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In the novel A Caribbean Mystery, Colonel Edward Hillingdon is the husband of Evelyn and an avid nature lover. They are botanists, and are also interested in birds. He has children at a boarding school and has an affair with Lucky.

Colonel Hillingdon is described as being a "dark lean man". Miss Marple thinks that he looks like a nice man, who is quiet but charming. When she first meets him, she is unsure what village parallel to compare him to, because he is one of "those quiet men with good manners". She thinks that one never knows what such people are thinking about, and sometimes they surprise you. She remembers that Major Harper had quietly cut his throat one day, and no one knew why.

According to Esther Walters, the Hillingdons had been visiting that part of the world for three or four years. Miss Prescott believed that the Hillingdons had a nice place in England and travelled most of the winter, so she thought they were well off.

It is revealed that Evelyn had known of her husband's affair with Lucky, but neither of them wanted a divorce. Colonel Hillingdon further reveals that Lucky had made him copy out a prescription and get some drugs at the chemist for her, and he had done so without knowing what she wanted them for. Lucky used the drugs to poison Gail Dyson, and then told Colonel Hillingdon that they were in it together. He explains that even though he no longer cared for Lucky, and had even come to hate her, she made him feel as though he were tied to her.

Towards the end of the novel, Lucky is found dead, and Colonel Hillingdon tells Miss Marple that he is glad she is dead.

Portrayals[]

In the 1983 Warner Bros adaptation, Edward Hillingdon is portrayed by George Innes.

In the BBC 1989 adaptation, Edward Hillingdon is portrayed by Micheal Feast. There is no mention of him being a colonel or ex-military. Here Edward is also an entomologist specialising in butterflies like Greg Dyson and they work together. Like in the original, he also has an affair with Lucky Dyson. It is because of Lucky's influence that Greg has been financing their butterfly expeditions all along. Their last expedition had been to St. Kitts and Nevis. That was where Greg's previous wife Mary Dyson had died of cancer while being nursed by Lucky. Like in the original, Edward forged the signature on a prescription to obtain morphine with which Lucky killed Mary. In this adaptation, he knew that was what the drug was for and was therefore complicit in her death. At the end of the show, Edward decides to go back to England and make a confession and accept the consequences if any. He tells his wife Evelyn that she will have to tell the children. He is content wherever he ends up as long as they know he is there because he told the truth.

In the 2013 ITV adaptation, Hillingdon is played by Alastair Mackenzie. Here he is addressed as Colonel occasionally but he doesn't talk about his military background. He is a keen ornithologist and works with Greg Dyson who is a wildlife photographer. His ornithology background provides the vehicle for one of the unique sideplots of this adaptation: he helps to arrange a talk by James Bond, the author of "Birds of the West Indies" (a real life individual). Besides the hotel guests, there is in the audience one Ian Fleming, who tells Miss Marple he planning on writing a spy novel but is stuck because he can't think of a suitable name for the hero--that is under he attends the lecture. Like in the original, Lucky Dyson used Edward to get a drug from a pharmacy which was used to kill her first husband. There is also a scene where Miss Marple sees Edward going into a pharmacy in town, with Lucky waiting outside. It is possible that he was going in to get some cocaine for her--she had earlier asked Victoria Johnson for the address of the supplier. In this adaptation, Lucky was a cocaine addict.

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