This is a review of a series episode (Series 11 (2008)), so I actually didn’t read the book yet.
I have to say, this is not Agatha’s master piece or a brilliant story either, but it is enjoyable to see Poirot and Ariadne together!
A girl, Norma, appears at Poirot’s office and tells him to save her : she believes that she killed somebody, but she doesn’t remember anything about it.
She was advised by Ariadne Oliver to contact him — Mrs Oliver is in the story ,YES!! It is always fun when she is around 🙂
When leaving his place, she mentions that it was a mistake to contact him as she didn’t expect him to be so OLD (LOL).
Poirot contacts Mrs Oliver to get everything explained.
She says that she met Norma at a party in an apartment in the building where she lives. Norma lives there with other roommates(girls), and she is referred as the 3rd girl because she was the 3rd roommate who was invited to share the apartment.
Norma’s ex-nanny, Miss Lavinia Seagram, who lived in the building was recently found dead with the verdict being suicide. Norma was the one who found her and now she is convinced that she did it.
The story has a big physiological side, which is led by Poirot, and the adventurous side led by Ariadne.
The psychological side: did Norma really committed a crime or is she suffering from psychological issues? Considering her past with a mother who committed suicide, father who abandoned her, no friends, etc.…
Poirot will focus on digging the Norma’s past:
- great-uncle, Sir Roderick living with a very young girl, who is probably only interested on his money.
- Andrew Restarick, Norma’s father, who returned after 20 years. Is he trustful? Can somebody confirm that he is who he says he is? Because Norma was a small girl when he left.
- Who is the heir of Restarick family? Norma! The fortune is hers! Who would benefit if Norma goes to jail?
- Miss Battersby: former director of Meadowfield School at the time of the tragedy at Norma’s life… She and one of the girls in the flat are very related to Norma and this fact might lead to murders…
So Poirot needs to protect Norma and make sure to find the real killer.
Adventurous side: Ariadne following Norma’s boyfriend to remote places, being attacked on the head, looking for clues in the nanny’s apartment without help and being watched by someone, etc…
In general the episode is quite good and entertaining to watch, sometimes more complicated than it is, with lots of twists, ups and downs, -AND- with the fantastic performances of David Suchet and Zoe Wannamaker!
As I said I didn’t read the book yet and I cannot really compare, but I think this episode was a fair production for an Agatha Christie’s book.