When a series of apparently minor thefts plagues a university hostelry run by Miss Lemon's sister, Poirot is recruited to investigate. Celia Austin, a pharmacological major, confesses that she is a kleptomaniac and responsible for most of the thefts but denies stealing several objects including a stethoscope, light bulbs, and a student rucksack. Furthermore, she claims to know the other thief and vows to help return the missing items. Unfortunately someone substitutes an overdose of morphine for one of her sleeping powders, and she takes the identity of the thief to the grave. Japp connects the murderer's m.o. with a cold case he had investigated ten years earlier, but the prime suspect in that crime, a powerful statesman, now lies dying in a local hospital. Despite numerous obstacles, Poirot is able to link the killing to an international diamond smuggling ring but not before the murderer claims more victims.Written by
The adaptation fails portrays the youth hostel as a multicultral hub for both students and travellers, which is how Christie presented things in the original novel. Understandably several racially stereotyped characters were removed, these include Chandra Lal an Indian student, Achmed Ali from Egypt, and Akibombo an African man with a "black woolly head". See more »
Although set at the time of the Jarrow march of 1936, the rolling stock of the London Underground is clearly the "38 Stock" first introduced only in 1938. See more »
I know it's a wicked thing to say, but I think she might have been a secret drinker.
Chief Inspector Japp:
After all the bottles we found in her room, there's no secret about it.
See more »
Very good overall, funny, intriguing and absorbing.
Hickory Dickory Dock is a particularly absorbing book, and one I read on a regular basis. This adaptation isn't the best by far, but it's still a great watch. The mystery is great, production values are strong, but there is definitely something a little clunky about the delivery of it, it isn't as slick as the episodes that followed.
If you're a fan of mice, you'll love this one, as the cute little rodent gets more screen time then anyone.
It has a wonderful cast, which of course contains Damien Lewis and Jonathan Firth, although it's Rachel Bell's Mrs Nicoletis that I enjoyed most, she's hilarious in it. It's also a really good episode for Pauline Moran, as Miss Lemon gets lots of screen time.
Very enjoyable, if not one of the very best. 8/10
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