Poirot despairs at the lack of crime - and work - concluding that he, Hercule Poirot, has scared off the criminal classes. His mood brightens when Lady Millicent Castle-Vaughn - the veiled Lady of the title - asks him to recover from her blackmailer some indiscreet letters written in her youth. Unable to convince the man to reduce the amount asked for, Poirot decides to take matters into his own hands and steal them. As Poirot and Hastings learn however, not all is as it seems, starting with Lady Millicent. Written by
A high society lady turns to Hercule Poirot for help: a secret love letter she had written in the past has fallen into the hands of a blackmailer, who now wants 20 thousand pounds to give it back to her. When that man goes to Paris for a few days, Poirot and Hastings decide on a bold course of action: they will break into his apartment and look for the letter themselves!
This is a somewhat atypical entry in the Poirot series: for the most part it appears to be a straightforward blackmail story, and Poirot does more snooping around than sleuthing. But of course there is a twist in the tale - and a quite clever one at that. There are also some pretty funny moments in this episode - when Inspector Japp finds Poirot locked in a cell, he says to a younger officer: "Nobody knows his real name, but they call him "Mad Dog"". The climax takes place inside London's Natural History Museum. (***)
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