Well, I finished re-reading about 2:00 a.m. w/the same frustration I felt initially in trying to follow the cups, the cocoa and the coffee. Decided it didn't matter that much as it was a pretty good read overall. I didn't remember Poirot as such a romantic from my recollection of the BBC Mystery productions. I did love his description of Miss Howard as "...an excellent specimen of well-balanced English beef and brawn..sanity itself." I sort of agree w/NormHart but this is a rare instance when I'd choose the visual.
I also read the nominated Sayers' Murder Must Advertise which I also liked. I was surprised that advertising was seen much the same in the 1930s as it is now.
I also think it notable the difference in early English and U.S. detectives. Even when the English fellows started turning a bit scruffy, when? in the 70s or so... they seem to retain a patina of upper class intelligentsia. Maybe excepting Ms. Marple.
I'm off to see about The Chinese Parrot. Know nothing of C.Chan, but don't have an image of him as what I think of as "typical" U.S.