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Elaine Ives-Cameron

In the novel A Murder is Announced, Mitzi is the cook/housekeeper at Little Paddocks in Chipping Cleghorn. She is a fugitive from an unspecified European country (in “Mittel Europe”). She claimed that her mother, her little brother, and her sweet little niece all had been killed. She also thought that the Nazis, or perhaps the Bolsheviks, were coming to kill her.

She is described as "a tempestuous young woman with a well-developed bosom. She has dark eyes, and dark hair, which she wears in plaits wound round her head. She is temperamental, and often becomes upset with other people. On one occasion, she became upset with Julia Simmons, because she had used a certain frying pan for frying onions, when Mitzi used it only for making omelettes. She then said that she would not let Julia use her kitchen.

She is known for making a chocolate cake that Patrick Simmons, much to her dismay, calls "Delicious Death". She later gave the recipe to Phillipa Haymes, but said that the recipe was not to be shared with Julia, because Julia had ruined her omelette pan.

In one significant sideplot, Mitzi tells the police that she heard Rudi Scherz talking to a woman whom she assumed to be "Phillipa Haymes". She overhead a conversation where Scherz asked where he should hide and the woman told him he would she would show him.

As part of the denouement, Miss Marple asked Mitzi to help stage a scene to entice the killer to emerge into the open by pretending that she had witnessed everything. MIss Marple later said she had to rehearse Mitzi thoroughly and exhaustively because she was afraid that given Mitzi's excitable nature, she might speak to soon. In the end, Mitzi play her part perfectly and exposed the killer, at some risk to her own life.

At the end of the book, Julia Simmons says that Mitzi had taken up a new post near Southampton. She was apparently quite proud of the role she played in helping Miss Marple and the police catch the killer.

Portrayals[]

In the BBC 1985 adaptation of the novel which formed part of the Miss Marple series, Mitzi was renamed Hannah and was portrayed by Elaine Ives-Cameron. The portrayal is close to that of the book. She is a refugee from somewhere in Eastern Europe--she says "all her life she has been pursued by men in uniform". Of her nationality, she would say, "I do not know. I have not read the newspapers today." The same staged act to expose the killer is depicted faithfully.

In the ITV 2005 adaptation of the novel, Mitzi was given the name Mitzi Kosinski and was portrayed by Catherine Tate. She is Polish and has a larger role in the plot. At the butcher's shop, she had heard that Amy Murgatroyd could have seen who was not there in the room during the shooting of Rudi Scherz. She must have mentioned this to Miss Blacklock her employer. Towards the end of the show, when Mitzi learnt that Amy had been killed, she surmised that Miss Blacklock must have killed Amy because of what she might have seen. Mitzi grabs a kitchen knife and charges at Miss Blacklock, accusing her of killing Amy and Rudi Scherz and is narrowly stopped by Inspected Craddock. It is not clear if this incident is staged by Miss Marple but probably not.

In the 1999 BBC Radio adaptation, Mitzi was portrayed by actress Jenny Funnell.

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