Agatha Christie publishes Hickory Dickory Dock

An outbreak of apparent kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest.

But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalized items - including a stethoscope, some lightbulbs, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack, some boracic powder and a diamond ring later found in a bowl of a soup - he congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a 'unique and beautiful problem'. It is nevertheless not long before the crime of theft is the least of Poirot’s concerns.

Explanation of the novel's title

The title is taken, as are other of Christie’s titles, from a nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. This is nevertheless one of her most tenuous links to the original nursery rhyme, consisting of little more than the name of a road.