In the novel After the Funeral, Maude Abernethie is Timothy’s wife. A powerfully built, capable and highly practical woman, she is a devoted wife and spends most of her time managing the life and answering to the needs of her invalid husband. She is constantly advising others not to distress or strain him too much and to be mindful of his condition. Not being very well off, she has mastered all the skills needed to conserve household expenses, being an accomplished cook, cleaner, nurse and vehicle mechanic.
Yet Mr Entwhistle, the family solicitor, thinks of her as an object of pity. She has no children but is a woman "built for motherhood". The love she has for her husband is thus maternal love. "Her invalid husband had become her child, to be shielded, guarded, watched over." Being stronger in character than her husband, she had probably caused her husband to think of himself as being more sickly than he really is.
Her devotion put her, in Poirot's mind, among the possible, if not probably, suspects in the various killings he had to investigate. Timothy's well being is at stake, and Timothy is Maude's child and "where her child is concerned she would be ruthless".