Poirot boards Le Train Bleu, bound for the French Riviera. So does Katherine Grey, who is having her first winter out of England, after having inherited a huge sum. While on board she meetsRuth Kettering, an American heiress bailing out from a marriage to meet her lover. The next morning, though, Ruth is found dead in her compartment, a victim of strangulation. The famous ruby, "Heart ofFire", which had recently been given to Ruth by her father, is discovered to be missing. Ruth's father, the American millionaire Rufus Van Aldin, and his secretary, Major Knighton, convince Poirot totake on the case. Ruth's maid, Ada Mason, says she saw a man in Ruth's compartment but could not see who he was. The police suspect that Ruth's lover, the Comte de la Roche, killed her and stole thediamonds, but Poirot does not think he is guilty. He is suspicious of Ruth's husband, Derek Kettering, who was on the same train but claims not to have seen Ruth. Katherine says she saw Derek enterRuth's compartment. This also throws suspicion on Derek when a cigarette case with the letter K on it is found.
Poirot investigates and finds out that the murder and the jewel theft might not beconnected, as the famous jewel thief The Marquis is connected to the crime. Eventually, the dancer Mirelle, who was on the train with Derek, tells Poirot she saw Derek leave Ruth's compartment around the timethe murder would have taken place. Derek is then arrested. Everyone is convinced the case is solved, but Poirot is not sure. He does more investigating and learns more information, talking to hisfriends and to Katherine, eventually coming to the truth. He asks Van Aldin and Knighton to come with him on the Blue Train to recreate the murder. He tells them that Ada Mason is really Kitty Kidd, arenowned male impersonator and actress. Katherine saw what she thought was a boy getting off the train, but it was really Mason. Poirot realized that Mason was the only person who saw anyone with Ruth...
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