Poirot is asked to protect a woman from her violent husband, but events take a turn when the husband soon becomes the victim of a gruesome murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colonel Curtiss
Caroline Langrishe ...
Marguerite Clayton
Major Rich
Edward Clayton
Antonia Pemberton ...
Lady Chatterton
Sam Smart ...
Edward Clayton ...
Metin Yenal ...
Richard Cawte ...
Young Officer
Victoria Scarborough ...
Party Dancer
Christopher Lamb ...
Party Dancer


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 garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 February 1991 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


Hastings & Poirot pass a portrait when leaving the Military Club after meeting Colonel Curtis - the camera actually moves in on it - and again later, when Poirot visits the club a second time. This same portrait is used to represent General John Laverton Arundell in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Dumb Witness (1996). See more »


Lady Chatterton: I was there when you solved the Chalfont Diamonds case. I was one of the suspects. It was so thrilling, and I have to say, Monsieur Poirot, you were magnificent!
Hercule Poirot: Yes.
See more »

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User Reviews

an awful murder, but an excellent episode
26 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Mystery of the Spanish Chest" is from 1991 and is a wonderful entry into the Poirot series.

Someone Poirot has previously met, Lady Chatterton, approaches Poirot and requests his help - she believes a friend of hers, Marguerite Clayton (Caroline Langrishe) is in danger of being murdered by her husband Edward (Malcolm Sinclair). Apparently he has quite a temper.

Poirot is invited to a party so that he can meet Clayton. Clayton never arrives. The next day, Inspector Japp shows up and informs Poirot that he was the unknowing witness to a murder. Edward Clayton's body was found in a Spanish chest, which was in the same room as the party.

A Major Rich is arrested -- he is a friend of Marguerite's and a suspected love interest of hers. Poirot believes in Rich's innocent, and ultimately figures out who did it and how it was done.

This was a particularly gruesome murder in a story that has an atmosphere of sophistication, as so many of the Poirot episodes do, and a real feeling of the '30s. Poirot, immaculately portrayed by David Suchet, is in rare form, admitting to Hastings that he cannot act when complimented by blushing, muttering thank you, or dropping his eyes. He is the best! Why pretend? Hastings thinks he could dial it back a little.

It was a joy to see the lovely Caroline Langrishe as Marguerite. I remember her so fondly from Lovejoy and Clive Owen's big break, Chancer.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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