Agatha Christie Wiki

In the novel Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Lydia Lee is the wife of Alfred. She and Alfred live at Gorston Hall, with Alfred's father, Simeon Lee.

Lydia is described as an "energetic, lean greyhound of a woman". She is "amazingly thin", but all her movements have a "swift, startled grace about them". Her face is "careless" and "haggard", which is described as having no beauty, but having distinction. Her voice is charming.

At the beginning of the novel, Lydia tells Alfred that she dislikes Simeon. She admits that Simeon is generous with money, but that he expects Alfred and herself to behave like slaves. She tells Alfred that he ought to stand up to his father.

Lydia also tells Alfred that he always seems to have no consciousness of the evil in the world, whereas she can feel the presence of evil, and she has felt it in the house.

Lydia creates miniature gardens along the terrace at Gorston Hall. These include a desert scene, an Italian garden, an Arctic scene, a Japanese garden, and a scene of the Dead Sea.

Lydia is in the drawing room when the noise of furniture being overturned, and a scream, is heard from Simeon's room upstairs. When Simeon is discovered dead, she quotes, "Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?..."

Lydia is with Alfred when he is interviewed by Poirot, Colonel Johnson and Superintendent Sugden. Alfred is dazed by the shock of his father's death, but Colonel Johnson is approving of how sensible and competent Lydia is. She is able to answer the questions clearly, and calms Alfred down when he becomes upset. She also offers to send the other members of the family in to be interviewed.

It is revealed that the uncut diamonds that were stolen from the safe in Simeon's bedroom were hidden amongst the pebbles in Lydia's miniature Dead Sea garden.

Poirot later tells Lydia that Alfred has asked him to stay at the house, and do his utmost to solve the case. He asks Lydia if she endorses this invitation. She tells him that she does, and he asks her if she wants the truth to come out. She is concerned that if the murderer is a member of the family, bringing that person to justice will mean bringing shame and disgrace to all of them, and she does not want this to happen. However, Poirot says that if no one ever finds out who the murderer is, suspicion will remain on all of them alike, even the innocent. In the end, Lydia tells him that he must accept the invitation to stay and solve the case.

After the reading of Simeon's will, the family begin to quarrel, and Lydia tells them to discuss the matters quietly and sanely, one at a time, with Alfred speaking first because he is the eldest.

After Alfred says that Pilar Estravados should be allowed to make her home at Gorston Hall and given an allowance, but not her mother Jennifer's share of the inheritance, Lydia puts forth her opinion that Pilar has no legal claim, but has a moral claim. She explains that when Simeon sent for Mr Charlton, he must have meant to allot Pilar her mother's share of the inheritance, or even more, because she is the only grandchild. She says that the least they can do is to remedy any injustice that Simeon was preparing to remedy.

At the end of the novel, Lydia tells Pilar that she had better stay with them until they can make other arrangements for her. Pilar says that she is going to marry Stephen Farr and go to South Africa with him. She asks if they may come and visit Alfred and Lydia, perhaps at Christmas time. Lydia tells her that they can visit, and experience a real English Christmas.

Alfred and Lydia decide to sell Gorston Hall. She begins work on a new garden, which is an attempt at the Garden of Eden. It is a new version, without a serpent, and Adam and Eve are middle-aged.