For several years I've made a point to go to our local theater's "Summer Chills" series (see here) which always features an Agatha Christie play. I remember being, and still am, stunned by the fact that each year there was a new play and I had never heard of it. Many times it's not quite as good as I hope. Such is the way I feel about Hickory Dickory Dock (see here).
This is one of those many hundreds of Agatha Christie novels that she produced that I would bet most people have never heard. Good thing too. It's a throw away novel in that you read it, in some way you must force yourself to plow on, and afterward there may be some memory of the fact that you read it, but it's vague and you wish you could forget it. It just wasn't very good.
Since I love cataloging first lines, and have a whole section of this blog devoted to it (here), I'll leave the sample from Hickory Dickory Dock below:
Hercule Poirot frowned.
“Miss Lemon,” he said.
“Yes, M. Poirot?”
“There are three mistakes in this letter.”
His voice held incredulity. For Miss Lemon, that hideous and efficient woman, never made mistakes. She was never ill, never tired, never upset, never inaccurate. For all practical purposes, that is to say, she was not a woman at all. She was a machine— the perfect secretary. She knew everything, she coped with everything. She ran Hercule Poirot’s life for him, so that it, too, functioned like a machine. Order and method had been Hercule Poirot’s watchwords from many years ago. With George, his perfect manservant, and Miss Lemon, his perfect secretary, order and method ruled supreme in his life. Now that crumpets were baked square as well as round, he had nothing about which to complain.
Christie, Agatha - Hickory Dickory Dock: A Hercule Poirot Mystery