The estranged, elderly Gascoigne brothers are found dead within days of each other. The one, Anthony, died in his home in Brighton in circumstances that give no cause for suspicion. The other brother, Henry, an eccentric, reclusive painter, however, has fallen downstairs and been dead for some time before his death is discovered. Poirot had been eating in the same restaurant as Henry just before the death. Henry had been pointed out as a creature of habit, a man who always ate exactly the same meal on every visit. On this last occasion, though, he had had a completely different set of courses, which leads Poirot to suspect foul play. Written by
don @ minifie-1
During Poirot's and Hastings' visit to a music-hall, a modern 'EXIT' sign is clearly visible in the background. See more »
There's very little I can do for him now, Mrs Hill. He's very weak.
Oh dear! Is there no hope?
I'm afraid not. It's more a matter of hours, rather than days, now. Doesn't Mr Anthony have any relatives?
There's a brother, Henry, but they haven't spoken in twenty years.
No one else?
Well, yes. There's Mr George, his nephew, in London. I expect he'd want to know.
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I have always been a huge fan of Poirot and of Agatha Christie, and alongside The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman, Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb, Wasp's Nest and The Chocolate Box, Four and Twenty Blackbirds is one of the better short story adaptations. It is a simple story, but still very clever and elegant in its simplicity. The writing still has humour, intelligence and suspense, the music is hauntingly beautiful and the adaptation with the evocative atmosphere, beautiful locations and sets and elegant costumes is very well made as usual. David Suchet is impeccable, and he as always is well supported by Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran. The support cast are solid, with nobody weak but nobody quite up the standard of acting set by the four leads. EastEnders fans look out for John Bardon(aka Jim Branning) as a Lavatory man. All in all, a great episode and one of my favourites of not just the short story adaptations but also of the series. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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