The Clocks
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Clocks (Hercule Poirot #34)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  9,268 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Four strange clocks, all set to 4:13, had appeared in Miss Pebmarsh's sitting room. Who had brought them, and why?
Mass Market Paperback
Published June 3rd 1979 by Pocket Books (first published 1963)
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
Henry Avila
This Hercule Poirot murder mystery, is rather unusual. Since he isn't in it. Very much.Poirot is old. And spends the few pages, he appears in. At his London apartment. Rich but bored.Reading fictional and nonfiction books. About of course, killings.Don't worry folks. He comes to the rescue, at the last chapter.In fact, 3rd from last.And a few others. In the middle of the novel.The plot ,Sheila Webb a stenographer typist. Goes to a house, for a routine assignment.The door is unlocked. As she is i...more
mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

You are a member of the British secret service, and you are having a really bad day. Murder is never the best of reasons to engage in romance, but for you, the two become intertwined before you know it. In a way, it is not hard to understand why: temporary secretaries are their own kind of secret agent, slipping in and out of mysterious situations, reporting what they know to their benefactor, a constant smile on their lips and calm professionalism their by-word. When d...more
Cornerofmadness


I’ve decided to finally go back to my youth and reread some of the classics (well at least ones that fall into genres I actually like). This Hercule Poirot mystery was written much later in Christie’s career and it’s fairly clear that Poirot wasn’t even needed for this mystery. I actually wondered if he was only added to keep publishers/fans happy.

In fact, this mystery was actually investigated by a friend of Poirot, Colin Lamb who seemed to be secret service (how many times Lamb appeared in ot...more
Eileen
Even though my mother was a fan of Agatha Christie, for some reason, I never read any of her books when I was growing up, despite being a fan of the mystery genre myself. When the video game, And Then There Were None (which was based on Agatha Christie's novel) was released, I decided to seek out a copy of it to read before trying out the game. (The book has been read but the game has only seen about 10 minutes of action so far...) I found And Then There Were None strangely compelling, even with...more
Elizabeth
Another good story from the queen of mystery. I missed Poirot in this one, though. Hercule Poirot only appears occasionally. Being one of his last mysteries, M. Poirot has aged quite a bit, and so he no longer investigates crimes like he used to. In "The Clocks" the narrator and protagonist is Mr. Colin Lamb. He's trying to figure out Whodunit. The victim: an unidentifiable man. The scene of the crime: a blind woman's sitting room, with the addition of four mysterious clocks set to the same, wro...more
Helen
This is a Hercule Poirot story, from the 50s long after Poirot has retired and is rather bored. Hastings is in South America and our intrepid Belgian only appears fairly late on in the book after being given the opportunity to exercise his 'little grey cells.' This is the one where an agency stenographer goes to an appointment to find a dead body in the drawing room. Mystery as to the body's identity as well as who the killer was ensues, of course.

I've read quite a few of Christie's books and I...more
Laurel Young
I find it telling that The Clocks is subtitled "A Hercule Poirot Mystery". This is not really a Poirot novel. Charles Lamb, our narrator, is quite able to solve the case himself and Poirot actually has very little "screen time", so to speak. He is here because, by this time in Christie's long and fruitful career, fans expected her to feature her famous detective (and no doubt he was good for sales). Even so, I do not think of this as a Poirot case. There are also a few references to Poirot and C...more
Dagny
This is one of her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, mysteries, although he was so late in turning up that I had forgotten he was supposed to be in the book by the time he showed up. He wasn't heavily featured at all. The story opens with a body being discovered in the sitting-room of Miss Millicent Pebmarsh. Earlier, as she returned home she heard her clock cuckooing three times just as she came to the gate. According to Inspector Hardcastle all the other clocks were set just over an hour fast...more
Dolly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina
Original post at One More Page

