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The Clocks

(Hercule Poirot #37)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  20,063 ratings  ·  975 reviews
When a young secretary, Sheila Webb, is sent to the home of a blind woman on an errand, she is horrified to discover a dead man behind the couch, surrounded by four clocks that have all been stopped at 4:13.

The owner arrives home and denies that the clocks belong to her, the deceased's business card turns out to be a fraud, and a woman shows up claiming to be the dead man
Audio Cassette, Unabridged, Mystery Masters Series, 8 pages
Published June 9th 2004 by Audio Partners (first published November 7th 1963)
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Megan <spoiler>1. We aren't told who her father is because that's irrelevant information, we don't meet him in the story and he has nothing to do with…more<spoiler>1. We aren't told who her father is because that's irrelevant information, we don't meet him in the story and he has nothing to do with the actual plot.

2. Yes. It's not "tied down" because again, it doesn't need to be. We're told Sheila's mother is Lawton's sister, and we're told Pebmarsh is Sheila's mother therefore Pebmarsh is Lawton's sister, what's to tie down? That particular relationship is also relatively irrelevant.</spoiler>(less)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  20,063 ratings  ·  975 reviews

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Henry Avila
This Hercule Poirot murder mystery is rather unusual, since he isn't in it very much. Monsieur Poirot is old, five feet four inches (1.625 meters), but with a certain presence that belies his diminutive stature. And spends the few pages he appears in at his London apartment, rich yet 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 typical ...more
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Clocks, by Agatha Christie. It was a very short read, and I caught myself binge reading, flipping through the pages while enjoying myself.

I couldn't ask for more. The crime setting reminded me of an Ellery Queen mystery whose title escapes my memory for now. The start was full of unanswered questions, it was so full of mystery.

For once I didn't mind the fact that Poirot appears so little in the book. I thought the author juggled a lot of the facts to her heart's content which resulted in a b
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Clocks (Hercule Poirot #37), Agatha Christie
The Clocks is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published 1963. The novel is notable for the fact that Poirot never visits any of the crime scenes or speaks to any of the witnesses or suspects. He is challenged to prove his claim that a crime can be solved by the exercise of the intellect alone. Sheila Webb, a typist at Miss Martindale's agency, arrives at her afternoon appointment at Wilbraham Crescent in Crowdean, Sussex. S
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
Fiona MacDonald
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Started off so well! I loved the strange, eeriness of the murder and the characters were all so peculiar. I was really aiming high for the grand finale, but at the end it all tumbled out within 10 or so pages and was a bit of a disappointment, added to which, Poirot was conspicuous by his absence for the majority of the book which was a shame. I assume Christie was by now getting a bit sick of writing wonderful plots for her marvellous creation and so was trying to keep him 'away' whilst other c ...more
Vikas Singh
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
One of the rare boring Poirot novel. For more than eighty percent of the story Poirot is missing and the actual investigations are being handled by some body else. Suddenly he appears , asks a few questions and solves the case. Unbelievable. It is almost as if Agatha had a brain wave and decided to include Poirot at the last moment. Avoidable
Dannii Elle
So, here's the thing. No Christie is a bad Christie but that doesn't mean they are all created equally. This one began in such an intriguing manner - a dead man, a blind woman, a stenographer, and several clocks whose presence no-one can account for - that I felt sure it was about to become a new favourite. What was so initially compelling, however, unravelled too slowly for me to continue with the breathless engagement that I begun this with. This still delivered a wonderful ending that managed ...more
David Schaafsma
“Everything makes sense. Everything.”—Poirot

The Clocks is Hercules Poirot #34, and I feel like I am sort of limping to the finish here, reading them in order. This one features the “mature” writing of Christie, a book published in 1963, 43 years after her first Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, published in 1920! She knew no one I life as well as Poirot at this point, and it was my now a resigned relationship, with love and hate and resentment all present at times. Which is perhaps why Po
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though Poirot makes only little appearances in this story, it's worth it to hear the detective's take on various mystery stories and their authors. Not to mention Poirot gets to exercise his "little grey cells" from home when the narrator of this mystery, Charles Lamb, takes the facts as he knows them to Poirot, in an effort to both enliven Poirot's day and to stump the Belgian detective. Ha! This is Poirot, and Lamb should have had more faith, as Poirot deduces the solution to the case involvin ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, 2017
“One gets infected, it is true, by the style of a work that one has been reading.”

Continuing my Agatha Christie odyssey. This is a Poirot story with a difference - our favourite Belgian mastermind is very much in the background, appearing only a couple of times, to direct (or rather baffle) the players and readers, and then obviously sweep in with the solution. Having said this, I rather enjoyed this investigation at the hand of an unknown.

Apart from our crime story, this novel also felt like a
Elizabeth (Alaska)
As an installment in Christie's Poirot series, this was far from what I expected. It is written alternately in third person omniscient and in first person. The first person narrator is Colin Lamb, a person who happens along in a timely fashion just as Sheila Webb discovers a dead body. As serendipity would have it, although not with the police, he is good friends with Chief Inspector Hardcastle. Colin Lamb is also friends with Poirot, to whom he eventually brings details of the case. Poirot seem ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it is. I am either blown away by Christie or totally underwhelmed by her books. There is never a really nice happy medium I am finding. I think one good thing about reading all of these books back to back like this is that I am able to pick up on plots that Christie has used previously.

