it's a Hercule Poiriot novel, where he gets to exercise his little grey cells on a murder and robbery of some famous rubies. The rubies in question are the focus of the start of the book, when they're bought by an American millionaire to give to his daughter. She's the apple of his eye and is currently married to the wrong man. He's been carrying on with a dancing girl, and so Papa decides that his darling Ruthie should cut her losses and divorce the dastardly Derek Kettering. However it doesn't all quite go to plan. once the background has been put in place (by way of jewel dealers, dancing girls and lots of beautiful stereotype characters) the cast is assembled and the train sets off the the South of France - only someone doesn't get there...It's a murder and robbery that leave you wondering if it is one crime or two. Are they connected? Who has motive? Some have motive for one crime and not the other, some have an alibi, others do not. As usual, Poiriot gets to the bottom of it. I did find myself wondering about one character who seemed a little bit too good to be true, but won't spoil the surprise by giving it away. It all ends with the murderer unmasked and a fine match being made. A real evocation of an era past.