Agatha Christie Wiki

In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Evelyn Howard (sometimes referred to as Old Evie) was Emily Inglethorp's companion, a robust woman of approximately forty years of age. She was vocal about her negative views of Emily marrying Alfred Inglethorp, which presented himself as a distant cousin of Evelyn. She dislikes Alfred, so when Emily dies, she blames him for her murder. Evelyn was described as "not precisely young and beautiful" by John Cavendish, but he pointed out she knew how to do her job. She had blue eyes and a sunburnt face. When he first saw her, Arthur Hastings described Evelyn Howard as "a pleasant-looking woman of about forty, with a deep voice, almost manly in its stentorian tones, and had a sensible square body". Hastings compares Evelyn to frail elderly Daisy Luttrell (Curtain) and says to himself that the two people are completely different.

Evelyn asks Arthur Hastings what his ideal profession was and he replies he would have liked to be the "Sherlock Holmes-ish" type of detective. Evelyn replies that crime novels are filled with nonsense, and that the "everyone dumbfolded" scene where the killed is revealed is not possible. She says that the close relatives of the victim would have known who was the killer, but they couldn't have proven it to a lawyer or a judge. She associates murder to a man, because she believes it is a violent crime. However, Arthur Hastings and Mary Cavendish point out that a woman could also us poisonous substances to kill.

Alfred Inglethorp received all of Emily's fortune, except for their house, which was given to John Cavendish.

Role in the novel (contains several spoilers)[]

Before Emily Inglethorp's death Evelyn Howard stormed out of the house muttering something about "a lot of sharks". She asked Hastings to protect her mistress, since she was afraid that her family would have tried to steal money from her, or worse, kill her.

Emily, before dying, stated that the murderer was Alfred Inglethorp. However, Poirot deduced that the real murderer was someone who disguised as Alfred to deceive the victim. This was supported by the fact that Afred had an alibi. Evelyn Howard accuses Alfred ignoring the new evidence.

A local pharmacist is later called in to testimony that he had sold strychnine (the substance used to poison Emily) to Alfred. He showed the receipt and the sign, and realized that it wasn't actually Alfred's handwriting.

It later turns out that Evelyn and Alfred were working togheter. They agreed to point all evidence towards Alfred, because he had an alibi, and because in England, a person couldn't be considered guilty for a crime in which the person was already proven innocent. The two had also forged John's handwriting to make him go to trial.

The final proof that they were working togheter was a letter sent to Evelyn by Alfred. The letter said that it was all settled, and that it was time to kill Emily. The letter couldn't be sent or thrown away because of the war, so it was hidden in a bedroom at Styles Court.


Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie[]

In La mysterieuse affaire de Styles, the Fránce Télévisions adaptation of the novel, Miss Howard's job was changed, along with her name, alibi, and details. For more information, see the parallel character page Ève Constantin.

Agatha Christie's Poirot[]

In the 1990 Poirot's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" episode (starring Hugh Fraser and David Suchet), Evelyn was portrayed by actress Joanna McCallum. Her role is faithful to the one showed in the original novel.