In the post-war climate of the late 1940s, an ailing Poirot reunites with his old friend Captain Hastings at Styles Court, the place where they had solved their first murder together almost thirty years previously. Styles is now a modest guest house run by an elderly couple, and Poirot knows that one of the guests staying there is a heartless serial killer. The suspects range from a chemist and his invalid wife, a dashing but untrustworthy major, a charming aristocrat, a melancholic middle-aged woman, an unobtrusive birdwatcher, and Hastings' own feisty daughter. With Hastings' assistance, an incapacitated Poirot tries to prevent another murder from occurring, knowing that his own end is nearing.moreless
As a deadly game of chess unfolds in the wake of World War II, Russian grandmaster Dr Ivan Savaranoff meets a shocking end, sending the public spiraling into panic, as suspicion is cast upon Peace Party stalwarts Abe Ryland and Madame Olivier. In one of his toughest challenges yet, Poirot must work out who the villains are from the good people, as a complex plot sees a host of international figures used like pawns by a gang of dangerous dissidents tagged "The Big Four." As the murders and disappearances stack up one by one, Poirot is joined in his investigations by his old friend Japp, the dogged journalist Tysoe, and struggling actress Flossie Monro, in an attempt to snare the killer and shatter "The Big Four" for good.moreless
India 1817 Two years after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington sends Sharpe to India to check out an Indian prince who appears to threaten British interests. The mission becomes dangerous when a general's daughter is kidnapped and Sharpe must find her.moreless
Poirot is ordered by his doctor to spend a few weeks at a health resort in Devon, on the grounds that he is too fat and out of condition, and Hastings comes along for a holiday. In Devon they meet an old acquaintance, the fashion designer Rosamund Darnley. Before too long another guest (the rich, troublesome and flirtatious Arlena Stuart) is found strangled on the beach, and Poirot begins an investigation which proves to be one of the most challenging of his career, with suspects abounding. However, the detective is greatly helped by the parallels between Arlena's murder and the unsolved killing of another rich young woman a few years before.moreless
Poirot visits Hastings at an archaeological dig in Mesopotamia (the present-day Iraq), where he meets an impostor, a missing person, a thief, drugs, forged letters, sexual jealousy, professional rivalry, dark secrets and (need we say?) murder. All must be revealed.moreless
Jane Wilkinson, a famous actress whose married name is Lady Edgware, was in a hurry to trade in her moderately rich husband for an even richer model, so when Lord Edgware is killed, there is an obvious suspect. However, Edgware had just agreed to a divorce - with Poirot acting on his wife's behalf.
Under suspicion, Jane seeks Poirot's help again, having previously wanted his help in ridding her of the same unwanted husband.
So was Lady Edgware the killer, or has she been framed? Her husband also had an unhappy daughter and a nephew who badly needed money.
Poirot soon finds that nothing is at all as it seems in the remarkable world where the theatre collides with high society.
June 1815Sharpe has settled down to an idyllic lifestyle with Lucille on her French farm, when the news of Napolean's escape from Elba compels him to return to the army to fight at Waterloo. There, he joins the staff of the Prince of Orange.
The "dumb witness" Poirot must fathom to solve the mystery is a dog.moreless
Winter 1813 Wellington is told by the debonair Frenchman Maquerre that Bordeaux is ready to rise in rebellion against Napoleon. Wellington's spymaster, Ross, is doubtful and tests Maquerre by proposing the British use Maquerre's own castle as a base. He reluctantly agrees, but says the castle is in Napoleon's hands. Wellington appoints Colonel Bampfylde to lead the attack on the castle, with Sharpe in support. Sharpe, newly married to Jane Gibbons, is angry that he has lost his command to Bampfylde, but he is soon distracted when there is an outbreak of yellow fever and Jane falls ill. Her chances of recovery seem poor, as there is not enough quinine in the camp to cope with the outbreak. With a heavy heart, Sharpe sets off on his mission, knowing he may never see Jane alive again. Bampfylde, intent on glory, sends Sharpe on a scouting mission and tries to capture the castle on his own. He fails, and the casualties are heavy. Sharpe, seeing the carnage, has Harris and Frederickson sneak into the castle in disguise. Once inside, they force the French to surrender. Shamed by Sharpe's easy victory, Bampfylde sends him on a reconnaissance mission. Sharpe soon discovers that Bordeaux has no intention of rising against Napoleon and that Maquerre is a double agent.moreless
Poirot and Hastings are on holiday in Deauville and receive a visit from Paul Renauld, who believes he's being cheated by Chileans. Renauld is kidnapped and his body is later found buried in a new golf bunker. French detective Giraud unwisely challenges Poirot to catch the killer before he can. Meanwhile, Hastings is diverted by love - he has fallen heavily for an actress called Dulcie Duveen. Dulcie has a twin sister called Bella. And one of them appears to be mixed up in the killing of Renault.moreless
Portugal, 1813 The Spanish town of Adrados has been captured by a horde of French, Spanish and British deserters, who have taken two English women hostage, Sarah Dubreton and Isabella Farthingdale. Captain Sharpe is ordered to deliver the women's ransom, much to the disgust of Sir Augustus Farthingdale. Sharpe and Harper enter the convent where the women are held and are confronted by two French officers. Sharpe learns that one of the officers is the husband of Sarah Dubreton and they are on the same mission. To Sharpe's dismay, he learns that Hakeswill is a leader of the renegades and has increased the ransom price, giving Sharpe five days to come up with the extra money, or the women will be raped. Nairn discovers that the French intend to invade Portugal from Adrados and decides to thwart the plan. Sharpe is promoted to major and given command of the 60th Rifles in order to secure the safety of the women and prevent the French from taking the town.moreless
Chevenix believes he is being cheated by an architect, John Lake... and Mrs Chevenix claims that her spirit guide, an ancient Egyptian called Saphra, has warned her of an imminent death. There is a disputed will, a second unsigned will, the sound of shots behind locked doors, an apparent suicide which Poirot suspects is murder. Whatever you do, do not go out of the room during Dead Man's Mirror, or you will lose the plot!moreless
Poirot is caught up in a coup d'etat in Argentina and arrested as a spy, which hinders him from solving the murder of Iris Russell at a French restaurant owned by an Italian in Buenos Aires.
Two years later, in London, a dinner-party at a restaurant of the same name marks the second anniversary of Iris's death. The atmosphere is so charged that we almost expect the victim to come back from the dead. And, of course, Poirot traps a killer.
Three bodies are found. Beside each lies a copy of the ABC Railway Guide. The police are baffled. But the killer has made one mistake. He has challenged Hercule Poirot to unmask him.moreless