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Hastings is a guest at the Inglethorp country manor when Emily Inglethorp is murdered. With the whole household under suspicion, Hastings sends for his old friend Hercule Poirot.
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.
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