An Illustrated short story from the Queen of Crime. Hastings mentions his belief that Poirot had never known failure in his professional career. Poirot said that was not true and relates the one occasion when he failed to solve a crime, years earlier when he was a police detective in Brussels. Paul Deroulard had died from reported heart failure, a French Deputy who was living in Brussels. At a time of strife over the separation of church and state M. Deroulard was a key player as an anti-Catholic and a potential minister. He lived in Brussels because his late wife left him her home there. He had a reputation as a ladies' man. Mademoiselle Virginie Mesnard, a cousin of his late wife, asks Poirot to investigate. She is convinced that the death three days earlier was not natural. M. Deroulard's household consists of four servants, his aged and infirm aristocratic mother, herself, and on that night, two visitors: M. de Saint Alard, a neighbour from France, and John Wilson, an English friend. Virginie introduces Poirot into the household and he begins interviewing among the servants about the meal served on the night of M. Deroulard's death.
November 2016 : Paperback