Poirot (1989–2013)
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The Cornish Mystery 

Alice Pengelley visits Poirot in London, telling him she thinks she is being poisoned by her husband. When Poirot arrives in Cornwall the next day to investigate Mrs. Pengelley's charges, he is too late, and finds her dead.


Edward Bennett


Clive Exton (dramatized by)





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Suchet ... Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser ... Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson ... Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran ... Miss Lemon
Chloe Salaman ... Freda Stanton
John Bowler ... Jacob Radnor
Jerome Willis ... Edward Pengelley
Amanda Walker ... Mrs Pengelley
Tilly Vosburgh Tilly Vosburgh ... Jessie Dawlish
Derek Benfield ... Dr Adams
Laura Girling Laura Girling ... Edwina Marks
John Rowe ... Prosecutor
Hugh Munro Hugh Munro ... Judge
Graham Callan Graham Callan ... Solicitor
Edwina Day Edwina Day ... Landlady


Poirot and Captain Hastings travel to Cornwall at the request of Mrs. Pengelly but arrive to find that the woman is dead. She had told Poirot the previous day that she feared her dentist husband, Edward Pengelly, had been having an affair with his pretty receptionist and that further, he was trying to poison her. Apart from her husband, she has a niece and her fiancé, but no other relatives in the village. When Inspector Japp arrests the husband for murder, the Belgian detective is convinced that the wrong person is in the dock. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

28 January 1990 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The village used is not Cornish at all. It is Dunster, which is in Somerset. In the final few scenes, Inspector Japp is stood under the eaves of the Dunster Yarn Market, and Dunster Castle is clearly visible in the background. See more »


The train going to and from Polgarwith station is formed of British Rail Mark 1 carriages, which were first introduced in 1951, but the story is set in the 1930s. See more »


[first lines]
Hercule Poirot: Are you feeling better, Hastings?
Captain Hastings: Yes. Yes, I am, as a matter of fact. Takes the pressure off the pancreas, you see.
Hercule Poirot: Hein, the pancreas is nothing. Of the digestive organs, the liver is the key. Look after the liver and life will take care of itself.
Miss Lemon: Your tisane, Monsieur Poirot
Hercule Poirot: Thank you, Miss Lemon. This is what you need, Hastings.
Captain Hastings: No fear; I've tasted it.
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User Reviews

Another great episode of an outstanding series
20 April 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Agatha Christie Poirot is one of my favourites ever, and has been for several years now. The Cornish Mystery is not quite one of my favourites of the series or one of the best short story adaptations(Wasp's Nest, The Chocolate Box, Adventure of the Italian Nobleman), but it is still a great episode. I don't think it is ever made clear what happens to the murderer, but the final solution was unexpected with an amusing final touch. The Cornish Mystery is very well made as usual with sumptuous costumes, splendid scenery and photography and an atmosphere and attention to detail that is never less than convincing. The music is both haunting and beautiful, the story is always involving even if the effectiveness of the ending may divide and the script has the ideal balance of tension and humour. David Suchet is impeccable as ever, and Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran support him wonderfully. John Bowler(before The Bill) is good as Jacob, Jerome Willis likewise though I did find myself doubting his guilt about twenty minutes into the episode and Amanda Walker is very moving here.

All in all, a great episode. 8.5/10 Bethany Cox

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