I was procrastinating taking a break last Saturday on my NaNoWriMo novel (I won, by the way, yay!), and I found a book report I submitted for my English class back in senior year in high school (2001-2002). I was already a reader then, but I stuck mostly to series and only a few serious novels, so a book report for a project was easy for me. This was an excuse to buy a brand new book, and I decided to choose something that is outside of my normal genre to try it out...more
Nora Sabrina Sirait
M. Poirot yang tua sedang kebosanan.
Bagiku membayangkan Poirot tua itu aneh. Aku selalu membayangkan Poirot penuh vitalitas, jadi setiap novel yang mendeskripsikan Poirot sudah tua (Curtain, Orient Express, Three Act Tragedy, termasuk the Clock), aku merasa Poirot tidak cocok menjadi tua.
Mungkin, karena watak Poirot yang sebenarnya penuh semangat. Walau Poirot seperti kucing gemuk pemalas yang kerjanya duduk-duduk dan main puzzle sambil memecahkan kasus. Tapi Poirot selalu dipenuhi semangat unt...more
Bloody Otaku
First of all , this is the first book that I've read from Agatha Christie because I can't stand detective stories (because of the huge amount of episodes of detective shows that I watched since childhood till recent years) but I decided to give this book a try because its title attracted me & because my mum is a huge fan of Agatha since she was young & she recommend me to read some of her books !

But in the end it turned out to be even worse than what I'd expected & so disappointing &...more
Jean
I reread this book recently. Although it features Hercules Poirot, he plays a sedentary and passive role in this murder mystery, although he still manages to solve the mystery without meeting any of the main protagonists.

The book was written in the early sixties and involves the murder of an unknown man whose body is discovered by Sheila Webb, sent on an assignment to the house from the secretarial bureau she is working for. Colin, a young secret service agent assumes the role of the absent Cap...more
David
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
For those whose HP is always Poirot and not Potter, this is a great installment. A weird murder involving a dead man found in a blind woman's house with four strange clocks reading 4:13, a reluctant spy and a young shorthand typist as our Young Love couple, a thoughtful police inspector and Poirot offering a solution from afar based upon his trashy mystery habit. Lots of odd stereotypical characters and a clever reason for all of them - Christie making fun of Christie and of her own imitators, w...more
Elaine
Too many characters. Too many points of view. Not enough Hercule. Brilliant mystery.
Debbie
"The Clocks" is a historical mystery set in 1963 in England (though of course it was written as a contemporary mystery).

This was a clue-based puzzle mystery. Yet it felt to me like the author went back after finishing and changed whodunit and why. Some clues that hint certain things as a part of the original storyline turn out to be false. Yet conclusions based on those clues are spoken as fact at the end even though they no longer have a basis. Some actions that make sense in one storyline are...more
Keiran Thegreat
An interesting and clever mystery featuring Poirot. I will avoid mentioning the murder, clues or solution to avoid spoilers, but will mention some plot elements that relate more to style than the main plot.
This story features Poirot but not as the central character, he is consulted by the main character to aid in the solving of a murder mystery. Poirot features more in later sections of the story, but if you were wanting to read a novel about Poirot there are possibly better choices. This is no...more
Michael A
I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. It's not very plausible at all. Somehow we have two spies and three murderers in the same block of apartment buildings. Somehow all these people co-exist independently not knowing of each other's existence. Also, there's too much information in the book freely given by one person -- a little girl with a broken leg in a constant state of boredom. One is reminded of the photographer in Rear Window. Furthermore, fo...more
Grant Trevarthen
Although I have seen Agatha Christie books at my home and at the local Library, this is the first one I've actually read.
I was intrigued by the characters who were described so well as to be life life like.

And how the plot ws layered and built up to the climax,which to me was unexpected.
And the presence of Hercule Poirot added spice and a cosmopolitan aspect to the story, I must admit, I had David Suchet, in my mind, and that was the ultimate icing on a very rich cake.
Kaushal
It has been almost a year since I last read Christie. Mostly because the Poirot novels, though individually great, tend to feel rather repetitive if read too many too soon. Nevertheless, browsing around when I saw the book on Goodreads, I was intrigued.

