Lady Edgware, the well-known stage actress Jane Wilkinson, has a dilemma in that her husband has consistently refused to give her a divorce. She asks Hercule Poirot to visit the man to see if there is any possibility of convincing him. Lord Edgware is nothing short of nasty, treating all those around him very badly. When he is found dead, there is no great surprise, but there certainly are a good number of suspects. The police believe Lady Edgware to be the culprit, but she has a cast-iron alibi, having attended a private dinner over the time her husband was killed. There is also the man's nephew, who would inherit his fortune, and his personal assistant, whom he treated very badly; and then there is the family butler, who clearly has his own interests at heart. Written by
Lord Edgeware dies: he gets stabbed in the neck, and there are plenty of suspects around. Poirot gets involved in the case, along with his friend Captain Hastings who has just returned from Argentina after a misguided investment.
The reunion of the 4 series regulars (Suchet, Fraser, Jackson and Moran) after a couple of years gives a warm feeling to this episode, but its chief virtue remains Agatha Christie's plot. Her technique here involves a daring double-deception: she takes the obvious truth and camouflages it to the point where you never think of it! But even the little details of the story ("Paris...") are brilliant, and everything gets perfectly explained at the end. Helen Grace gives an astonishing, scene-stealing performance. This is easily in the Top 5 episodes of the series up to this point. (***1/2)
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