Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot, #30

Source: Purchased

Normally, a mere outbreak of petty thefts in a youth hostel wouldn't be enough to interest the great detective Hercule Poirot. However, the warden of the hostel is sister to Poirot's secretary Miss Lemon, and concern for her sister is interfering with Miss Lemon's typing abilities. Poirot finds himself with an intriguing puzzle on his hands, and before long, murder increases the mystery.

“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 more individualized that some of her other works. As usual there are jabs at various groups of people (the paranoia of the Americans tickled me, actually pretty true), and there is the stigma of alcoholism hidden in there with one particular character. The eccentric hostel owner, the straight-laced sister team, the young lovers scheming to win affections, all of the characters are well-done.

Poirot is still top dog, but he shares plenty of investigative time with another detective, which is kind of discouraging. Poirot twiddles his mustache more during the first half the book before the murder happens, then the police take over the playing field until the ending and actual reveal happens. Poirot isn't even involved in most of the interviewing. 

   Book Quotes:

"I dissect rucksacks. It is very interesting.”

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