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
While staying at a snowbound hotel in the Swiss Alps, Poirot is faced with mysteries of Herculean proportions, both literally and figuratively, as he pits his little grey cells against his fellow guests.moreless
Ariadne Oliver is asked to devise a murder hunt for a fête being held at a Devon estate called Nasse House, which is owned by the affable squire Sir George Stubbs and his childlike wife, Hattie. When she realizes that something is not quite right, she calls upon Poirot to observe the situation firsthand. The great detective is unable to pinpoint precisely what is out of the ordinary, although some of the people associated with Nasse House are behaving oddly enough. On the day of the fête, things appear to be going well, until several occurrences end up fulfilling Mrs Oliver's initial premonition of unease: the arrival of Hattie's foreign cousin, whom she claims is a dangerous man; the sudden disappearance of Hattie herself; and the discovery that the young girl playing the victim in the murder hunt has actually been murdered.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
After an unpleasant encounter with a wheedling busybody, Ariadne Oliver asks Poirot to delve into the past and solve the riddle of the murder-suicide of the Ravenscrofts, the parents of her goddaughter Celia. Ever since they were found dead, no one has been able to ascertain precisely who killed whom. As Poirot is already preoccupied with the investigation of a psychiatrist's murder, Ariadne sets out herself to question people familiar with the Ravenscrofts in the hopes that they will remember key clues to the solution, for at stake is Celia's future happiness and the memory of a loving couple whose mysterious demise shocked and baffled everyone they knew.moreless
Lieutenant Colin Race of the Royal Navy, busy investigating the tragic deaths of his girlfriend and another agent, is walking along Wilbraham Crescent when Sheila Webb runs out of number 19 into his arms, distressed. A middle-aged man is found on the floor of the house, stabbed to death. Poirot travels to Dover to help Race to establish whether Sheila is a murderer. Sheila claims she did not know the victim, nor even Miss Pebmarsh, a blind woman who owns the house. Miss Pebmarsh was not at home when the body was found, and she denies having requested Sheila's services as a secretary by telephone earlier that day.
Poirot observes the complications of the case, including an unidentified murder victim, four clocks stopped at thirteen minutes past four in the room where the body was found, and a host of neighbours who say they saw nothing. Race is determined to find the suspected German mole within the Navy who caused his girlfriend's death, and in a state of grief he becomes increasingly close to Sheila. A wall of evidence begins to build up against Sheila, and then another victim is found brutally murdered.
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.
The "dumb witness" Poirot must fathom to solve the mystery is a dog.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