A bored Hercule Poirot announces that he is going to retire and suggests that he and Captain Hastings go to the seaside for a short holiday. While there, they meet a pleasant young woman who is delivering a set of miniature portraits to an American buyer on behalf of her aunt, an antiques dealer. When they arrive at their destination she is shocked to find that the miniatures are missing and that the American had already bought them from an elderly lady more than an hour before. As Poirot has retired he leaves the case in the hands of Hastings who slowly puts the facts together and not surprisingly comes to the wrong conclusion. In the end, it is left to Poirot to suggest the solution to the crime and brings all of the parties together for an interesting lunch. Written by
A solid Poirot, well made, clever, well-acted and entertaining
I have always loved this series, and while not one of the best to me, it is a solid episode, if imperfect. The final solution was in a sense interesting, but could have been expanded more, maybe it was to do with time but it felt a little rushed. While I didn't dislike her, I didn't care for the character of Mary Durrant, I do find it foolish when someone says to strangers on a bus of all places that they have £1500 on them, unless I'm missing the point. However, it is still a classy and elegantly- made episode, with hauntingly beautiful music, a good clever story and intelligent, witty dialogue(who else loves Poirot's sarcasm?) The acting is great, David Suchet plays Poirot as if born to do the role, and Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran and Phillip Jackson contrast perfectly. The support cast, especially Amanda Garwood, are solid if never quite up to the standard of the four leads. Overall, a solid and well-made episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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