The Clocks

So, reading an Agatha Christie where you know the end doesn’t scratch the itch.   I went on and read The Clocks published in 1963.   An Hercule Poirot mystery sort of.   Mainly there’s a young spy named Colin Lamb and a detective named Hardcastle.  Poirot enters about halfway through and naturally, solves the whole thing, but really is not very involved.   It starts off intriguingly (is that a word?) with a young shorthand typist being requested at the home of a blind woman, Miss Pebmarsh.   If Miss Pebmarsh isn’t home, the typist is to enter the house and wait.   There she discovers a body and runs shrieking from the house into the arms of Colin Lamb.   In the room with the body are six clocks, only two of which belong there.   Miss Pebmarsh denies calling for a typist and no one knows who the dead man is nor why four extra clocks are set to 4:13.

theclocks

Quite an entertaining beginning, but the book doesn’t keep up that level of peculiarity.   It’s a bit plodding as the two men go around interviewing the neighbors, interviewing the typist and her aunt, interviewing all and sundry.   It’s just a bit dull.   And then there’s the next victim who doesn’t tell what she knows and gets done in, of course, because that almost always happens.  Thinking back on it, I think the murderer was a darned fool to arrange all this, but overall not a bad book.   Definitely a middling Christie, but a middling Christie beats a lot of others.

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