Lethal Affairs

Of Agatha Christie, murders, and plot twists

The Clocks

The Clocks

Published: 1963

Genre: Crime fiction, adventure, espionage

One of Poirot’s less outstanding cases, The Clocks contains actually two mysteries. A part of the story details the adventure of the main character, Colin Lamb, who was hunting a spy suspected of leaking secrets to England’s enemies. While following a clue in Wilbraham Crescent, he gets himself involved in a murder case when a young woman, Sheila Webb, encounters a corpse in a house and runs out screaming. The murder scene was bizarre; the body was found in house number 19 where a blind old lady lives, and there were four clocks in the room, all set to 4.13 p.m.

Poirot, who was growing old and restless in his house, was presented with the case by Lamb. Things were made complicated when nobody manages to identify the victim, and when a second body turns up. Poirot correctly deduces that the complex set-up of the crime scene must be for only one purpose; that is to cover up a relatively simple crime.

Overall, The Clocks fails to impress me. However, the plot and settings are promising in the beginning; the complicated set-up with four clocks and a blind lady in the house, as well as the dramatic discovery of the body, are highly exciting to readers. It was obvious that the whole scene was planned and arranged by someone, but who? Can the murder be as “simple” as Poirot claims? The list of suspects in this story is quite long; readers will have to pay close attention to the witnesses’ accounts to spot who was lying, and the significance of it. To be honest, I do not think this is a mystery that can be solved by readers themselves; unlike her other works, Christie did not give much hints this time. I had high expectations for this story, but got slightly disappointed with the conclusion. Still, recommendable for fans of Poirot who are looking for more after reading his more famous cases.

My rating: 3.5/5.0

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November 6, 2011 - Posted by | Books, Crime Fiction | , , , ,

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