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Syria, 1937: Hercule Poirot is one of several people present at an archaeological dig to find the skull of St John the Baptist, led by the exuberant Lord Boynton and his loyal son Leonard. The enterprise has been financed by Boynton's rich, rude and overbearing American wife. She bullies her three adopted children, Carol, Jinny and Raymond, as well as the family's nanny. Sarah King, a young English doctor, falls for Raymond and would love to tear him from his mother's apron-strings, and another doctor, Dr Gerard, takes an interest in Jinny, as does a Polish nun, who, with Jinny, is subject to an attack - by white slavers, according to the independent travel-writer Dame Celia Westholme. A mysterious young American, Jefferson Cope, whose link to the Boyntons seems tenuous, completes the group. Only his Lordship has any love for his wife so that, when she is found stabbed to death one blisteringly hot afternoon, Poirot has more than his fair share of suspects to interrogate. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Elizabeth McGovern and Zoe Boyle both appeared in "Downton Abbey" See more »
Did Lady Boynton harm you physically?
My mother had little recourse to violence. She ws too smart for that. Instead, she just pried open the top of our skull and raked her poisonous tongue through our brains. No place to hide, Poirot - even in our heads!
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Hercule Poirot is in Syria. He is part of a party accompanying Lord Boynton, a famous archaeologist, on a dig to find the skull of John the Baptist. Also in the party are Lady Boynton, an evil ogre of a woman, and the main target of her malice - Lord Boynton's three children (she is not their mother, as they were born to a previous wife of his). One day, Lady Boynton is found stabbed to death. Poirot investigates but, due to the seemingly universal dislike for the woman, the suspects are many. Plus, the murder seems impossible as she was in plain view when the deed was supposed to have occurred.
Quite intriguing, and tension-filled too. Good scenery and cinematography. Back stories and motives are far-fetched though, and the rush of revelations at the end seems quite fantastical. No way any viewer could work the murder plot out for themselves, which diminishes some of the fun. Still quite interesting though.
Supporting cast includes Tim Curry, John Hannah and Elizabeth McGovern.
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