Wherever Hercule Poirot goes, murder follows--although the crimes are not always what they first appear to be in the three stories included in this boxed set of Agatha Christie's Poirot
. Poirot's attempt at a practical joke livens up the somewhat tedious "Theft of the Royal Ruby"--an episode in which the redirection of romantic attentions seems to be as much the goal as preserving England's political relations with Egypt. A guest appearance by Stephanie Cole (who later starred in the series Waiting for God
) makes this episode an interesting collector's item for British TV fans.
Costumes and clever disguises ultimately fail to mask the truth from Poirot's prying eyes in the other two episodes. Even a fever-stricken Poirot is able to deduce the culprit's double identity in "The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge." And the dazzling commedia dell'arte costumes in "The Affair at the Victory Ball" are stripped away when the Belgian sleuth reassembles the surviving cast of a radio mystery play to broadcast his own whodunit scene. David Suchet is, as always, the consummate Hercule Poirot, from his dapper demeanor to his endearing concern for the plight of servants and train station attendants. --Larisa Lomacky Moore