Agatha Christie Wiki

In the novel After the Funeral, Dr Larraby was the doctor of Richard Abernethie. He had been attending Richard for some time and knew he had been in poor health. When Richard died, Larraby certified the death as due to natural causes. However, when questioned by Mr Entwhistle later, he could not rule out unnatural causes.

Knowing Richard well, Larraby believed that he was not the suicidal type. Asked to speculate on the possibility of murder and the possible poisons Richard could have been given, Larraby thought it would have to be a narcotic of some sort as the attitude was quite peaceful and there was no sign of cynosis. Larraby had prescribed Slumberyl as a hypnotic but he noted that the bottle was still quite full after Richard's death. He had also prescribed vitamin capsules containing adexoline. He admitted that someone could have extracted the oil and replaced it with something like pure nicotine or some other substance. Entwhistle asked whether it was possible to give Richard a drug which would only take effect weeks later. Larraby thought this was a convenient but untenable idea.


Dr Larraby is played by Dominic Jephcott in the film adaptation of the book in Season 10 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot series. His remarks about Richard Abernethie's death are much the same as in the novel except that this takes place with both Entwhistle and Poirot who does most of the questioning. Asked to speculate on what kind of poison it would take for a death to pass easily as natural, he said it would have to be some kind of narcotic so that there would be no sign of cyanosis (he did not mention pure nicotine). The poison could probably inserted into his vitamin capsules or food. The topic of a slow acting drug was not discussed. When pressed, Larraby said he could not say with certainty that there is no possibility of poisoning. He admitted that he was a bit surprised that Richard was cremated.