James Bentley is tried for the murder of Abigail McGinty, the charwoman of Broadhinny who also took in Bentley as her lodger. The evidence is overwhelming, and soon after he is sentenced to hang. Superintendent Spence is not convinced of the man's guilt, and so he visits Poirot, asking him to look into the case. Poirot then heads off to the village, where he becomes the paying guest of Maureen and Major Johnnie Summerhayes. Ariadne Oliver, Poirot's novelist friend, has also come to Broadhinny to collaborate on a stage adaptation of one of her novels with dramatist Robin Upward. With the clue of a bottle of ink purchased by the dead woman shortly before her death, Poirot searches Mrs. McGinty's belongings and finds an edition of The Sunday Comet newspaper, where an article concerning two women connected with famous murders has been cut out. With the story are two photographs of the women. Poirot discovers that Mrs. McGinty had seen one of the photographs before, and knew to whom it ... Written by
James Gordon Bentley, you have been tried for murder. Abigail McGinty was found by the baker on the floor of the sitting-room with extensive wounds to the head. The house in Broadhinny evinced no sign of forced entry. All the police surgeon was able to ascertain was that she'd been hit with a sharp, heavy implement, probably some time the night before. You, Bentley, were suspected from the very beginning. You knew where she kept her money; you had recently lost your employment, and...
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Poirot tries to clear a man sentenced to hang for murder...
Once again, David SUCHET excels as Hercule Poirot, willing to investigate the truth behind an innocent man being found guilty of Mrs. McGinty's murder. And JOE ABSOLOM is excellent as the accused James Bentley, but has little to do within the storyline once Poirot decides to take his case. ZOE WANAMAKER is effective as Ariadne Oliver, the mystery writer who resembles Agatha Christie in that she's not happy with the detective she invented.
Unfortunately, the rest of the cast seems uninspired. But the time period, the settings, the photography--all the technical values are excellent. Poirot's distress at finding himself living in a disorganized guest house is played for humor, but it also vital when he comes across some important clues.
More faithful than some of the recent Miss Marple episodes with Geraldine McEwan, it's definitely worth watching if you're a Poirot fan.
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