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In the novel Elephants Can Remember, The Honourable Julia Carstairs is a friend of Ariadne Oliver, and she was a social acquaintance of Alistair and Margaret Ravenscroft. She is one of the titular “elephants”.

She has a cousin named Roddy Foster, whom she says knew the Ravenscrofts very well in Malaya. Mrs Oliver later finds out that Mrs Carstairs got her cousin's name wrong, and his name is actually Fothergill. According to Mrs Oliver, Mrs Carstairs is always getting people's names wrong.

Mrs Carstairs is over the age of seventy, and is slightly deaf. She remembers voices better than faces, and so she recognises Mrs Oliver after hearing her speak, even though it had been many years since they last met.

Mrs Carstairs lives with her faithful retainer Emma in Hampton Court. She tells Mrs Oliver that the place has many advantages, such as being able to bring one's own furniture, and having a central restaurant where one can have a meal. She says that the grounds are charming and well kept up.

Mrs Carstairs has two daughters, one of whom has two children of her own. The other daughter is doing some "kind of social research" in New Zealand, but Mrs Carstairs is not quite sure exactly what it is.

Mrs Carstairs remembers the Ravenscrofts well, and tells Mrs Oliver that Lady Ravenscroft used to wear wigs. She says that Lady Ravenscroft had four different wigs, and had tried to persuade her to get one.

Mrs Carstairs had a few ideas about what might have motivated General or Lady Ravenscroft to commit suicide. One was that General Ravenscroft had cancer or some disease, but this was not true, according to the medical evidence. Another thing that people had said was that General Ravenscroft had been "tied up" with his secretary. Mrs Carstairs didn't believe this herself, but she did wonder if there was another man in Lady Ravenscroft's life.

Mrs Carstairs also expresses the opinion that it was more likely that General Ravenscroft shot his wife and then himself. This is because if Lady Ravenscroft had wanted to shoot her husband, she would have had to bring the revolver with her in a handbag, and if so it would have to be a rather large handbag.

Mrs Carstairs also remembers that Lady Ravenscroft had once said something about starting a new life, and had mentioned St Teresa of Avila, and how wonderful it was when women got "a sort of second wind". Mrs Carstairs wondered what she meant by it, and thought it might be part of the silly way in which women talk about love-affairs when they are older.