Lady Chatterton asks for Poirot's assistance when she comes to fear for the safety of her friend, Marguerite Clayton. Specifically, she is convinced that Marguerite's husband Edward Clayton, known for his violent temper, will kill her. Poirot is invited to a party in order to meet Clayton, but he never shows up. The next day, Poirot finds himself being interviewed by Inspector Japp when Edward Clayton's body is found hidden in an elaborate Spanish chest located in the same room as the party the previous evening. When Marguerite's friend Major Rich is arrested for the murder, Poirot correctly deduces the true nature of the crime and the identity of the culprit. Written by
Lady Chatterton approaches Hercule Poirot with a case. She believes that a friend, Marguerite Clayton, is in danger of being murdered by her husband. To observe the Claytons, Poirot attends a party of theirs, though Mr Clayton has been called away on business. Nothing eventful appears to happen but the next day Poirot is informed by Chief Inspector Japp that Mr Clayton was murdered that night, his body being found in a large Spanish chest. The chest was in the middle of the party the whole time.
Reasonably interesting, especially as to the murder method. The culprit is fairly obvious from even before the murder is committed. No twists, no red herrings - quite straightforward.
As always, Hastings provides the naivety and humour and sub-plots. This time he's filling in as Poirot's PA while Miss Lemon is away and is not particularly good his duties.
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