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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

Hickory Dickory Dock - Agatha Christie

As I posted yesterday, I picked up a pair of Dame Agatha's Poirot novels over the weekend. I read and reviewed The Clocks first, which I found quite underwhelming.


In my view, Hickory Dickory Dock (in spite of the moderately silly title) was a more entertaining book. It still doesn't rise to the level of her best, but it was engaging enough that I read it in a two hour sitting before bed.


It is a bit of a blood bath, with two three separate murders happening during the book's time span. For a Christie novel, as well, the characterizations had a surprising depth. She moved beyond her traditional "bright young thing" characterizations and gave the young people conflicting, deeper, and occasionally more sinister, motivations. Miss Lemon's sister, as well, was a delight. 


The murderer is a nasty piece of work, as are many of the murderers depicted in the golden age mysteries. The authors - Christie, Sayers, Allingham - wrap their stories in English coziness and gentility, so the baseness and brutality of the murderers is often understated. The pursuit of justice, or even retribution, seems to contribute little to the motivations of the investigators or the witnesses.


3 1/2 stars.