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In the novel After the Funeral, Alexander Guthrie was an art critic and an old friend of Cora Lansquenet. He had known Cora since the early days of her marriage. After he learnt of her murder, he travelled to Lytchett St Mary to attend the inquest and funeral. He visited Cora's cottage and there met Susan Banks. He told her that he was conscience-stricken and felt he had to make the visit. He used to visit Cora at least once a year to value the paintings which she had collected. He had earlier promised to come and see Cora a few weeks ago. Cora had told him she thought she had just bought an Italian Primitive. Guthrie had failed to come earlier and and now she had died.

According to Guthrie, most of paintings collected by Cora were not worth much. The Italian Primitive was nothing of the sort. But he had once helped her sell a painting for thirty pounds. Cora's hobby wasn't very successful but at least it gave her an interest in life.

Poirot sought Guthrie's help as an art expert as part of the denouement towards the end of the book.

Guthrie was described as an elderly gentleman "to whom melancholy did not seem to come naturally, his own inclination being to beam."

Guthrie does not appear in film adaptation of the book in Season 10 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot series. His role in the story was taken by a non-canonical character, the Italian artist Giovanni Gallaccio.