The Veiled Lady: After witnessing a jewelry heist, Poirot is musing about the thrills of the criminal life when a mysterious lady requests his help thwarting a blackmailer. Stealthy investigative tactics land Poirot briefly on the wrong side of the law.
The Lost Mine: Poirot is taking a drubbing in a Monopoly match against Hastings when they are interrupted by an aristocratic banker who asks Poirot to investigate the disappearance of a client. The man, who was to sell the bank a map to a valuable silver mine, is found murdered and a young stockbroker is implicated.
Poirot shows his firsthand knowledge of criminal methods in "The Veiled Lady," in which a simple case of blackmail turns into a more sinister affair that briefly lands Poirot in jail. But in "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim," the detective's little gray cells do all the work, as he accepts a wager from Japp to solve the case without leaving his apartment; while waiting for Hastings to bring him clues, Poirot exercises his brain by learning magic tricks that help him uncover the sleight of hand behind the banker's disappearance. Banking is again the theme in "The Lost Mine," underscored by a running game of Monopoly between Poirot and Hastings. The way the series weaves such metaphors into the episodes adds a welcome touch of humor while also giving Suchet the opportunity to flesh out his character. Expertly cast and beautifully filmed, the episodes are worth watching again and again--even when you already know whodunit. --Larisa Lomacky Moore