Tuesday, January 25, 2011


APRIL: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan

No references. Mrs. Opalsen’s pearls are said to have been used in 1908 (in an actual clip from Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”), but there's no mention of how much time has elapsed. 

MAY: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb

Poirot’s newspaper in the beginning of the episode reads June 1934 (possibly 1936). Hasting’s newspaper in New York reads January 1934 (possibly 1936). So the episode contradicts itself. Therefore, I choose to place it in early spring 1934, ignoring the references.

JUNE: Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Japp tells Poirot that the forensic report ascertains Gascoigne’s death as Saturday, June 16th at 9.30 pm. The year 1934 fits. Moreover, in his summing-up, Poirot describes how the murderer changed the postmark. From this, the date 'June 15, 34' is clearly visible:

JULY: The Double Clue

No references. But the following exchange takes place between Poirot and Hastings: 
Poirot: One can always tell when the summer it has arrived.
Hastings: It’s in the air?
Poirot: No, it is in your driving.
The Countess mentions “a new time” with Hitler and Stalin. Hitler became Reichskanzler in January 1933, so it has to be placed after this.

This episode also solves the inconsistency of Hastings and the Argentine (see 'Hastings Storyline'). When Poirot is infatuated with Rossakoff, Miss Lemon and Hastings discuss what they would do if they marry: “I’ve always had a dream about South America, you know. Farming”.

AUGUST: Wasp’s Nest
The village fete is set on Wednesday, August 1, and Langton’s wasp killing takes place Wednesday, August 8th. October 1st, the month when Harrison will probably die, is on a Monday, all according to Harrison’s diary. 1934 fits all the dates perfectly. Interesting side fact: Hastings tells Japp that Poirot “hasn’t had a case for a few weeks”. So he
does tend to have a busy schedule!

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER: Triangle at Rhodes

Poirot reads a newspaper with the title “Abyssinia-Italian Threat”. Wikipedia states that there was an Abyssinia Crisis between Italy and Ethiopia in November 1934. The black shirts were also mentioned in the episode (Mussolini). Fits the time. Finally, the short story (Christie's original) is stated as taking place in October, which would make sense as the first scene of the episode shows a autumny, rainy London.

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