Lady Angkatell, intrigued by the criminal mind, has invited Hercule Poirot to her estate for a weekend house party. The Belgian detective’s arrival at the Hollow is met with an elaborate tableau staged for his amusement: a doctor lies in a puddle of red paint, his timid wife stands over his body with a gun while the other guests look suitably shocked. But this is no charade. The paint is blood and the corpse real! Christie described this novel as the one “I had ruined by the introduction of Poirot.” It was first published in 1946 in London. In the USA it was published under the title Murder after Hours. Christie adapted the novel for the stage though with the omission of Hercule Poirot.