Poirot is visited by a distraught girl, Norma Restarick, who fears she may have killed someone but runs away, telling him that he's too old rather than explaining further. By coincidence, Poirot's friend Ariadne Oliver lives in the same apartment block as Norma and her two roommates and recently went to their party, where Norma was distressed when she was offered ice cream. Norma's ex-nanny, Miss Lavinia Seagram, an alcoholic, also lived in the block but was recently found dead, with the verdict being suicide. Ariadne is unconvinced and searches the nanny's apartment, finding a clue which she puts in her handbag. Soon afterward she is attacked and the bag and its contents are stolen. Poirot visits the Restarick family home in the country, owned by Norma's great-uncle, Sir Roderick, an elderly and half-blind man who is dependent upon Sonia, his young personal assistant (who may well be a gold-digger). Andrew Restarick, Norma's father, explains to Poirot that he spent much of Norma's ... Written by
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The title of Ariadne Oliver's most recent novel mentioned in this episode, "Lady, Don't Fall Backwards", is named after the fictional detective novel at the heart of the plot of the episode of the British radio comedy "Hancock's Half Hour" called "The Last Page". See more »
Poirot is approached by a young woman, Norma Restarick, who tells him that she thinks she killed someone. She then changes her mind and runs away before he hears the story. commenting that he's "too old." Poirot's friend, the author Ariadne Oliver, happens to live in the same apartment building as Norma -- in fact, she recommended Poirot to her. Norma, she says, is the "third girl" in an apartment. Norma has an ex-nanny, Miss Seagram, in the building also, and she was found dead, ruled a suicide. Ariadne doubts that.
Poirot learns from Norma's father that he was abroad most of Norma's childhood. Her mother committed suicide, and Norma tells Poirot that she blames herself.
Sure that Miss Seagram's death was not suicide, Poirot has Norma help him set a trap to catch the killer.
A complicated story very well done, with a good cast that has Zoe Wanamaker as Ariadne, who is excellent. Ariadne really gets involved in this, searching the nanny's apartment, trailing a suspect, and being mugged! It's not one of Poirot's most fascinating cases, so the writers here have charged it up to make it more interesting. This is a case where I think they succeeded and didn't ruin the story.
Beautiful costumes and production values as usual, and the marvelous David Suchet.
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