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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.