by Agatha Christie
Also titled Hickory, Dickory, Dock
In this Poirot novel, the famous detective is called to the aid of the sister of his most efficient secretary, Miss Lemon. Miss Lemon’s sister runs (but does not own) a boarding house/hostel that is usually the home to transient students and young foreigners. Mrs. Hubbard, Miss Lemon’s sister, is concerned because certain random items have been disappearing from the boarding house. Poirot, intrigued by the unusual list of stolen items, begins to investigate.
As seems to be typical of these later Poirot novels, there is just too much going on–kleptomania, murder, love triangles, drugs, alcohol, love affairs, smuggling–and consequently, the solution seems rather convoluted to me. It’s not that hard to come up with a solution if we can choose any random crime to blame. Many of Christie’s earlier novels are clever and intriguing because they are so possible. The people involved are normal people; one gets the feeling that this murder could have happened in the house next door, and that is what gives them there personal creepy factor. But these later novels are just over the top–I have no sense of connection with this story. While it is entertaining, it doesn’t pack that more personal punch that many of the earlier stories do.
Still, a fun read with some interesting characters, 3/5.