The Clocks


Sheila Webb arrives at the house on Wilbraham Crescent to which she has been requested as a typist only to find the door open and no one at home - no one living that is - for there is the body of a dead man lying on the living room floor...Poirot sets out to prove he can solve any crime by using just the power of the little grey cells and without even having to meet the suspects or visit the scene. Now that's just showing off...


Poirot makes a late entrance in this novel but is still the master sleuth we've come to know and love.

when to read

Set towards the end of summer holidays before the children have returned to school - any frazzled parent could read this at the same time and empathise with Mrs Ramsey I think.

murder mystery

A murder mystery novel with notes of espionage thrown in.


The novel is set in England in 'Crowdean' in Sussex.

Publishing info

Published in 1963 in between two Miss Marple novels; 'The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side' in 1962 and 'A Caribbean Mystery' in 1964.

overall rating


The Clocks Character List

Angus McNaughtonResident of 63 Wilbraham Crescent and retired professor
Bill RamsayMrs Ramsey’s young son
Colin LambBritish Intelligence agent
Colonel BeckColin Lamb’s boss in the British Intelligence service
Dick HardcastleInvestigating officer
Dr RiggLocal doctor who examines the body
Edith WaterhouseJames’ sister at 18 Wilbraham Crescent
Edna BrentTypist at the Bureau
Geraldine Brown10 year old girl living across from 19 Wilbraham Crescent who has a broken leg
GretelMcNaughton’s au pair
James WaterhouseResident of 18 Wilbraham Crescent
Josiah BlandResident at 61 Wilbraham Crescent and a builder
Katherine MartindaleOwner of Cavindish Secretarial Bureau and sister of Valerie Bland
Merlina RivalActress and person who identifies the body as her estranged husband
Millicent Pebmarsh Blind teacher living at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. Teaches at local school for the blind (Sheila’s Webb’s estranged mother)
Mr R H CurryIdetification found on the victim
Mrs HemmingResident at 20 Wilbraham Crescent with her many cats
Mrs LawronSheila Webb’s aunt
Mrs McNaughtonResident of 63 Wilbraham Crescent, Agnus’ wife
Mrs RamsayResident of 62 Wilbraham Crescent whose husband is away
Quentin DuguesclinFriend of the family of Mrs Bland
Sergeant CrayPoliceman
Sheila WebbYoung typist at the Secretarial Bureau who finds the body
Ted RamsayMrs Ramsey’s young son
Valerie BlandJosiah’s second wife, resident of 61 Wilbraham Crescent and sister of Miss Martindale


Quentin Duguesclin, Edna Brent and Merlina Rival

Katherine Martindale kills Edna while Mr Bland killed Quentin Duguesclin and Merlina

Mr Bland’s first wife, the one due to inherit from her Canadian relatives actually died and Valerie is his second wife. They fooled the solicitors into thinking she was the original Mrs Bland so she could get the money but the couldnt fool an old family friend so they killed him. 

Edna figured out no call was put through requesting Sheila Webb and Miss Martindale was therefore lying so she was killed.

Merlina was killed as she was losing her nerve about lying when identifying the body.

Merlina was stabbed, Quentin Duguesclin was drugged and then stabbed and Edna was strangled with her scarf.

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