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Hickory Dickory Dock

(Hercule Poirot #32)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  25,602 ratings  ·  1,202 reviews
An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel was not normally the sort of crime that aroused Hercule Poirot’s interest. But when he saw the list of stolen and vandalized items – including 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 ...more
Audio CD, 196 pages
Published December 7th 2006 by AudioGO (first published 1955)
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Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why the hell doesn't Goodreads have a galaxy (instead of just 5 stars) rating system for books that just make you go

It all started comically enough: one fine day Poirot's perfect secretary made three mistakes in one letter, something she had never done before - as far as Poirot knew.
It tuned out she was worried about her sister Mrs. Hubbard. Trying to restore his secretary's inner peace Poirot invited Mrs. Hubbard and asked her about her troubles.

Mrs. Hubbard was taking care of a hostel (a student dormitory in modern language) where quite a few young people - mostly students - lived.
People that studied at a
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it

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 cal
daph pink ♡

MARCH 2020- book 19

(I don't review her books, never could because honestly I will be bias because I love her. )

For all who don't know , I am in love with Agatha Christie ever since I started reading her books( 5 years ago) and I planned to read a book of her each month so that I don't run out of her books !
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 m
As the Poirot Buddy Read draws to a close (5 books to go) after 2 and a half years I am still happily surprised when I come across a book, that not only do I not remember but I thoroughly enjoy and give 5 stars to.
M. Poirot becomes suspicious when Ms Lemon makes a number of mistakes in a letter she has typed for him, why, how can this be, the reliable unfazed Ms Lemon in error, mais non. It transpires her sister returned from Singapore a widow, and having to take a job as a housekeeper of studen
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
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
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.

Julian Worker
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story - I give this 4 out of 5 on an Agatha Christie scale as it's not one of her absolute finest, but is still better than 99% of all the other mysteries out there. The story starts with Miss Lemon making 3 mistakes in a letter for Hercule Poirot and develops from there, a lesson for all of us in how many ways there are to begin a story. The plot is good, the characters believable, and the setting is well described. I got the impression Poirot is not in this book as much as some of ...more
An intriguing beginning gone awry and a clever plot defiled by implausible events is all I could say about this novel of the Poirot series. The idea of a possible kleptomaniac in a student hostel sounds interesting, isn't it? Yes, it is. And this original theme attracted me very much to the story. It started well, I must say, with the problem being brought to the notice of our dear Poirot by his secretary Miss Lemon and Poirot assisting Miss Lemon's sister, Mrs. Hubbard, the warden of the hostel ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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 lik
Dave Schaafsma
“I spit upon the murder”—Mrs. Nicoletti

“They are stupid about love, these girls—as if love mattered” Mrs. Nicoletti

Hickory Dickory Dock is one of Christie’s 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 i
Timothy Diacono
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it’s fair to say that the novel feels very 1950’s - she does an admirable job of adding some diversity to the narrative.

The se
Susan in NC
3.5 stars - if I read this one previously, I don’t recall - read with the Reading the Detectives Group for our Poirot Challenge, I listened to the Hugh Fraser audiobook while reading along. As always, he’s a lovely narrator, but this story was not great.

I didn’t like so many suspects, as it took place in a student hostel where odd things have been stolen. Hercules Poirot becomes involved through his hyper efficient secretary, Miss Lemon. Her sister, Mrs. Hubbard, manages the hostel, and is distu
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 sim
Vikas Singh
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Richard Derus
Book Rating: 3* of five

I found this in my area's newly-reopened Little Free Library. It'll be going back there as soon as I muster the nous to go out onto the boardwalk *early* in the morning when it's not crowded with unmasked future plague victims.

This entry into Dame Agatha's nursery-rhyme titled mysteries (eg, A Pocket Full of Rye; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe) is only mildly related to the rhyme in question...the action centers on Hickory Street...and it's also a Poirot-lite tale. It does, unus
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.

Anyhow, g
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
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...
1955 (Also published as "Hickory Dickory Dock/Death")
CAST - 2 stars: This is the big difference between North American and British writers of mysteries during mid-20th century: the Britains held cast as the #1 element, American authors focused on great opening hooks. But unfortunately, I remember no one from this novel, other than Hercule dropping in. Hercule refers to his secretary, Miss Felicity Lemon, as, "not a woman at all. She was a machine-the perfect se
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 doesn ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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! ...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 al
Christine PNW
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 Ch
Apr 20, 2008 rated it liked it
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 understandab
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here we are, my twelfth and last Agatha Christie of the year. We’ve been on such a journey, she and I, it’s 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, that’s the type of mystery novels I love. It was also more diverse than all of these novels of hers that I’ve read, I was quite happy about that. Moreover, I’m glad all the racist remarks her
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, mystery
Fans of Agatha Christie will certainly enjoy matching wits with Hercule Poirot in this twisted tale of theft and murder. A bored Poirot is only too willing to solve a series of thefts at a student hostel. But don’t jump to any conclusions! Even when it seems clear who the culprit is and why, other facts arise and complicate the matter. It will take all your little grey cells working overtime to sort out all the clues in this mystery. Well performed by Hugh Fraser, this audio version is unabridge ...more
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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 t

Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 45 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Warbler Classics)
  • The Murder on the Links: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Warbler Classics)
  • Poirot Investigates: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Warbler Classics)
  • 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)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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"I dissect rucksacks. It is very interesting.”
“I congratulate you on having such a unique and beautiful problem.” 4 likes
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