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
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
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.
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.
Marie Marvelle, a Belgian film star, receives threatening letters from a chinaman which demand her famous diamond, the Western Star. Marie visits her old friend Hercule Poirot in London, seeking his help, and Poirot tackles the case with relish.
Matthew Davenheim, a rich banker, disappears on a walk from his country house to the village post office, and Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard is put onto the case. Poirot, who has developed an interest in conjuring tricks, bets Japp five pounds that he can solve the mystery without leaving his apartment.
Meanwhile, Poirot has acquired a parrott - which he finds has its uses.
Poirot travels to Cornwall, summoned by a Mrs Pengelley, who suspects her dentist husband is poisoning her because he's fallen in love with his young assistant. Unhappily, on his arrival Poirot finds his client stone dead, so he sets out to catch her killer.moreless
Poirot and Hastings take a holiday in Cornwall, looking for peace and quiet. They meet Miss Nick Buckley, who lives near their hotel at End House, and she tells Poirot she has had three near-fatal accidents in a few weeks. He then finds a bullet hole in her hat, returns with her to End House and is drawn into a complex murder investigation…moreless