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Hickory Dickory Dock

(Hercule Poirot Mysteries #32)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  19,019 ratings  ·  867 reviews
An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel was not normally the sort of crime that aroused Hercule Poirot's interest. But then he saw the list of stolen and vandalized items: a stethoscope, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack, and a diamond ring found in a bowl of soup. He congratulated the warden, Mrs. Hubbard, on a "unique and beautiful ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by HarperCollins (first published 1955)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  19,019 ratings  ·  867 reviews

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Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, mystery, crime
Why the hell doesn't Goodreads have a galaxy (instead of just 5 stars) rating system for books that just make you go

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

I congratulate you on having such a unique and beautiful problem.

Again Poirot shows how clever he is, this time because his perfect secretary starts getting typing errors. It's amusing how he is half in awe of her, half in fear of her. Set in a hostel with a mixed group, this intriguing story wasn't like other mysteries by her that I've read. He's called in because of a bizarre list of items stolen, but murder comes across eventually.

Set in a hostel with a mixed group, characters become

In this 32nd book in the 'Hercule Poirot' series, the detective investigates mysterious occurrences at a rooming house. Like all Agatha Christie books, it can be read as a standalone.


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
3.5 stars

# 10 in my Agatha Christie Challenge

During the first 50 pages, I was thinking that Agatha Christie had let Hercule Poiriot go a bit soft in her latter books, but then bodies started dropping in a co-ed boarding house and all the signs pointed to murder and it got interesting. As always, there is plenty of fantastic characterization, albeit a bit melodramatic in nature. I never mention enough how much I laugh at Poiriot's loveable arrogance or raise an eyebrow at some of the political
Jason Koivu
A bunch of boarders, mostly students and young folk, get into a bit of mischief which turns out to be more than just a bit of mischief.

Hickory Dickory Dock was published in the latter half of Agatha Christie's career. It's also one of the later Poirot books. As such, it does feel a bit more mature in the characterization and such. But what the hell do I know? I'm no Christie scholar. I've only read a few of her many books. This is yet another one that has me wanting to read more of her work.

Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
David Schaafsma
I spit upon the murderMrs. Nicoletti

They are stupid about love, these girlsas if love mattered Mrs. Nicoletti

Hickory Dickory Dock is one of Christies novels with a nursery rhyme title, though there is little to no connection. There is a Mrs. Hubbard (like the one with a cupboard), but again, this is just Christie being cute. I certainly did read this half my life ago and probably enjoyed it more then than I did this time, in the context of having read the previous 29 Poirot novels. This isnt one
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
On the surface a simple case of missing items in a student accommodation seems like an easy mystery for Poirot to solve. Just like the plot this novel has some great hidden depths that gives the reader a snapshot of the time period that this story was written.

I really liked the setting of this story which allows Christie to introduce an eclectic mix of characters, whilst its fair to say that the novel feels very 1950s - she does an admirable job of adding some diversity to the narrative.

Buddy Read with Murugesh.
'I congratulate you,' he said warmly to the latter,
She looked startled. 'But why, M. Poirot?'
'I congratulate you on having such a unique and beautiful problem.'

So the book is set in a boarding house where students of different ethnicity reside and then things start to go missing. Looks like a simple case of theft among struggling students but will it turn out to be something more? Why would Poirot be interested in such a base case? But things are never as simple as
Timothy Diacono
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gets complicated. Reading this avatar of Hickory Dickory Dock, I realised I don't want to reread the French version. As soon as I read the murderer's name I got a deja vu feeling and reading the last few chapters confirmed my doubts.

However, I still think a review is due. I'm still perplexed about why I didn't register the English version, that would have saved time. But I fell off the Goodreads planet in 2016. This is doubly confusing because I read Hickory Dickory Dock last year.

