Reuben Astwell is an evil man. He is hated by his nephew, his wife, his employees, his brother, his female assistant, and Poirot himself after he meets the man. So when Astwell is found dead shortly after Poirot visits to have dinner with Astwell and view the man's collection of Belgian miniatures, Poirot has many suspects from which to choose. Written by
Hans Meyer [letter]:
My dear Horace; We were all disappointed not to see you at our conference in Berlin. England is in danger of becoming isolated, you know. Many interesting developments were discussed, in particular Sir Reuben Astwell's new Astoprene compound. It's rumoured that Farben's over here will manufacture it under license. But then, you know what gossips scientists can be.
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Poirot and Hastings are invited to dinner by one Mr. Atwell, who owns a chemical company. Poirot is most excited to go because Atwell has a fabulous collection of Belgian miniatures. Poirot assumes -- wrongly -- that Mr. Atwell is a man of taste and refinement. Turns out he's crude, insulting, and gruff. He tells Poirot that he bought the miniatures at a knockout price.
And boy, the suspects. All over the place. The wife, her boyfriend, the maid, the son. Poirot solves it, and at one point, Miss Lemon uses hypnotism on one of the people who were in the house. (When the show starts, she's trying to hypnotize Poirot, to no avail.) This is a good episode, with everyone in fine form.
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