One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

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Novel

First published: 1940

Murder
methods:

  • Poison
  • Blow to the Head
  • Gunshot

A Hercule Poirot story

Synopsis

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

The dentist was found with a blackened hole below his right temple. A pistol lay on the floor near his outflung right hand. Later, one of his patients was found dead from a lethal dose of local anaesthetic. A clear case of murder and suicide. But why would a dentist commit a crime in the middle of a busy day of appointments? A shoe buckle holds the key to the mystery. Now – in the words of the rhyme – can Poirot pick up the sticks and lay them straight?

No, my friend, I am not drunk. It is that I have been to the dentist and I need not go again for six months. It is a beautiful thought.

Hercule Poirot, One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

More about this story

In the life of Hercule Poirot, not even a dental appointment can occur without a murder, this time, the very dentist Poirot was hoping to see. But while the police are calling it suicide, Poirot knows better and soon it’s not only the dentist who appears to have been murdered.

Part of Agatha Christie’s nursery rhyme series, the title is derived from a rhyme of the same name, each line forming clues through Poirot’s investigation. Written during one of Christie’s most prolific periods (particularly for Poirot’s cases) this is among her most political novels. The characters express their political views throughout, but despite Poirot’s own opinions he never lets this colour his perception of a suspect.

The story was adapted for TV as part of Agatha Christie’s Poirot in 1992, David Suchet in the eponymous role. This episode was considered darker than the previous ones, particularly in this series, lacking the comic touches of Hastings and Japp. It was also dramatised by BBC Radio 4 in 2004, starring John Moffatt as Poirot.

Did you know?

  1. In the US the novel was first published in 1941 under the title The Patriotic Murders, then as An Overdose of Death in 1953, before sharing the same title as the UK version, One, Two, Buckle my Shoe.

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