This mystery begins when the great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is called to France by an urgent letter from Monsieur Renauld. Poirot decides to go not because the letter was written in urgency but because Poirot determines it was not. When Poirot and his friend Captain Hastings reach Renauld's home it is too late. Just that morning M. Renauld has been found stabbed in the back in a half dug grave on a golf course in his backyard. His wife was found bound and gagged in the bedroom and tells of two Chileans looking for “the secret.” Was M. Renauld the victim of these two men? Or, is the murderer closer to home?
Poirot stays in France to investigate. Poirot's methods of investigation involve the study of psychology and method. He uses his brain to sort through the clues and solve the crime. His methods are pitted against those of the famous French investigator M. Giraud who digs in the dirt for clues like a hound dog. The two detectives make a wager to see who can catch the criminal first.
Captain Arthur Hastings, Poirot's long time associate and friend, has met a very unusual young woman on the train at the start of the story. Later, Hastings finds her on the victim's estate. What does she have to do with the crime? Will she bring an end to the two men's long standing relationship?
This report prepared by Michelle M. Powers