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Publisher's Summary

An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel was not normally the sort of crime that aroused Hercule Poirot's interest. But then he saw the list of stolen and vandalized items: 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?

©1955 Agatha Christie Limited, a Chorion Company. All rights reserved; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK

Critic Reviews

"Poirot's return to the happy hunting grounds of detective fiction is something of an event...The thumbnail sketches of the characters are as good as ever and in spite of the over-elaborate nature of the puzzle there is plenty of entertainment." (Times Lite)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Enter Miss Lemon!

What did you like best about this story?

I love that the indefectible Miss Lemon (Poirot's secretary) not only gets a backstory but finally makes a mistake. Of all the minor characters Agatha Christie weaves into her narratives (she's in most Poirot novels) Miss Lemon and her filing system has always appealed to me as the perfect match for Poirot's meticulous nature. Agatha Christie clearly had a ball destroying Poirot's calm and he sets out to solve a clever case of theft just to get his well-ordered domain back. But before long there's murder thrown into the mix...

What does Hugh Fraser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Many Poirot fans will recognise Hugh Fraser's voice from some of the TV adaptations as Captain Hastings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Demeter
  • 04-10-14

Lacks the characteristic Christie zing.

Any additional comments?

Agatha Christie was always an excellent writer and this book is good a story, and it is well read by "Captain Hastings", although his French-Belgian accent could be improved. However for me as a long standing Christie fan, these more recent books are definitely not as good as those set in earlier periods. I would think that as she got older and times and morés changed, Christie was less in touch with the era, and her characters and story don't have quite the same power as those set in the pre war period.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaye Hardy
  • 04-27-15

Hickory Dickory Dock

The ever rffient miss Lemming makes 3 simple errors! Poitiers finds some sterling facts about her she has a sister who is having problem's the at a youth hostel she works at can Poirot help

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Polly
  • 08-03-15

Good story - high body count for a Christie

As usual, great narration by Hugh Fraser. Poirot in his later years, a nice little plot with plenty of twists.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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