Everyone blamed Emily Arundell's accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously, he didn't receive the letter until June 28th by which time Emily was already dead.
When Gordon Cloade is killed in the London blitz a few weeks after getting married, his new bride is suddenly in sole possession of the family fortune. Other family members, though, have suspicions about his demise, especially when "spirits" claim the widow's first husband is still alive.
The late Richard Abernethie's solicitor, Mr. Entwhistle, turns to Hercule Poirot after Richard's sister Cora is killed with a hatchet the day after suggesting to other family members that her wealthy brother's death may not have been natural. The bodies seem to be piling up at Enderby Hall as her companion is sent a sliver of wedding cake steeped in arsenic. A mystery complete with genealogical tree, a dubious will, and a family full of potential...
When Mrs. Packington's husband begins keeping regular company with an office girl, she turns to Mr. Parker Pyne, master of the human soul, for help, in the first of a series of cases that take him from London to the Middle East.