• Hercule Poirot meets Mr. Shaitana at a snuff box exhibition at Wessex House in London.
• Mr. Shaitana immediately ridicules Poirot's profession as a private detective.
• Mr. Shaitana invites Poirot to a dinner party.
• He claims to collect murderers, and his dinner party will have both murderers and detectives.
• Poirot expresses concern that the plan is a dangerous one, but Mr. Shaitana dismisses Poirot's concerns.
• Four sleuths arrive at Mr. Shaitana's apartment.
• They are Hercule Poirot, Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, Superintendent Battle, and Colonel Race.
• Guests arrive 15 minutes later.
• The first guest to arrive is Dr. Roberts, an ebullient and cheerful man whose geniality makes him seem an unlikely candidate for the crime of murder.
• The next suspect to arrive is the lovely and genteel elderly Mrs. Lorrimer.
• Following Mrs. Lorrimer is Major Despard, who is immediately drawn into conversation with Colonel Race.
• Last to arrive is Miss...
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