Outside, the scorching heat of the British summer could not have made a starker contrast with the icy cold atmosphere of the main living room of Lord Ellington's mansion. All fifteen people sitting around it were staring at the plump Belgian private inspector, who seemed to take great pleasure in waxing his mustache and letting the audience simmer in their own sweat. Finally he spoke.
"You may have wondered why I have called all you here. It has to do with the untimely death of Lady Sybill. We have reason to believe that the three dozen stab wounds in her back were not an accident but that she was in fact ..."
He paused for effect.
Madame Smith shrieked in terror and dropped her tea cup, which shattered into a million trillion pieces, each of which glittered with the sparkle of a thousand suns. Which was strange, since the curtains were closed and there were no sources of direct light in the room.
"Exactly, mon frére" he said to her, even though his mother tongue was French and he should have known not to call a woman "my brother". And also to spell his sentences properly. But who cares about trivial details such as these when there is a mystery afoot?
"And furthermore, I'm happy to tell you all that our investigation on this has finally come to a conclusion."
Poirot took off his monocle, polished it and then put it back on.
"Oui, we can finally reveal that the identity of the murderer ... will remain unknown forever. Even with our plethora of clues, we could not determine what actually happened. Whoever the murderer was, they got away scott free as we are shutting down the investigation. Mon dieu, that makes this our seventy-sixth unsuccessful murder investigation in a row!"
The audience in the salon seemed perplexed, so captain Hastings chose to interject.
"It could also be space aliens!"
"My money is on an interdimensional time travel accident" countered Inspector Japp with the calm voice of an experienced police officer.
For a while, the room was enveloped in silence. Then the house was blown up by nazis.