When a series of apparently minor thefts plagues a university hostelry run by Miss Lemon's sister, Poirot is recruited to investigate. Celia Austin, a pharmacological major, confesses that she is a kleptomaniac and responsible for most of the thefts but denies stealing several objects including a stethoscope, light bulbs, and a student rucksack. Furthermore, she claims to know the other thief and vows to help return the missing items. Unfortunately someone substitutes an overdose of morphine for one of her sleeping powders, and she takes the identity of the thief to the grave. Japp connects the murderer's m.o. with a cold case he had investigated ten years earlier, but the prime suspect in that crime, a powerful statesman, now lies dying in a local hospital. Despite numerous obstacles, Poirot is able to link the killing to an international diamond smuggling ring but not before the murderer claims more victims. Written by
G. Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a lot to like in this longer episode: Japp and especially Miss Lemon have prominent roles, a lot of humor (some of it laugh out loud), an interesting setting in a student hotel, we learn more about Japp's and Miss Lemon's private lives, a quirky and cool motif of a mouse running throughout the show with good repetition of the nursery rhyme, an intriguing cast of characters, interesting puzzles and a resolution to all of the puzzles that make sense. The story starts inauspiciously enough - Miss Lemon, ever the perfect secretary, has made multiple mistakes in a letter. Upon questioning, she tells Poirot that there have been a number of thefts at the student hotel her sister runs. Poirot goes to the hotel and investigates the generally petty thefts. Unfortunately, soon thereafter a murder occurs. There are suspects galore and a sufficiently intricate plot with yet an additional murder. While murder is appalling, we do not know the victims sufficiently well enough to feel a great sadness at their deaths so what is memorable in this episode are the way Poirot solves the puzzles, the humor and the depiction of the friendship between Poirot, Japp and Miss Lemon. This makes for a satisfying and most enjoyable episode. Highly recommended.
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