The Clocks

  • Hercule Poirot
  • Novel
  • 1963

As instructed, stenographer Sheila Webb let herself into the house at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. It was then that she made a grisly discovery: the body of a dead man sprawled across the living room floor.

What intrigued Poirot about the case was the time factor. Although in a state of shock, Sheila clearly remembered having heard a cuckoo clock strike three o’clock. Yet, the four other clocks in the living room all showed the time as 4.13. Even more strangely, only one of these clocks belonged to the owner of the house.

One gets infected, it is true, by the style of a work that one has been reading.

Hercule Poirot, The Clocks

More about this story

The novel was first serialised in the UK weekly magazine Woman's Own in six installments from 9 November - 14 December 1963 with illustrations by Herb Tauss.

Here is the grand-manner detective story in all its glory.
New York Times

It was adapted for TV in 2010 in Agatha Christie's Poirot starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. The adaptation kept the main plot of the novel but a few changes were made including the location shifting from Dover to Kent. The time period was also changed from the Cold War to before World War II, and a number of characters were either removed or changed.

Did you know?

  1. In the novel, Hercule Poirot refers to one of his favourite cases, The Nemean Lion, which is the first story in the collection The Labours of Hercules.

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