Agatha Christie Wiki

In the novel The Mystery of the Blue Train, Monsieur Demetrius Papopolous is a Greek jewellery dealer and an acquaintance of Poirot’s. He also has a daughter, Zia. He is of Jewish descent.

M. Papopolous has a "restrained and unpretentious" shop, in a "quiet but aristocratic thoroughfare" in Paris. He is so famous that he needs no advertisement, and most of his business is "not done over a counter". He lives in an apartment overlooking the Champs Elysées.

M. Papopolous is described as having something "venerable and patriarchal" about him. He has a "high domed forehead and a beautfiul white beard", and his eyes are black and beady. His manner has something "ecclesiastical and benign" in it. He has an "intense distaste for crudity in any form".

At the beginning of the novel, M. Papopolous receives M. le Marquis at his shop. M. Papopolous speaks to him in French, in "rich and unctuous" tones.

M. Papopolous is well-known in European courts, and kings call him Demetrius, in a friendly manner. He has a reputation for being exquisitely discreet. According to Poirot, when "a Russian Grand Duke, an Austrian Archduchess, or an Italian Prince wish to dispose of their family jewels", they go to M. Papopolous, because he is so well-known for his discretion.

Seventeen years before the events of the novel, a prominent person had left something with M. Papopolous as security. This item unaccountably disappeared, and M. Papopolous considered it the most unpleasant moment of his career. He sent for Poirot, saying that if Poirot was able to restore the item to him, he would earn his undying gratitude.

During the events of the novel, Poirot reminds M. Papopolous that he did restore the item to him. In return, M. Papopolous gives Poirot a hint about someone who goes by the name of the Marquis.

M. Papopolous and his daughter, Zia, later have dinner in Monte Carlo, with Poirot. After dinner, they go to the Casino. Poirot sees M. Papopolous talking to Mirelle, and observes that Mirelle is talking, and M. Papopolous is "contributing an occasional monosyllable and a good many expressive gestures". Mirelle tells M. Papopolous that if he gives her time, she will get the money. M. Papopolous tells her that it is awkward to wait.

It is revealed that M. Papopolous was in Nice to receive the rubies, including Heart of Fire. The rubies were handed over according to plan, and the person who handed them over was a woman.

M. Papopolous later sells a ruby to a Greek ex-Minister, who gives it to Mirelle. It is implied that this is Heart of Fire, although M. Papopolous will only admit that this ruby has points of resemblance to Heart of Fire.

When Poirot tells M. Papopolous that he has succeeded in "laying the Marquis by the heels", M. Papopolous says that he cannot recall the name. When Poirot is out of earshot, M. Papopolous tells Zia that he likes Poirot, but still thinks that he is "the devil".