Agatha Christie Wiki
Betty barnard

Eve Austin as Betty Barnard

In the novel The A.B.C. Murders, Elizabeth “Betty” Barnard was ABC's second victim, a young, flirtatious part-time waitress in The Ginger Cat in Bexhill. She was the younger sister of Megan Barnard. She was strangled with her own belt, which was of a thick knitted silk. Her corpse was found by a civilian walking their dog, and her murder was committed around midnight.

Betty was the younger daughter of Mr and Mrs Barnard, and lived with them in a bungalow called Llandudno. She had fair hair, and although her face was not beautiful, it had "an obvious and cheap prettiness".

Betty liked being taken out, dancing, cheap flattery, and compliments. She had a boyfriend named Donald Fraser, and although she was fond of him, it was not in her nature to be fond of one person and not notice anyone else. She enjoyed dancing and going to the cinema, and Donald could not afford to take her all the time, so she sometimes went with other men. Donald could not understand why she kept going out with other men if she was really keen on him, and he was jealous of her. They had big rows about this.

Nearly a year before the events of the novel, Betty and Donald had a row, and then they had a worse one just over a month before the events of the novel. Betty had gotten into the habit of lying to Donald about where she was going, so that he would not get jealous. The last row they had was because she had told him that she was going to visit a girl friend, but he found out that she actually went to Eastbourne with another man. This other man was married, so the affair was kept secret, which made it worse. Betty had said that she was not married to Donald yet, and so she had a right to go out with whomever she pleased, and Donald had been so angry that he said he would kill her one day.


In the film adaptation of The A.B.C. Murders in Series 2 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot, Betty Barnard is featured but we only see her dead on the beach being discovered by a man with his dog. Here, Betty was a waitress at the De La Warr pavilion and not the "Ginger Cat" cafe. The actress who played the part is not credited.

In the anime show ABC Murders, NHK's adaptation of The A.B.C. Murders, the character of Betty Barnard is portrayed very faithfully according to the original novel. There is even a photo of her with her colleages Miss Merrion and Milly Higley. She appears on screen only during a flashback when Poirot is reconstructing the crime. She has no speaking part.

In the MGM adaptation The Alphabet Murders (1965), the part of Betty Barnard is played by Grazina Frame. Here, she is a instructress at a bowling alley. Poirot has been brought to the bowling alley by following a clue of a bowling score card. Her boyfriend Don Fortune drags her off for their date before Poirot can finish questioning her. He suspects she will be the next murder victim so as soon as he can, he looks her up in her flat, only to find that she has been murdered.

In the BBC's The ABC Murders miniseries, Betty Barnard is portrayed by Eve Austin. Here Donald Fraser is her fiance and not her boyfriend. In addition, she is strangled with a pair of nylon socks instead of her belt. Other than that, her portrayal is mostly faithful of the one in the original novel.