work - not much of a spoiler here as it is on the first page - but he becomes a bit more likeable later on.
The characters seemed a little thin, unless it was my own frame of mind while reading th...more
Astrid Lim
One of my favorites, Poirot at his best :) I love the feel of London in the 70s- all the university students, international mingling, communism and drugs issues...And the dorm for international students - I'd love to live there in Hickory Road :D
It is little bit disappointing starting the New Reading Year with two stars. It was a bad book and on top of that it was not enjoyable at all. I was bored and finished it just because I did not want to start my New Year like that.

The story goes like this....An outbreak of apparent kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest. But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalised items – including a stethoscope, some lightbulbs, som...more
Hickory Dickey Dock is a late Agatha Christie novel, entertaining but rather formulaic. Hercule Poirot investigates a student hostel where a series of petty thefts and acts of vandalism are the clues to solving a more serious crime. On the way, Poirot pokes fun at the psychobabble theory of crime and presents a couple of nice cameos of young, single women and their concerns back then.

The plot is reasonable and gets off to a strong start. It has good potential with a mixed bag of foreign students...more
Poirot gives me life!
Dinner was at seven-thirty and most of the students were already seated when Mrs. Hubbard came down from her sitting-room (where sherry had been served to the distinguished guest) followed by a small elderly man with suspiciously black hair and a moustache of ferocious proportions which he twirled continuously. (Pages 32-33)

After a careful study of the goods displayed in the window, Poirot entered and represented himself as desirous of purchasing a rucksack for a hypothetica
One thing about almost all of the Poirot novels I have left is that I've seen them as episodes, so I tend to know most of what's happening. I've also listened to the audio version of this, however I usually listen to it at night and fall asleep after a bit. So I was pleasantly surprised when there was some big differences from the book. This was mostly in the form of extra characters.

Now, a lot of people have mentioned racism in the book. I certainly can't deny that and frankly racism and horrib...more
Mon ami! The great Poirot returns!

The Story.

It is inconceivable to Hercule Poirot. But it is the truth. Miss Lemon, his efficient secretary, has made three mistakes in one letter. Three mistakes in three years, he might understand, but this? Ce n'est pas. Even more monstrous is the cause of this irregularity. Miss Lemon has received a letter from her sister. Her sister? Can Miss Lemon really belong to a family? Has she not been born of a machine?

But it is true. And this sister of Miss Lemon, one...more
Cheryl Gatling
A recent Smithsonian article on Agatha Christie said that her books were wildly popular during WWII, when people found them reassuring because justice was always done in the end, and order was always restored. I thought I could also use some order and reassurance, so I picked up some Agatha Christie. This wasn't the best place to start. Order does indeed emerge out of chaos, but how Hercule Poirot managed to figure things out remained a mystery to me. When Sherlock Holmes makes a statement that...more
Bob Hoffman
I had never read a book by Agatha Christie, and since her books have sold more than four billion copies, second only to the Bible, perhaps it was about time. This particular book was one in a series revolving around her hero detective, Hercule Poirot and some mysterious burglaries—and ultimately three murders—which occurred in a hostel for international students. At least two of the murders involved the use of morphine—a drug that Christie was familiar with, having worked previously both in a nu...more
In which a rash of petty thefts at a student hostel mask greater crimes…

"Hickory Dickory Dock" is by no means a masterpiece, falling squarely into that camp of run-of-the mill Christie stories that she churned out during the middle of her career. The good: a thorough characterisation of Poirot himself (one of only a few novels in which Miss Lemon actually appears; she’s primarily confined to the short stories); an overly healthy dose of misdirection; and, most importantly, a cast of characters i...more
Earnie Painter
January 6, 2013

If you are considering reading all of the Hercule Poirot novels from beginning to end, may I suggest that you skip Hickory Dickory Dock, AKA Hickory Dickory Death. This is not Agatha Christie's greatest achievement in literature.

First of all, there are just a lot of characters. I was tired from trying to keep them all straight. I do give Christie credit, because I was, indeed, able to keep them straight... beginning about a third of the way into the book. And I'm very inclined to...more
In this Agatha Christie, the writer reaches out into the new multi-cultural world which post war England, or certainly post-war London was becoming at the time this story was written. Some comments in Goodreads mention what they call "the racism" in the book. There is none in the sense of the malicious disparagement of people of different ethnic origin to one's self. However, it is true that the writer does sink into something akin to caricature of other nationalities and races. As it has become...more
Leah R
Another by the engaging and prolific A.C.! Yes, my third in 3 days, I'm on a binge. I quite liked this one too. Lots of drama and complexity but definitely in a good way.
Despite the many characters I was able to keep them straight because they were all so well defined and distinct with their strange quirks- but also, as Poirot said in his memory-game trick, you remember a list of things by drawing connections between them- and the people all had their little groupings of who liked who and who fo...more
Geert Daelemans
Too many red herrings spoil the plot

Hercule Poirot is startled when Miss Lemon, his "perfect machine" of a secretary, makes three mistakes in typing a simple letter. Clearly, something is amiss. Miss Lemon, on questioning, reveals that she is worried about her sister, Mrs. Hubbard. After spending her married life in Singapore, Mrs. Hubbard has returned to England a widow, where she is living as matron of a youth hostel in Hickory Road, an establishment that caters to an international group of st...more
Naman D
The main message in this mystery book by Agatha Christie is that someone has been murdered and that is a very puzzling case for Hercule Poirot. Hercule Poirot who is a sleuth from Belgium works with a secretary named Miss Lemon. She never makes and any mistakes and is referred to as a machine multiple times in the novel. The questions start when Poirot receives a freshly typed letter which has three errors. In his view which is very observant spots these errors at once and asks about what happen...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Giant's Bread
  • Agatha Christie: A Biography
  • The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)
  • Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn, #8)
  • Have His Carcase  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #8)
  • The Grass Widow's Tale (Felse, #7)
  • The Second Confession (Nero Wolfe, #15)
  • Agatha Christie
  • The Floating Admiral
  • Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880...more
More about Agatha Christie...
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)

Share This Book

“What are you doing, Poirot?"
"I dissect rucksacks. It is very interesting.”
More quotes…