Vikas Singh
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-book
Too many coincidences make this Christie plot weak. Poirot's deductions are more whimsical and he just gets lucky with some of his wild deductions. Too many red herrings that are unusual distraction. For Christie fans this is quite unlike any of her other novels. A poor, average read
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The intrigue was really good - I never guessed who had done it till the end. Full marks for that!
I just found the characters very stereotyped. It might have been the fact that the author was creating 'foreign' characters. They just sounded very fake to me.
Another great mystery by the Queen of Crime! :) Loved listening to this on audiobook, even though the narrator kind of sounded like he had a cold...
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queen-agatha
Always a pleasure, Miss Christie. And now that I am living in a dorm in the UK, this story was even more fun!
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not one of her best. Hickory Dickory Dock was one of Christie's more convoluted stories and I found myself getting confused with all the different students' names. The ending came a bit too left field for me: I like to at least be able to have a punt at guessing it!
I'm a prettying open-minded person when it comes to books being the product of their age, and don't let such things distract me from the meat of the story. That said, Hickory Dickory Dock takes some kind of special cake in prejudices against foreigners and cartoony stereotypes. Even for Agatha this is a new kind of record. Oh, Agatha... you and your racism. Anyway, I am giving this story only three stars, because even the plot wasn't all that hot - organized crime in detective fiction just ...more
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Moonlight Reader
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: vintage-women
As I posted yesterday, I picked up a pair of Dame Agatha's Poirot novels over the weekend. I read and reviewed The Clocks first, which I found quite underwhelming.

In my view, Hickory Dickory Dock (in spite of the moderately silly title) was a more entertaining book. It still doesn't rise to the level of her best, but it was engaging enough that I read it in a two hour sitting before bed.

It is a bit of a blood bath, with two three separate murders happening during the book's time span. For a
Lili  Marcus
I'm quite disappointed and that's my fault for expecting too much. Also, this is my first Agatha Christie so you must forgive me for having high expectations.

To be fair, this book is not bad. It's just mediocre. Everything about it is mediocre. The crime is so mediocre, I had it all figured out in chapter 5. And again to be fair, maybe when this is first published, that time, a crime in a hostel or a student dormitory/boarding house might've been still a fresh concept. But now, it's just
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Here we are, my twelfth and last Agatha Christie of the year. Weve been on such a journey, she and I, its been wonderful.

I adored Hickory Dickory Dock so much: the setting, in a student hostel, was so interesting and I was so hooked. I had to know the truth, because it was layers upon layers upon layers, thats the type of mystery novels I love. It was also more diverse than all of these novels of hers that Ive read, I was quite happy about that. Moreover, Im glad all the racist remarks her
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have had that rhyme in my head since last night. I want to smother myself to just make it stop at this point.

I also somehow saw the television adaption of this story a few months ago, I now remember why I turned it off. They kept playing a slow sung ballad to the nursery rhyme throughout the entire show.

So we have Poirot firmly in the 1950s in England. This is a post WWII England and now the books feel different in a way that they have not in the earlier ones. There is no more separation
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. This book was mostly just annoying. If I'm going to have to listen to a lot of psychological analysis, I prefer it to be delivered by Jeeves. And HOW did the title relate? Didn't like that Poirot took a back seat, either. I haven't read all that many Christies, but I wonder if I should stick to earlier ones.

However, this audiobook gets 5 stars as a toddler charmer! After I finished the book, I flipped the audio to the back seat and got a couple of hours of happiness on a long drive. Good
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 30th book in the Hercule Poirot series by the Queen of Crime writers Agatha Christie.
Her books are timeless and are always great reads with lots of twists and turns and they keep you guessing until the very end. Thankfully she wrote so many books to entertain us.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is so almost there. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I felt that the ending was a bit vague and far-fetched. There were several things in the plot that was never explained and the ending was just a bit meh. However, it was a real page turner.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, mystery, series, english, crime
This had enough twist and turns that kept you guessing right until the end. Really enjoyed this! 4 stars!
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: normal
I really enjoyed it, even though it's not the best book of this author. Also I recommend it for people who wants to start reading Agatha Christie's books :)

First (mini) review in English ever... I want to start doing this more often, and so sorry for mistakes that I probably had :)
I have felt myself catapulted back many years by reading this novel. Long time ago I read all Agatha Christie novels and I liked them then. Today I was wondering and shocked by the generous number of murders the two villains committed in this book.
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in

Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • The Lemesurier Inheritance: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)

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