First published in 1953, and in Fontana Books in 1956. This is a second edition, printed in 1957.
Hercule Poirot lives contentedly in retirement, and only in the most exceptional circumstances can he be lured back into the field of detection where once he reigned supreme - Master of his Art as he (who shouldn't) would say.
When his old friend Richard Abernethie dies, the circumstances appeared to be anything but exceptional - "suddenly at his residence" the papers said. But someone started asking awkward questions and received a hatchet in the head by way of reply. This was too much for Poirot, who could not resist the challenge to his very special talents,