It is 1916. Captain Hastings has been invalided out of the Great War and goes to convalesce at Styles Court, the family home of his great friend, John Cavendish. By an extraordinary coincidence, billeted in the village is a brilliant little retired detective with an egg-shaped head, who made a considerable impression on the Captain when he was in Belgium. Styles is not a happy household and in the blistering summer heat, tensions mount. Even so, the tragic murder which occurs is not expected. The entire family is drawn into the case but with their reluctant permission, Hastings calls upon the services of the diminutive Belgian. Thus begins one of the great partnerships and friendships in the history of crime. A fragment of a burnt will, a false black beard and an empty packet of bromide powders - such are the seemingly unrelated details surrounding the murder. With a thoroughness that is to become legendary, Poirot commences his first investigation in England. John Moffatt stars as Hercule Poirot, Simon Williams as Captain Hastings and Philip Jackson as Detective Inspector Japp, who already has reason to be indebted to the distinguished and unique hero of so many mysteries.