While Poirot is staying at an exclusive Cornish resort, he meets a beautiful heiress whose life is in danger.



(novel), (dramatisation)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Magdala 'Nick' Buckley
John Harding ...
Commander George Challenger
Jeremy Young ...
Bert Croft
Mary Cunningham ...
Paul Geoffrey ...
Jim Lazarus
Alison Sterling ...
Freddie Rice
Christopher Baines ...
Charles Vyse
Carol MacReady ...
Milly Croft
Elizabeth Downes ...
Maggie Buckley
Godfrey James ...
John Crocker ...
Dr Graham


While enjoying a vacation at an exclusive resort on the Cornish coast, Poirot and Hastings meet beautiful young heiress Magdala Buckley. Known to her friends as Nick, she confides to them that she has recently survived several events that might have taken her life: a heavy-framed picture dropping on her head, a boulder falling off a cliff, and failed brakes. When Poirot notices a bullet hole in her hat, they put her under their protection and discover that her dead fiance, a noted aviator killed in a tragic accident, had named her as heir in his will. In the interim, his wealthy uncle is found to have died, making her the unexpected beneficiary of a great fortune. Poirot realizes this inheritance is the motive for continued attempts on her life, and in his quest for the the truth, he uncovers a tangled web of greed, forgery, drug addiction, fraud, poison, and murder. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

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Release Date:

7 January 1990 (UK)  »

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| (14 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The first two-parter in the series. See more »


Twice in the episode, Poirot mentions that the murderer failed four times. However, the murderer actually (allegedly) failed five times: the falling painting, the failed brakes, the boulder, the bullet that put a hole in Nick's hat, and the killing of Maggie instead of Nick. Incidentally, the bullet in Nick's hat is never explained in light of the solution. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Hastings: Looks just like a patchwork quilt, doesn't it?
Hercule Poirot: [eyes closed tight, clutching armrest] No!
Captain Hastings: Well, it does to me. Does to everybody else.
Hercule Poirot: Not to Poirot!
Captain Hastings: Oh, I suppose you don't think that looks like a great mass of cotton wool.
Hercule Poirot: No!
Captain Hastings: I don't think you've got *any* imagination at all, Poirot.
Hercule Poirot: [opens his eyes] That is true, mon ami. But fortunately you have enough for both of us; it is extremely valuable to me.
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Version of Zagadka Endkhauza (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

The Ageless Poirot
16 January 2004 | by (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

I had a little trouble finding this production on IMDB because I was looking for a recent entry, I find it hard to believe this movie is 14 yrs old as I write this. David Suchet is ageless. I won't so much comment on this episode as I will on the series in general. There are some who think a 2 hr Poirot movie is about 1 hr too long. I don't agree. For those of us who appreciate beautiful and intriguing locations - this is it. For those who appreciate period planes, cars, and especially wardrobe - this is it. There is a flavor and atmosphere about this series that reminds one of the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes or The Great Gatsby. Not so much the period as the loving attention to detail.

I admit that these entries can be hard to follow. If you have a tendency to nod out or run to the fridge for a snack, you will probably lose it. If you are looking for blood and gore or high energy explosions, tune into the latest Bruce Willis flick. Poirot makes you think. You have no choice. A&E has been importing these English mysteries to the US for years. Film food for thinking people. If the Brits can do it, why can't we. Hollywood was the benchmark for quality film production since the silent days. Today, our movies are digitized and cartoon like. We have forgotten how to tell a story. We have sacrificed originality and quality for the corporate bottom line. Shame on us.

As for this particular story, it's as convoluted as the others. We have the whole ensemble. Poirot, Hastings, Miss Lemon, and Inspector Giapp. As for the other principals, they are competent and professional - just as you would expect. One little quirk worth mentioning. Although the female leads are interesting to watch, they usually fall into one of two categories. They are either cute and coquettish or intimidating and horsey. This movie is no exception. This is not a criticism, it's a compliment. It disproves the theory that you have to inject a traditional sexpot into the movie to fill some kind of void.

These imports along with Inspector Frost, Inspector Barnaby, Sherlock Holmes, Cracker, and a few others provide a touch of class that we seem to have lost. I urge anyone who needs a break from the mindless junk we are being fed in prime time, to tune in. You will be rewarded - and with luck, be transported back to a kinder and gentler time when a mystery was a mystery.

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