For a novel where Poirot ultimately solves the crime, he doesn’t appear in it all that much. He sort of drifts in at the end and solves it out of curiosity. Which I suppose is fair – it is a storyline that does make you curious to know what on earth is going on.
In essence what happens is that Sheila Webb, a typist, is sent to a Miss Pebmarsh’s house. When she gets there Miss Pebmarsh isn’t there, but there is a dead body surrounded by clocks – most of them stopped at 4:15. To make it even more confusing Miss Pebmarsh, who is blind, does arrive home and claims never to have requested a typist. Also no one knows who the dead man is.
Most of the story is told by a Colin Lamb who happens to be in the area doing some work for MI5. He takes the case to Poirot, but like I say Poirot doesn’t really seem to do much until he arrives at the end with the reveal.
Although the story was intriguing it seemed to take a long time to get from murder to resolution. The police have to go through their work of not getting anywhere, but this time it just wasn’t as good. Maybe because I missed Poirot. Having said that, there were some brilliant characters and potential suspects. The crime takes place on Wilbraham Crescent and the neighbours are nosey and eccentric. But frustratingly none of them seem to have anything of value to say about the crime.
A couple more people are murdered along the way – which all goes to show that if you have dangerous information go to the police straight away and avoid getting murdered unnecessarily.
Not my favourite Poirot story but it’s still good. Oh and I worked it out/remembered how it ended just before the end.