Picks and Pans Review: Literary Sleuths

UPDATED 01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

>Two fictional heroes hit the airwaves this week. First, David (Harry and the Hendersons) Suchet is utterly charming as Agatha Christie's dapper Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. The nine-part Mystery! offering of Poirot, set in 1935 England, begins Thursday (Jan. 18, 9 P.M. ET) on PBS. Suchet once played Inspector Japp to Peter Ustinov's Poirot in the 1985 TV movie Thirteen at Dinner, but here he delivers a much spicier reading than his predecessor. Then, on Sunday, Raymond Burr returns as Erie Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason in The Case of the Poisoned Pen (Jan. 21, 9 P.M. ET) on NBC. It's like slogging through a boring game of Clue as four mystery writers (Tony LoBianco, Barbara Babcock, Kiel Martin and Cindy Williams) are suspected of slaying fellow scribe David Warner.

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