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Donals fraser

Jack Farthing as Donald Fraser (BBC miniseries)

In the novel The A.B.C. Murders, Donald “Don” Fraser was Betty's would-be fiancee. He is temperamental and is the prime suspect for Betty's murder. He is also roped in the Legion. He works at Court & Brunskill, house agents.

He is described as a "well-made, fine-looking young fellow, standing close on six foot, not good-looking, but with a pleasant freckled face, high cheek-bones and flaming red hair".

According to Betty's sister, Megan Barnard, Donald is a very quiet, bottled-up person, who cannot always express his feelings in words, but does feel things intensely. He has a jealous nature, and had always been jealous of Betty. He was devoted to Betty, and could not understand why she kept going out with other people if she was really keen on him. He and Betty had had a few big rows about this, and on one occasion he was so violent that she was frightened.

The last row had been because Betty had told Donald that she was going to visit a girl friend, but he found out that she had really been to Eastbourne with another man. Betty had said that as she was not married to Donald yet, she had a right to go about with anyone she pleased, and Donald had said that one day, he would kill her.

Donald tells Poirot that Betty had said she was going to St Leonards with a girl friend on the evening of the murder. He says that he believed her when she first said it, but then he started to wonder, perhaps because of something in her manner. He was suspicious, and went to St Leonards, watching the buses to see if she were on them. She was not, and he became convinced that she was with another man, and that they had gone to Hastings. He went to Hastings, and looked for her at hotels, restaurants, cinemas, and on the pier. He did not find her, and so went home.

Later in the novel, Donald goes to see Poirot, to tell him about a recurring dream that he has been having. In the dream, he is looking for Betty, who is lost, and needs to give her her belt. He finds her sitting on the beach, and strangles her with the belt. Then her head falls back, and he sees that it is Megan, not Betty.

Poirot later says that Donald's dream had a very natural explanation. Donald was beginning to find that Megan was replacing her sister in his heart, but because he could not bear to think of himself being unfaithful to Betty so soon after her death, he strove to stifle and kill the thought.

Poirot advises Donald not to be afraid to forget Betty, and tells him that in Megan, he has a girl who is one in a hundred.


In the film adaptation of The A.B.C. Murders in Series 2 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot, the part of Donald Fraser played by Nicholas Farrell. There is no mention here of his occupation as an estate agent. His recurring dream is also not mentioned, although he does say to Megan that he does not want to forget Betty. Megan replies that they will not forget her.

In the anime show ABC Murders, NHK's adaptation of The A.B.C. Murders, the character of Donald Fraser is portrayed very faithfully according to the original novel. His background as an estate agent is mentioned, for example. However the show does not end with him pairing off with Megan Barnard. The character is voiced by Akio Suyama.

In the MGM adaptation The Alphabet Murders (1965), the character's name is changed Don Fortune. Like the original Fraser, he can be violent and forceful. He drags and carries Betty Barnard from the bowling alley for their "date" when Betty appears reluctant. Despite this, when Betty is later found dead, the police don't seem to be interested in him as a suspect. Poirot however breaks into his flat to question him while he is in bed with Mrs Fortune sleeping next to him. Poirot wants to know about "A.B.C.", a mysterious blonde woman whom Poirot had meet twice briefly and whom he thinks is somehow connected with the killings of Albert Aachen and Betty. Don said "A.B.C." was a blonde whom he had chatted up to try to make Betty Barnard jealous. "A.B.C." had given him the runaround. He did not even know her name, only her initials on her handbag. He suggested Poirot go and get details from one Duncan Doncaster, a psychiatrist who apparently treats "A.B.C.". Don doesn't like Doncaster because he is also interested in Betty as a patient. The part of Don Fortune is played by Julian Glover.

In Les Meurtres ABC, the France Televisions adaptation for the series Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie, the parallel character is named Yann Lebras. Here, he works with Yolande, the Megan Barnard parallel. One significant change made in this adaptation is that he doesn't have a bad temper, and thus is not considered as a plausible suspect. Yann is portrayed by Alban Casterman.