So I decided to give it a shot. And it wasn't bad. The murder was indeed exceptionally baffling, with there being absolutely no seeming motive, suspect, an unidentified victim, and the aforementioned mysterious clocks. It would've been fun to watc...more
Sarah
I was going to the library and wanted to get The Murder of the Orient Express and they didn’t have it. The fools! Isn’t that one of the most popular Agatha Christie’s books ever? That is what you get when you’re living in a small town( at least it is just during the summer). I will have to admit that our library here is awfully small and just depressing. That’s when I picked up The Clocks which had the most interesting cover as seen up above. This just proves that sometimes I do choose a book by...more
Steve
Most of this story is told from the viewpoint of Colin Lamb, an intelligence specialist and friend of Poirot. When, during an investigation of his own, he happens to encounter Miss Sheila Webb, who has just discovered a dead body, he decides to assist in the case. Poirot himself doesn't take an active part in the investigation, but eventually solves the crime by listening to the information given him by Lamb and sending out a few telegrams. Lamb is an interesting character and according to some...more
Jan C
I wondered about continuing reading this as I had just seen the production on PBS. But they are different. For one thing, they didn't even include my favorite character, a little girl with a broken leg who turns out to be a great witness. For another, the stories were a bit different.

Enjoyable ... as always.
Nicole
May 06, 2013 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I liked how there were other parts to the plot besides the murder case and I think this was the first Agatha Christie book where I actually guessed who the murderer was. I wish Poirot had been in it a bit more and it made me sad to see him so old and bored.
Mónica Silva
Opinião no blog http://howtoliveathousandlives.blogsp...

Esta estória é inicialmente narrada por Colin Lamb, agente dos Serviços Secretos, que acaba envolvido na investigação de um peculiar homicídio quando uma jovem estenógrafa, Sheila Webb, solicita a sua ajuda num momento de puro desespero – a descoberta do corpo em Wilbraham Crescent, nº19.

Mas este não é um caso convenvional! Na verdade, pequenos mistérios adensam a trama: o homem assassinado não é facilmente identificado, a dona da casa, Mis...more
Julie
A secretary is called to take dictation for an blind woman, but when she arrives at the woman's home she finds a dead man instead. The man is surrounded by clocks that are all set a little over an hour ahead. Meanwhile, a man is trying to break a ring of spies that he thinks may be located in the same neighborhood.

Although a Hercule Poirot mystery, there wasn't a lot of Hercule Poirot in it. Also, the solutions to both of the mysteries seemed apparent fairly early on in the story. However, it w...more
An Odd1
"The Clocks" are red herrings, too confusing to "Like". Prologue starts third-person, then intersperses first-person British agent Colin Lamb, has eccentric characters, like comic-relief cat-lady, but too many - secret service superior Colonel Beck adds another layer of repetition, a resource that cautions his affections, little other insight. Poirot warns to strip the deed to simple essence, avoid flashy flourishes like clocks, recites verses from Alice in Wonderland "The time has come the Walr...more
Book Concierge
3.5***

Hercule Poirot takes a somewhat minor role here, while Inspector Hardcastle and Colin Lamb take the lead.

A young woman stenographer/typist is specifically requested at No. 19. She’s instructed to come in if no one answers the door and to wait in the sitting room. She arrives just a couple of minutes early, and waits as instructed. When the cuckoo clock strikes three she goes over to it to inspect it more closely, which is when she discovers the body of a man who has been stabbed. She runs...more
Maria João Fernandes
"O homem assassinado não vivia na casa. Veio aqui para ser morto. Que estranho!"

"Os Cinco Relógios" faz parte da coleção de livros do Hercule Poirot e é ele quem resolve o mistério, porém o detetive apenas aparece em segundo plano. O papel principal é desempenhado por Colin Lamp, um espião, licenciado em biologia, que tropeça no crime quando está a investigar a casa de um suspeito.

O cadáver é encontrado na casa de uma mulher cega, por uma jovem secretária que, supostamente, tinha sido requisitad...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Agatha Christie L...: May 2016 - The Clocks 1 4 Aug 15, 2014 08:37PM  
Teen Critic: The Clocks by Agatha Christie---->Start Date August 20th 20 21 Oct 25, 2013 06:29PM  
  • Hand in Glove (Roderick Alleyn, #22)
  • Giant's Bread
  • The Second Confession (Nero Wolfe, #15)
  • The Documents in the Case
  • Agatha Christie
  • The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse, #9)
  • The Floating Admiral
  • Agatha Christie
  • Pearls Before Swine (Albert Campion Mystery #12)
  • Agatha Christie: A Biography
123715
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

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.” 179 likes
“To every problem, there is a most simple solution.” 110 likes
More quotes…