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
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 »
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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"Mrs. McGinty's Dead" is a great entry into the Poirot series.
Poirot has been asked to save an innocent man, James Bentley, from the hangman's noose, as the inspector in charge of the case thinks his conviction for the murder of his landlady, Mrs. McGinty, is a mistake.
Poirot goes to the village where the murder took place and runs into Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker), who is in the same village, Broadhinny, to work on an adaptation of one of her novels as a play. with a dramatist, Robin Upward.
Mrs. McGinty did housekeeping work in the village, so she had access to several homes. While searching through her belongings, Poirot finds an edition of a newspaper dated not long before the woman's death. Two photographs had been removed, but Poirot tracks down a full edition. The paper has a Where Are They Now featuring two women who, many years earlier, had been involved in murders: Lily Gamboll, who committed murder with a meat cleaver as a child, and Eva Kane, who had been the love interest who inspired a man to murder his wife and bury her in a cellar.
The question is, did Mrs. McGinty realize that a woman in the village was connected to one of these women? Was one of them Lily Gamboll, or perhaps the child of Eva Kane? There is another murder, and as Poirot draws closer to the solution, he realizes that blackmail and subterfuge are involved. The murderer is clever, but no one is cleverer as Poirot.
Really excellent episode with some lively and interesting characters throughout, all of whom seem to have something going on, be it a secret love affair or something else.
Mrs. McGinty's dead is darker than some of the earlier Poirots but no less entertaining.
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