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"How dare you? How dare you make such an accusation?" (When Poirot calls him out as the murderer)

Alfred Inglethorp is Emily Inglethorp's second husband and a much younger man than her. Considered by her family and most of the residents of Styles Court to be a spoiled fortune-hunter, he stands to inherit most of his wife's fortune (except for their estate, which was inherited by her stepson). He turns out to be in league with Emily's companion, Evelyn Howard


The story of Alfred Inglethorp before 1917 is largely unknown, except that one day he came to Styles Court and introduced himself as a far cousin of Evelyn Howard, after Mr Cavendish's death in the early 1910s.

Several months later he and Emily Inglethorp had announced they were engaged, and married some time after.

He started to live in Styles Court for some years, until 1917 when secretly had organized the murder of his wife with his lover, using Evelyn's idea of bromide to concentrate Emily's tonic that contained strychnine to turn it in a lethal dose to kill her.

Shortly before the murder, LT. Arthur Hastings, under license from the war, was invited by John Cavendish to stay for some days in the Styles Court estate, and along with the other residents of the estate, met Alfred Inglethorp, that politely sayed that was "pleased to meet him", but the other residents and servants, outside of Emily Inglethorp, despised Alfred, especially Ms. Howard.

A day after the arrival of Hastings, Evelyn Howard had fought with Mr. Inglethorp, and after confronting Mrs. Inglethorp and warning her to not trust Alfred, had left, but not before asking Hastings to keep an eye out for Mr. Inglethorp.

The next day, Emily Inglethorp discussed with her son John about his secret affair and money given to Mrs Raikes, so she threatened him to tell all to his wife Mary, after John had left she wrote a new will, to remove him from her previous one and write a letter to his lawyer to officialize the new one, but in the meanwhile Dorcas the maid had listened to the discussion, mistaking John Cavendish for Alfred Inglethorp.

However, when she finished writing, Mrs Inglethorp had realized she had no longer postage stamps, so she went to search them in her husband's writing desk, locked, so she opened the desk with a key, and found a letter written by Alfred to Evelyn Howard that revealed that Alfred Inglethorp had planned her murder.

Shocked, Emily Inglethorp had decided to not tell anyone anything, but she decided to immediately destroy the new will and stores the letter in her casket, which brings to her room.

Alfred had left during the afternoon, and returned to the evening to eat dinner, but had left again after drinking coffee by saying that he wanted to see the estate accountant at the village, and that would return late in the night using his key.

In the morning, after Emily's death, Alfred Inglethorp returned to the estate, apparently shocked by his wife's death and justifying his absence by saying that the accountant had finished late and offered him a bed for the night, as well forgetting the key.

Hastings, remembered that former belgian detective Hercule Poirot, was living in Styles Mary village as a war refugee, and asked to John Cavendish to allow him to call Poirot to investigate on Emily's death after Dr Wilkins expressed his opinion that Mrs Inglethorp was poisoned.

Poirot accepted the case and asked about the recent events before Emily's death, including the sudden dissapearance of her husband, learning how Alfred was hated by all in the house, especially Ms. Howard who called for him to be executed for Emily's murder.

After discussing with Mrs. Inglethorp's lawyer, Mr Wells, Poirot went back to Emily's room to search for the letter that the maid Dorcas had mentioned, only to realize the lock was hijacked and that the letter was stolen.

During the trial about Mrs. Inglethorp's death, Alfred Inglethorp refused to testify about his movements the day before Emily's death, but denied that he discussed with his wife and that he didn't buy strychnine, claiming someone was trying to frame him for the murder.

Some time later, Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard, who was there with Superintendent Summerhaye, was not convinced of Alfred's claim of innocence, despite Poirot's attempts to convince the superintendent to not arrest Inglethorp, so they went to Styles Court to bring him to Malsbury to interrogate him.

Poirot interrupted the arrest, as he had discovered that Alfred Inglethorp was far away from the village where he supposedly bought strychnine, so he was removed as suspect.

Poirot's suspicion about Alfred began to rise once more after he had found the fake beard, supposedly worn by the person that impersonated him at the pharmacist, and with Hasting's remark about Poirot re-ordering of trinkets above the fireplace when had discovered the casket was forced open (after Poirot had first re-ordered them the first time he went in Emily's room to investigate), led him to realize someone else had hidden something above the fireplace, so he returned to Styles Court, where he found the letter hidden in the box that kept the fireplace's paper, which led Poirot to discover and expose Alfred Inglethorp and his lover Evelyn Howard as murderers.

After being exposed, Alfred Inglethorp had declared that he had no remorse and he would do it again if he had the chance.

Differences between the novel and the adaptation[]

  • In the flashback when Emily Inglethorp starts to show the effects of the strychnine and Mary Cavendish was in the room to search for a supposed letter of John's affair, Emily starts to call for Alfred Inglethorp, when in the novel she had told with her last words that her husband was the murderer.