A wealthy banker, Mathew Davenheim, disappears. He was last seen by his wife, leaving the grounds of his home. Suspicion falls on the head of Mr Davenheim's long-time business rival Gerald Lowen. Chief Inspector Japp gets Poirot involved in the case. However, due to some intellectual bravado by Poirot, he and Japp have a wager that Poirot can't solve the case without leaving his flat, resulting in Poirot being confined to his flat for seven days. This leaves Hastings to gather the clues, and we know how good a sleuth he is... Meanwhile, in between trying to solve the case, Poirot is working on conjuring tricks and looking after a friend's parrot. Written by
"The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" is a decent entry into the Poirot series, with some charming acting, dialogue, and interactions. When a wealthy man goes for a walk to the mailbox and disappears, Japp bets Poirot that he can't solve the crime never leaving his office. Poirot takes that bet.
Mr. Davenheim (Kenneth Colley) tells his wife (Mel Martin) that he is going out for a walk, shortly before a visitor, who is his nemesis, one Gerald Lowen (Tony Matthews) arrives for a business meeting at the Davenheim home. Lowen claims that he did not pass Davenheim on the path to the house. He waits a long time for Davenheim, and when he doesn't return, he leaves in a huff.
When Mrs. Davenheim's jewelry is discovered missing, Lowen becomes a suspect because he was in the same room as the safe waiting for Davenheim a long time.
Of course, Poirot figures it out without leaving, to the annoyance of Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson). And let's not forget the parrot that Poirot is babysitting, and the book about conjuring that he's reading, two little details that make the episode all the more fun.
My only problem with this episode is that it's so darn easy to figure out though perhaps the reason for what happened isn't.
Mel Martin, a lovely actress, seems to have quite a small part in this. Suchet, Jackson, Fraser as Higgins and Pauline Moran as the patient Miss Lemon, are all wonderful. Very entertaining.
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