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
don @ minifie-1
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 »
Around 1942, Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker), a famous author, resides at Borodine Court, at which three young ladies rent an upstairs flat.
Claudia Reece-Holland (Clemency Burton-Hill), the "First Girl," is employed as Secretary to Andrew Restarick (James Wilby), manager at Joshua Restarick & Sons Limited. She also sees Andrew socially.
Frances Cary (Matilda Sturridge), the "Second Girl," is involved with David Baker (Tom Mison), a Painter, also known as "the Peacock."
Norma Restarick (Jemima Rooper), the "Third Girl," has a history of emotional problems, as her father, Andrew Restarick, abandoned her wealthy mother, Mary, when Norma was five, and heads to South Africa, before returning one year ago to assume responsibilities for the family business after his brother passes. She also admires David, whom Ariadne mistrusts.
Norma enters the office of Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), to be announced by his Valet, George (David Yelland). She confesses to a murder when a body is discovered in a nearby London apartment. Ariadne Oliver joins forces with Poirot and Inspector Nelson (John Warnaby) to investigate, but Norma confides only to Poirot, asking him to save her.
Poirot makes the rounds, questioning suspects, as the wealthy Sir Roderick Horsfield (Peter Bowles), a Great Uncle of Norma and former politician, engaged to his young Secretary, Sonia Benson (Lucy Liemann), investigating who would benefit if Mary and Norma were removed from the picture.
He also travels to the Meadowfield School, founded in 1919, two years after Norma's birth, by Miss Battersby (Haydn Gwynne), a former employee of the Restarick family.
Ariadne Oliver's investigation takes her to The Merry Shamrock Cafe, after dealing with Bus Ticket Inspector (Simon Hill), to follow a lead. Daphne the Waitress (Tessa Bell-Briggs) assists Ariadne, as do Nurse (Ysobel Gonzalez) and Policeman (Sean Kingsley), once Ariadne is knocked unconscious and left for dead.
Young Norma Restarick's (Jade Longley) memories return in flashback sequences, involving Mary Restarick (Juliet Howland), the mother of Norma, and Nanny Lavinia Seagram (Caroline O'Neill), who had cared for the child.
At Horsfield Estate, near Cross Hedges, Alf Renny (Tim Stern), the Valet, welcomes guests, as Sir Roderick Horsfield and Sonia Benson host a reception to announce their engagement, which Hercule Poirot attends with Ariadne Oliver, Andrew Restarick attends with Claudia Reece-Holland, and David Baker attends with Frances Cary.
But, after Norma Restarick, the "Third Girl," arrives, confrontations persist, and another body is discovered on the premises.
How will Poirot tie together three murders appearing as suicides during his extensive showdown sequence, which contains three additional plot twists, as some facts don't appear as they seem.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?