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In the short story The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman, Graves was valet of Count Foscatini. After his employer had been killed, Graves told the police that one Paolo Ascanio had come to see him one morning. They had an argument whereupon the Count told him to come again for dinner the following night to resume the discussion. Since Foscatini died some time after this dinner, Ascanio became the prime suspect and he was arrested and charged for murder.

Poirot later reasoned, based on mistakes and shortcomings in the way the dinner was staged, that Graves was in fact the murderer.


Graves is played by Leonard Preston in the television adaptation of the original story in Series 5 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot. Here he was given the first name "Edwin" and had an expanded role. He romanced Miss Lemon and used her to gain access to Poirot. He then took the opportunity to plant a red herring, telling Poirot that his employer was employed by the Italian government to secretly recover some documents from a blackmailer. This sidetracked the investigation for a time, until Poirot was inspired by looking in a mirror to take the opposite point of view: that Foscatini was not working for a blackmail victim but was the blackmailer himself.

However, Graves attempt to use Miss Lemon was also his undoing. In attempting to exaggerate his importance, he claimed to own a boat, the Fantasia Felice and showed Hastings and Poirot a picture of it. This led Hastings and Poirot to surmise that he would probably use the boat to escape.