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4.4 out of 5 stars31
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2010
I understand the criticisms posted elsewhere, but in my opinion this novel's complexity is one of its major strengths. Questions of identity are key to most of Agatha Christie's novels, some of them more believable than others. In 'One Two Buckle My Shoe', she makes it pretty obvious early on that identity is an issue, particularly in relation to one of the female characters. The plot and collection of characters are such, however, that almost everyone appears to have something to hide. There is a danger that this device is overdone, but for me, Christie makes it convincing. Contrast this with her previous novel, 'Sad Cypress', which, though enjoyable, is almost routinely formulaic and one-dimensional in its concealment of identity. I first read 'One Two Buckle My Shoe' as a child in the early 1970s and find it as satisfying now as I recall finding it then. Though not one of her top ten novels, I still think it's a masterpiece.
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on 18 April 2009
Written just before the outbreak of the second world war and reflecting the fevered and often paranoid political scene at the time, this novel recounts an intense police investigation, in which Poirot becomes increasingly prominent. It is a very readable affair with a strong cast of characters and developments unusual for Christie whodunnits (there is political pressure to call off the enquiry for example).
For those who like to solve these cases themselves, there is a lot to go on with the clues clearly and mostly fairly marked. The one problem is that the solution begs a few more questions than it should; all the same one of my favourites.
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on 30 April 2012
Spoiler alert! Please don't read the last paragraph if you want to come at this puzzle without any advantages.

Coming from a love of the complexities of John Dickson Carr and the early Ellery Queen, I regard this as the best Poirot novel up to the date of publication. It presents a series of murders, and possibly a suicide, in a cleverly worked out mesh of conflicting evidence. It has surprises galore, some very interesting characters - particularly given the real-life backdrop of the start of WW II - and presents an intelligent development of the relationship between Poirot and Japp. The novel is also very well written, with consistent pace and, unusual for Christie, very little padding in the dialogue. However, the version I had suffered from poor proof-reading of Christie's characteristically rotten spelling. All in all, a very enjoyable read.

I can't avoid a mention of an issue raised by some of the more critical reviewers. Several say the plot is "too complicated", one even says it is too complicated for those who like to "guess" the identity of the guilty party. What is the point of guessing when you have the clues needed to work it out? Almost for the first time, Christie presents a carefully worked Poirot puzzle with evidence leading to only one conclusion. Of course, you are entitled to read a book however you like, but to complain about it being too good a puzzle seems unfair on the author.

SPOILER! My only criticism of this book is that the most important clue is blatantly flagged in the title - and I missed it!
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on 20 June 2013
Vintage Poirot. As is almost always the case, you have to reach the very end of the book before you have any inkling as to who the murdered is. With Christie you can't adopt the Midsomer Murder trick of looking to see who is the least likely candidate and know that that almost certainly will turn out to be the murdered. In Christie's books it might or might not be the least likely person, or even someone beyond that! Or it might be a seemingly obvious person, but somehow she manages to put in so many twists and turns that you end up thinking it can't be. Genius. In this book you get many options - Secret Service, anarchists, family, financial motives, economic de-stablisation motives, personal motives and much more. I guarantee that you will not work out who the murderer is until Poirot, splendid as ever, reveals his, her or their identity/identities at the end. Superb.
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on 25 March 2012
A slow case for Hercule Poirot, this nursery rhyme themed story takes place over several weeks, as the Belgian detective investigates the mysterious death of his dentist. The pacing is quite interesting and makes a change from the usual closed room in the manor house style of mystery.

It's possibly one of the most convoluted cases that I've read, and I must admit I found it a little hard to keep track of all the clues that were flying about, and as such had no idea, when it came to the reveal, what was going to be said.

Possibly because of the number of different plot threads twisting on top of one another I wouldn't put this down as one of Christie's best works. Additionally, the links to the nursery rhyme were quite tenuous at best.
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on 20 April 2016
Agatha Christie never disappoints. Definitely one for her fans. Poirot is the same old genius sleuth and the plot leaves you guessing. I won't spoil it by going into the detail of the plot because it's so readable, aren't all Christie's novels, you can't put it down. If you haven't read this, why not? I've been trying to complete all Christie's novels and short stories and am finally getting there but there are so many and while some of the characters are like old friends, the stories are not of the formulaic kind. Yes Poirot is a genius and in the end his little grey cells solve the case but every book is fresh with new ideas and new twists.
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on 7 August 2007
I think that this book was a good read but it was the still the worst of Christie's books that i've read so far. It was fine but I just didn't find it quite as gripping as some of the other ones and I think if you have read some of her other books, that you will probably enjoy it. I wasn't annoyed that it was complicated ( and it was very complicated ), I just found the conclusion a bit far-fetched and although you can guess the murderer, it would be impossible to guess why they did it.

It is about a dentist that apparently commits suicide on a very busy day, and later on a patient of his is found dead, he was overdosed with a gum injection. The police decide that Mr Morley ( the dentist ), must have accidentally overdosed Mr Amberiotis ( the second murder victim ), realised what he had done and then killed himself, but the Hercule Poirot disagrees with this theory and sets out to disprove it. It is only when another murder occurs, that Poirot was proven correct.

This book contains such clues as, the attempt to assasinate Allistair Blunt, a missing lady with a buckle on her shoe, and the attempt to conceale the identity of the third murder victim.

This isn't a book that first time Christie readers should read, but I do think that if you have read a few of her books, that you should read this, but don't expect a masterpiece. If you are new to Christie, I reccomend, And Then There Were None, Crooked House, Murder On The Orient Express, Death On The Nile, The ABC Murders, and A Pocket Full Of Rye.
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on 16 March 2004
A wonderful book, not in the slightest disappointing, but perhaps one of the hardest to follow. The plotline, and evidence that comes to light is in such a way, that maybe a second reading is required. But none the less a good book, with the very essence of Christie caught in every page.
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on 22 July 2007
Even though I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, my overall opinion is that this is not one of her best.
After saying that however, it does have one of the most interesting and original solutions of all.
What seems to let it down is its readability. I found it easy to get lost, both with the plot and the characters, and often found myself having to re-read sections of the book to get it clear in my mind.
If you are looking to read Christie for the first time then I wouldn't start with this one.
This is definitely one for the die-hard fans.
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on 19 June 2000
Set in pre-World War 2 London, this classic whodunnit features Hercule Poirot investigating the death of dentist Mr.Morley, who apparently commits suicide after mistakenly administering a lethal injection. When another death is discovered, Poirot becomes concerned for the safety of important finance man Anthony Blunt and former actress Mabelle Sainsbury Seale who wears buckles on her shoes. This is one of Agatha Christie's most complex murder mysteries, guaranteed to keep you guessing.
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