Agatha Christie Wiki

In the novel Dead Man's Folly, Amy Folliat (née Folliat) is the last of the Folliats, the previous owners of Nasse House. She is a widow, and both her sons had died during the war. She introduced Sir George Stubbs to Hattie, a young heiress who was under her care.

Although she married a Folliat, she is also a Folliat by birth. She is a second cousin, and is part of the Tiverton Folliats.

Mrs Folliat is described as being a "very small and compact little person". The most noticeable feature about her is her "clear china-blue eyes". She has grey hair, which she confines in a hairnet. She is careless of her appearance, but has "that indefinable air of being someone which is so hard to explain".

Mrs Folliat mentions that she likes gardening, and preparing for a festivity like the fête at Nasse House. She is good at dealing with people, and settling disputes such as why the garden produce stall is where the fancy woolens stall was supposed to be. According to Sir George, Mrs Folliat is "about the only person who can" deal with these people.

When Mrs Folliat goes upstairs with Lady Stubbs to look at her dress for the fête, Poirot is surprised to see weariness on her face. He wonders if she is suffering from some disease about which she never speaks. He is of the opinion that she is not a person who would care to invite pity or sympathy.

Mrs Folliat lives in the Lodge by the front gate of Nasse House. Poirot wonders how she really feels about that, but her composure is "so absolute" that he has no clue as to her real feelings. However, she does tell him that she was always fond of the Lodge, and prefers it to the top cottage.

Mrs Folliat had accepted charge of Hattie after an earthquake and fire had killed Hattie's family. This was after her husband, Major Folliat, and their two sons had died, and Nasse House had to be sold. Mrs Folliat was glad to have someone young to look after and travel with, and became very fond of Hattie. She deliberately influenced Hattie to accept and marry Sir George.

Mrs Folliat tells Poirot that it is a "very wicked world", and that "there are very wicked people in the world".

During the fête, Mrs Folliat slips into the role of hostess, greeting people and directing them to the side shows on the lawn. She also judges the Children's Fancy Dress, because Hattie, who was supposed to do it, could not be found.

After the death of Marlene Tucker, Mrs Folliat tells Poirot that the shock was too much for her. Poirot thought that she seemed "to have aged by about ten years" since he had seen her earlier in the afternoon. When Poirot suggests that people like Hattie, who are mentally subnormal, are not always accountable for their actions, and that in a fit of rage, they might even kill, Mrs Folliat turns on him in anger. She tells him that Hattie "was a gentle warm-hearted girl", and would never have killed anyone.

Mrs Folliat tells Inspector Bland that she knows everyone in the area as well as anyone could. She tells him about the Tuckers, and about the people who were involved in organising the Murder Hunt.

Poirot is of the opinion that Mrs Folliat is "the key to the whole business", but that she is "a key that would not turn easily in the lock". Inspector Bland is probably also of the same opinion, because he mentions that there is a type of lady whom one cannot force, frighten, persuade, or diddle.

When Poirot visits Mrs Folliat towards the end of the novel, he is startled to see how old and frail she looks. According to Mrs Tucker, Mrs Folliat had been poorly ever since Marlene's death, due to the shock of there being a murder at her house. According to Mr Tucker, Mrs Folliat felt responsible in a way, although it was nothing to do with her.

Mrs Folliat keeps a framed photograph of her husband in the Lodge. However, there are no other photographs. She tells Poirot that she is not fond of photographs, because they make one live in the past too much. She believes that one must learn to forget, and "must cut away the dead wood". Poirot is of the opinion that although she seems gentle and fragile, she has a ruthless side, and can "cut away dead wood" from her own life, as well as from plants.

Mrs Folliat tells Poirot that she is very tired, and will be not only ready, but thankful, when it is her time to die. She tells him that she has not much to live for, as she has many friends, but no near relations.

It is revealed that Mrs Folliat's second son, James, had not been killed during the war, but she had told everyone that he was. It is further revealed that Hattie's family had been rich, but Mrs Folliat had told people that Hattie was poor, and that she had advised her to marry Sir George, a rich man who was older than her. In reality, Sir George was really a new identity adopted by James Folliat.

Mrs Folliat had thought that after Hattie married James, she would look after her and care for her. However, James was already married. He killed Hattie, and had his wife pose as her. Mrs Folliat did not speak out because she loved James, and could not be the one to report him to the police.

Mrs Folliat at first tells Poirot that he does not have any evidence. However, he tells her that they are breaking up the concrete foundation of the folly, under which Hattie was buried. Mrs Folliat then thanks him for coming to tell her this himself. She asks him to leave her alone, because there are "some things that one has to face quite alone".