Clip. Shivering fearfully, a woman prays in her bedroom for divine protection. Downstairs, man answers rotary phone "Don't call me here". Elsewhere, red-enameled fingernails puts down her phone. Spoilers to music.
Next morning, George Pritchard (Toby Stephens) breaks the locked door of dead Mary (Sharon Small). Blood streams from her nose, and one blue geranium in a bouquet of pink blossoms. Not enough once, the whole death scene repeats later amid flashbacks.
Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) gasps when observing wasp poison concoction. When Detective Somerset (Kevin R. McNally) refuses her call, Jane invades a London gentleman's club to Sir Henry Clithering (Donald Sinden). Newspaper report in hand, she recalls the knotted tangle she "got wrong".
On the (to me, delightfully gorgeous little antiquated) bus to visit her friend Reverend Dermot Milewater (David Calder) in Little Ambrose (no sweet "prettiest village I know" named like that among quiet fields in my New World), the only other passenger, troubled Eddie Seward (Jason Durr), confides "I have been through a tunnel .. I'm going to force the moment to its crisis".
Dermot's niece Hester (Joanna Page) is cook for Pritchards. Hypochondriac wife Mary is obsessed with horoscopes, dependent on "magic tonic" sugar solution of Dr Jonathon Frayn (Patrick Baladi), whose father sold the Summerleigh estate. To encourage Pritchard's generosity, the golf club appoints George their new Captain. But children interrupt the village gathering, the body of Eddie washes up in the river. Mary's sister Phillipa (Claudie Blakley) also in the Air Force, first in love with the dashing pilot George, married his brother Lewis (Paul Rhys), gambler and failed writer.
Miss M recognizes the "crisis" quote from T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 1920, when a man intends to propose, and asks about the rest of the corpse's tie and scratches on his neck. Alcoholic Eddie left his drying-out clinic to find his wife Penelope, vanished years ago, probably now in Little Ambrose. Nurse Caroline Copling (Claire Rushbrook), artist Hazel (Caroline Catz), and Dermot's niece Hester are the newcomers, I remember who's trouble.
Hazel (in brown wig) and George act like sweethearts, then Hester and Payn find pregnant Carstairs (Rebekah Manning) strangled in abandoned estate mill-house by George's tie, leaving Mary's missing jewelry and costume of Zarida, mystic that threatened Mary with death when pink flowers turn blue. George confesses to all three murders. But Miss M knows the truth.
Arsenic crystals used to kill wasps resemble smelling salts Nurse Copling used to kill Mary. Miss M notes an Auction House paper in Eddie's wallet, the painting that brought him to Little Ambroze, freeze frame to show clearly, and believes the rest of Eddie's tie left on tree over river indicates partway through he regretted his suicide. Caroline blackmailed Phillipa for Mary's death, blaming Phillipa's angry years of slow poison, framed George for Carstairs using his tie.
Carstairs and Pritchard are both names from "Why didn't they ask Evans", disconcerting. Maybe Pritchard is used often because Agatha's only grandson is Matthew Prichard?
4 Cast Filmographies 2pg credits 2008-1953 McKenzie, Catz, Sinden, Stephens
120 years with Agatha Christie 5pg - 2010 anniversary 90 years after first novel, 2 billion sold, something every 8 seconds 80th for Miss M, 45 languages, Matthew Prichard is only grandson. John Curran's "Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks" has two unpublished Poirot stories