A pair of photographs are the only clues that Poirot has to solve the murder of a village charwoman, and to prove the innocence of the victim's lodger.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Bentley
Simon Molloy ...
District Judge
David Yelland ...
Maureen Summerhayes
Major Summerhayes
Dr Rendell
Emma Amos ...
Bessie Burch
Billy Geraghty ...
Joe Burch
Ruth Gemmell ...
Miss Sweetiman
Eve Carpenter
Robin Upward


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 shanty_sleuth

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

14 September 2008 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(11 episodes)


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 widescreen
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Did You Know?


When Poirot is standing in front of the dog, the dog trainer can be seen behind him peeking out from next to the fireplace for a split second. See more »


[first lines]
District Judge: 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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User Reviews

Seductively gloomy
28 February 2016 | by (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – See all my reviews

Poirot comes over to the quaint little countryside town of Broadhinney to look into the murder of Mrs McGinty, a local house maid and to try to save the alleged murderer from the gallows at the request of his friend, a police inspector. When a second murder takes place, the whole case takes a much more complicated dimension. The investigation unfolds family secrets, intimate frustrations and hidden pasts that are all eventually brought to light with the help of the infamous little gray cells. It's the nicest people that usually do the most gruesome things, might be the moral of the movie. Every episode that features Zoe Wannamaker is a good one in my book, and she always provides for great comical relief that so wonderfully counteracts Poirots serious manners. Those are also somewhat ridiculed here, like his reactions to the Sommerhayes' inn and the quality of his lodgings, which is a good contrast to a very dark, gloomy air looming from behind the tidy fronts and gardens in Broadhinney. Poirot is his usual brilliant self, but there a few other standouts as well, like Madam Carpenter, the arrogant femme fatal with an embarrassing secret. I like the current tendency in the ITV series towards a darker mood in the stories that works well with whodunits. Unlike many other episodes, here the story doesn't really revolve around a large wealthy family(like, say, After the Funeral) but rather individual couples who always turn out to be rusty underneath the gilded surface. Unfortunately, they cut out the brilliant intro music, and I can't imagine why. Bring it back, guys!

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