Hickory Dickory Dock

  • Hercule Poirot
  • Novel
  • 1955

An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel was not normally the sort of crime that aroused Hercule Poirot’s interest. But when he saw the list of stolen and vandalized items – including a stethoscope, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack and a diamond ring found in a bowl of soup – he congratulated the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a ‘unique and beautiful problem’. The list made absolutely no sense at all. But, reasoned Poirot, if this was merely a petty thief at work, why was everyone at the hostel so frightened?

More about this story

Agatha Christie took the title of this novel from the well-known nursery rhyme, although its only real significance in the book is that it shares the name with a road.

In Evelyn Waugh's Diaries, the entry for 18th July 1955 lists one of the joys of life as: "A new Agatha Christie story", the very year Hickory Dickory Dock was first published.

The story was adapted for TV in 1995, starring David Suchet. This version was set between the 1920s and 1930s, in keeping with the rest of the series, and also included the character of Inspector Japp, played by Philip Jackson.

Did you know?

  1. A musical version of Hickory Dickory Dock, Death Beat, was planned in the early 60s.

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