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)
Although Agatha Christie's original story took place in the 1950s, the setting is moved to the 1930s for continuity reasons. See more »
When Poirot and Japp are reading the newspaper at breakfast (an hour into the film), the back page of the section held by Poirot is clearly identical to the back page of the paper bought at a newsstand by Japp at the beginning (approx. 4 minutes in), even though a few days have passed in the story. See more »
This was a strong Poirot/Suchet, television mystery selection. The characters were vivid and well-acted. The plot and the main setting--a student hostel-- were excellent. Japp was nothing special but for me did not distract from story. One significant point, many Poirot watchers don't recognize good acting or good characterization. I also think they are rather harsh in their judgments of some of the Poirot mysteries. Finally, I have read few Christie novels--none in recent years-- and find it annoying that so many viewers are upset about changes from the novel. Please, viewers, consider what is presented to you on film, not what you think should be there. That said, the Poirot mysteries vary in quality, but not as much as reviewers and raters would have you believe. With the singular exception of The Five Little Pigs which was fabulous in plot, character and theme, the longer Poirot films are neither that good or that bad. For the record, I have seen all the longer Poirot/Suchet films. Finally, films without Lemon, Hastings, and/or Japp are neither good nor bad because of their absence. There presence, however, is either obtrusive (almost always with Japp) or irrelevant with Hastings. Lemon is in the middle.
5 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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