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Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9

Score: 80%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 392 Mins.
Genre: Mystery/TV Series
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9 brings another round of four feature-length Hercule Poirot mysteries together and, while the show's supporting characters of Hastings and Japp and Miss Lemon are not seen in any of these stories, David Suchet continues to play the titular character excellently.

The series starts off with "Five Little Pigs." In this episode, Poirot is hired by a young woman to investigate a murder that occurred 14 years earlier. The woman's mom was found guilty of killing her father and was hung for the crime not long after the investigation was completed. As Poirot investigates the old case, he learns that the dead husband was a painter and had a reputation for sleeping with his models, and also that the mother, and everyone else in their personal circle, knew of the affairs. Poirot's talks lead him to reconstruct the various events of the days leading up to the death and he has to piece together what actually happened by memories over a decade old.

The second episode in the collection, "Sad Cypress," starts off with a woman being convicted of murder. From everyone's perspective, even Poirot's at first, she is the obvious killer of two people, but something doesn't quite sit right for the Belgian detective and as he digs deeper into the mystery, the events leading up to the deaths don't quite line up right. Actually, the story is told in a few parts - some of it takes place in a flashback showing the initial investigation and then some are afterwards where Poirot tries to put the problem pieces in place to either exonerate the accused woman, or prove for sure that she did the deed.

Poirot's involvement starts when he is called to help the family determine the origins of a threatening letter, but when the matriarch of the family dies, and leaves everything to the eventual accused murder, Poirot finds that there might be more going on than meets the eye. The plot thickens when the poisoning occurs, especially when it becomes known that the murdered woman was sleeping with the accused's fiance.

"Death on the Nile" is a fairly well known Poirot mystery. Here, Poirot is on holiday, and as always, murder follows him wherever he goes. At a party, he meets a group of people attending a wedding. It turns out that one of the guests was, until only a few months ago, engaged to the groom, and the scorned former lover plans to make the newlywed's honeymoon a nightmare. Her plans are to simply be wherever they are and make their presence known. As it turns out, the newlyweds (plus their tagalong) are on the same Nile cruise as Poirot, and when the bride is killed in the middle of the night, the former lover seems the obvious choice, except that she has the perfect alibi ... in fact, everyone seems to have the perfect alibi.

The final mystery in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9 is "The Hollow." Here, Poirot has bought a small cottage in the country and is going to stay there for the first time. When he meets his neighbors and their guests, they are infatuated by his reputation and the hostess proposes a murder mystery. Of course, Poirot came to the country to relax and doesn't wish to partake, but when a real murder happens, he finds himself having to get to work.

Poirot stumbles upon the murder scene when going to his neighbor's house. In the scene, a man is shot and on the ground next to the pool. Standing over him is not only the man's wife (with a gun in her hand), but also the man's mistress and the hostess. Before dying, the man calls out his wife's name and, apparently startled, she "drops" the gun into the pool. It obviously doesn't look good for the recent widow, but as Poirot begins his investigation, a lot of odd facts start to come to light and the host's private gun collection (of which the drowned gun belongs to), becomes a central piece of the puzzle. Poirot's investigations seem unusually filled with red herrings this time around also, but the source of these dead ends might be just the clue he needs to figure out who actually killed the man by the pool.

Much like the past series of this show, there aren't any special features to add to this release, and with only four episodes in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9, the incentive to buy this particular collection might not be that high, but the mysteries portrayed in this DVD set are great. "Death on the Nile" is a particularly good plot, but that's why it had already been made into a movie featuring Peter Ustinov. I would recommend this collection to anyone looking for a good slice of Poirot mysteries, at least those without Hercule's supporting characters.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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