I can now see why it took so long for my library to track down this book and make it available to me. It's not that a compelling read of a Hercule Poirot book. One wonders if Christie was playing
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found out who the killer was but not why. Really entertaining
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another great tale from the queen of crimes! I deceived myself when I congratulate myself too early! What a shame :( But on the other hand, I did make the right guesses on a few things, so all is not lost (yeay!!).

This story took on a Miss-Marple-ish type of narration. Hercule Poirot only came into the picture after more than 60% of the book. But as always, he would steal the limelight from others even by a brief appearance!

And what a conclusion!
Sara G
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a good audio book! And a quality mystery. I haven't listened to a mystery book on audio before and I think parts of it were a bit hard to follow but, honestly, Agatha Christie's books are engaging but in essence simple so it wasn't an issue.
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
An entertaining read.

I'd read a lot of Christie's books many years ago and now feel I need to 'revisit' a few. At one time I carried a Christie book everywhere I went; I kept one in my car. I had one at school (I was a teacher) and read a little each day during 'silent reading period,' a 15-20 minute time period in the middle of the day set aside just for reading. (Even though I taught science I held to this reading time religiously and no student had better ask for a bathroom pass while I was r
I usually enjoy Agatha Christie's novels, especially those with the often insufferable Hercule Poirot. Although Hercule Poirot is a character in this one, he is barely in the novel, away from the scene of the crime, acting as Colin Lamb's advisor, showing how he could solve any crime through his intellect alone. I found many of the characters almost indistinguishable from each other, flat and featureless; the plot was tedious in spots. A dead man, in a blind woman's house, surrounded by numerous ...more
Moonlight Reader
This is the 34th Hercule Poirot mystery, although he doesn't appear in it until about 1/2 way in.

I really enjoy Dame Agatha's books. However, this one was really rather forgettable and isn't one of her exceptional mysteries. Her best, to my mind, are Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, and Peril at End House (at least of the ones I have read). I am also rather attached to The Cat Among The Pigeons.

If you are looking for some golden age mystery entertainment to while away a
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid mystery. The ending was disappointing, but what I really enjoyed were the characters. I like Colin, especially. Christie also has a style in some of her books that givea me a different tone, which is more domestic and character-driven. I can't explain it, exactly. I like the subplot with Colin and the notes of the Communist underground and even Colin's statements that everything gets muddled up, and you sometimes even forget which side you’re on. Christie always manages to make subtle so ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audiobook, crime
Time for murder...

When Sheila Webb is sent out by the secretarial agency for which she works to the home of a blind lady, Miss Pebmarsh, to take some dictation, she is not expecting to find the corpse of a dead man in a room filled with clocks of different styles, but all pointing to the same time – 4:13. In a state of shock, she runs screaming from the house, straight into the arms of Colin Lamb, who is in the street on secret business of his own. Colin is involved in the spy business, and will
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent mystery! It kept me guessing the whole time. Who was the murdered guy? Why was he murdered at a blind woman's house? Who was the murderer? I should perhaps admit that the explanation did not quite satisfy me, too many coincidences to be true but on the whole i found this book amazing and definately a page turner. Go ahead and read it, it will not dissapoint you!
Jan 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sheila Webb works at a secretarial firm, and is sent out to a new client. When she arrives she discovers a dead body.
This is a great mystery, but it is not a book that has a huge amount of Poirot in it. You follow Colin Lamb and Inspector Hardcastle.
The suspect's in this case are Interesting, but not well developed.
Also the murderer was obvious, although the co-conspirators were harder to identify.
Any fan of Agatha Christie will enjoy this book.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Well, this is what happens when I stay at home with a rather nasty cold: I manage to read a book in about 24h. But don’t worry, I slept a lot during the day, as well.

And what can I say? I had plenty of time, the story was of the engrossing type, and it read so well. It also takes place during the Cold War, so there is some espionage work going on. And, of course, Hercule Poirot is there to explain everything. Although, regarding Poirot, I must say I had expected more of him.

I had never heard of
Charlie Lovett
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
It's been a long time since I've read Agatha Christie (I went through a major phrase in about 8th grade), but I do remember that some of her novels are marvelous and others well . . . less so. This one seemed quite ordinary to me. It's not really a Hercule Poirot mystery, though the Belgian does appear (but not until almost halfway through). The long digression about other crime writers slows down an already slow moving story. But hey, there's a quote from "The Walrus and the Carpenter." In shor ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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
I am so glad that I started exploring Agatha Christie a few years ago. She is such a great writer. The Clocks is #37 in her Hercule Poirot series. I enjoyed this mystery very much.

Poirot basically plays a very small role in this particular story. The story focuses on Colin Lamb, a British spy, and son of a friend of Poirot (indications are it might be Superintendent Battle) and Detective Inspector Hardcastle, Lamb's friend and the main investigator. Poirot is invited to assist by Lamb, as he fee
Laurel Young
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
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What did Mrs Curtin know about Mrs Pebmarsh? 1 1 Aug 04, 2019 12:40AM  
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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 41 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • 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)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
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