Alice Pengelley visits Poirot in London, telling him she thinks she is being poisoned by her husband. When Poirot arrives in Cornwall the next day to investigate Mrs. Pengelley's charges, he is too late, and finds her dead.



(dramatized by)

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Amazon Video



1 video »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Chloe Salaman ...
Freda Stanton
Jacob Radnor
Jerome Willis ...
Edward Pengelley
Mrs Pengelley
Tilly Vosburgh ...
Jessie Dawlish
Dr Adams
Laura Girling ...
Edwina Marks
Hugh Munro ...
Graham Callan ...
Edwina Day ...


Poirot and Captain Hastings travel to Cornwall at the request of Mrs. Pengelly but arrive to find that the woman is dead. She had told Poirot the previous day that she feared her dentist husband, Edward Pengelly, had been having an affair with his pretty receptionist and that further, he was trying to poison her. Apart from her husband, she has a niece and her fiancé, but no other relatives in the village. When Inspector Japp arrests the husband for murder, the Belgian detective is convinced that the wrong person is in the dock. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder mystery | See All (1) »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 January 1990 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


See  »

Did You Know?


The village used for this episode is not Cornish at all. It is Dunster, which is in Somerset. In the final few scenes, Inspector Japp is stood under the eaves of the Dunster Yarn Market, and Dunster Castle is clearly visible in the background. See more »


[first lines]
Hercule Poirot: Are you feeling better, Hastings?
Captain Hastings: Yes. Yes, I am, as a matter of fact. Takes the pressure off the pancreas, you see.
Hercule Poirot: Hein, the pancreas is nothing. Of the digestive organs, the liver is the key. Look after the liver and life will take care of itself.
Miss Lemon: Your tisane, Monsieur Poirot
Hercule Poirot: Thank you, Miss Lemon. This is what you need, Hastings.
Captain Hastings: No fear; I've tasted it.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rather grim
23 September 2015 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

For me this episode stands out for being considerably less light-hearted than its predecessors. From the first shot of Poirot staring out the window at the rain, through the initial interview with the client conducted outside on the rainy sidewalk, through the scenes of the funeral and subsequent exhumation, the grim states of death and grief hang over the story like a fog. There are a few glimmers of a subplot, involving Hastings' temporary obsession with all things "Oriental" (which in 1930s Britain evidently included everything from Rabindranath Tagore to the I Ching)but they do little to relieve the overall sense of gray foreboding.

The plot can be summarized briefly. Mrs. Pengelley travels from a small town in Cornwall to consult Poirot. She is worried that her husband is poisoning her because he is in love with his young blonde assistant in his dentistry practice. Poirot and Hastings take the train to Cornwall the next day, only to discover that their client is already dead. Outraged and disappointed in himself that he had not taken the woman's concerns seriously (the first time we have seen Poirot truly angry with himself), Poirot goes to interview the woman's niece and discovers that there were multiple reasons for her husband to have considered murdering her. And yet, by the time he is back on the train to London, he is predicting that he will be returning to Cornwall to save the husband from the gallows.

It will not surprise any Poirot fan to discover that the case is not as open-and-shut as Chief Inspector Japp would like to believe. And the way Poirot and Hastings elicit a confession from the real killer requires really an extraordinary suspension of disbelief. Overall, an average, but not remarkable episode.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Curtains infanttyrone-1
What season should I start on? mkhobson-15509
Is it Portugal? petzxy
Ugh, the American accents gardnert73
Agatha Christie plots that wouldn't work in the present-day... sanddragon939
Poirot in books andyblue252525
Discuss The Cornish Mystery (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: