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Elsa greer

Actress Julie Cox as Elsa Greer in Agatha Christie's Poirot

In the novel Five Little Pigs, Elsa Greer (Lady Elsa Dittisham by marriage) ("had roast beef") is a thirty-six year old spoiled society lady. She is the only daughter of a wealthy Yorkshire manufacturer. Elsa is married to Lord Dittisham.

When she was twenty years old, she modelled for Amyas Crale, and he became smitten with her. Elsa Greer knew that Amyas didn't paint normal people, but she remarked how "she always got what she wanted". Amyas had warned her that if he painted her, he would probably make love to her, and she had said that she hoped he would.

Her estate in Brook Street was described as "the type of house that shows money everywhere; taste, not so much".

Elsa is described as being a very beautiful woman, with black hair "perfectly arranged round her shapely head". Her features are "almost classic" and her make-up is "exquisite". Her eyes are big and grey, "like dead lakes". Poirot gets the impression that Elsa had died young, and that nothing interests her now.

Poirot asks Elsa if she is sure that talkig aout Amyas' death would not be painful to her. She tells him that she is not thin-skinned, and that it would not be painful, but in a way, she wishes it were, because it is "stupid never to feel anything". Poirot is of the opinion that she is a very frank person, who might lie out of necessity but not out of choice.

Elsa tells Poirot that she enjoyed the trial, and fighting Sir Montague Depleach. She had not been ashamed and had not cared what was said to her. She had only wanted to get Caroline hanged.

Poirot notices that Elsa's hands are beautiful, "but with long curving nails", and they are predatory hands. Elsa tells him that it killed her when Amyas died, and that ever since, there had been nothing, when she thought she should go on to the next thing. Poirot can see her "seeking with greedy predatory hands" to fill up her empty life.

The day before Amyas' death, Elsa had told Caroline that Amyas was going to marry her, and that they would live at Alderbury. She did this because Caroline had been talking about a plan that she and Amyas were going to carry out the following year, and Elsa felt that it was "too abominable" to let Caroline go on like that, not knowing that Amyas was going to divorce her.

The following morning, Elsa overheard an argument between Amyas and Caroline, during which Caroline said that she would kill Amyas sooner than she would let him go to Elsa. Elsa then went down to the Battery garden to sit for Amyas.

After Amyas was found dead, Elsa was convinced that Caroline had killed him, and tried to attack her. She was restrained by Philip Blake, and later given a sedative by Miss Williams.

Role in the novel (warning, may contain spoilers)[]

Elsa believed Amyas was going to leave his wife Caroline and marry her instead. However, it is revealed that Amyas had no such plans. He only wanted to finish the picture he was painting of Elsa, and after that he intended to break it off with her. It is further revealed that this was the subject of the argument between Amyas and Caroline on the morning of his death, and that the account Elsa had given of what she had overheard from that argument was untrue.

Elsa had seen Caroline steal coniine from Meredith Blake's laboratory. She took it from Caroline's room, and used it to poison Amyas' beer. She was exposed sixteen years later by Poirot. However he lets Elsa go.

Name[]

The married name of Elsa Greer, Dittisham, is the same as a town on the opposite side of the River Dart from Greenway.

Portrayals[]

In the Agatha Christie's Poirot episode adapted from Five Little Pigs, she was portrayed by actress Julie Cox.

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