In a later novel Nemesis, Rafiel is mentioned a second time. Here he is dead but a letter to be sent to Miss Marple, asking her to help solve an injustice. His first name "Jason" is mentioned in this second book but not in the first. In the letter to Miss Marple, he signs himself as "J. B. Rafiel".
Mr Rafiel's wife died quite soon after they were married. He has a son called Michael and two daughters, one who died young and one who married and moved to America. According to Esther Anderson, Mr Rafiel never spoke about his son, and Esther gathered that there had been some trouble or scandal.
According to Esther, Mr Rafiel was a man who never said much about his personal feelings or his own life, and was always focused on business, and so she did not know whether he was upset about his son or not. She said that he was a man who would always decide to cut his losses, so if a son turned out to be unsatisfactory, he would perhaps send him money for support, but otherwise never think of him again.
Mr Rafiel had arranged for Mr Broadribb, his solicitor, to contact Miss Marple after his death. Mr Broadribb was to inform her that Mr Rafiel had left her a legacy of twenty thousand pounds, to become hers absolutely, if she was successful in investigating a certain crime. Mr Rafiel also arranged for her to go on the Famous Houses and Gardens tour, and had paid all the expenses.
Shortly before he died, Mr Rafiel wrote to Lavinia Glynne and her sisters, saying that a friend of his would be on the Famous Houses and Gardens tour, and might like to stay with them for a few nights, as that part of the tour was rather strenous. Mr Rafiel was an old friend of Mrs Glynne and her sisters. According to Clotilde Bradbury-Scott, Mr Rafiel had a country house in Kent, where he sometimes entertained business friends or people from abroad, but on the rare occasions that they met him, he had nearly always entertained them in London.
It is revealed that Mr Rafiel's son, Michael, had been charged with killing a girl, and had been committed to an institution. The Governor of this institution, and Professor Wanstead, were of the opinion that a miscarriage of justice had been committed. Professor Wanstead told Mr Rafiel about this, and said that an enquiry might be held.
Mr Rafiel had told Professor Wanstead that he knew that Michael would always be in trouble, was dishonest, and no one could make him go straight. Mr Rafiel had washed his hands of him, although he had always provided money or legal help if it was needed.
Mr Rafiel wanted to get Michael vindicated, and released from confinement, and if someone else had killed the girl, he wanted that fact brought to light and recognized. However, because he was very ill, and had not long to live, he empowered Professor Wanstead as his chief help, and said that he would try to enlist Miss Marple's help as well.
Portrayals[edit | edit source]
In the 1983 Warner Bros adaptation, Mr Rafiel is portrayed by Barnard Hughes.
In the 2013 ITV adaptation, Mr Rafiel is portrayed by Anthony Sher. In this adaptation, he is a rich business man who deals with chemicals and fertilizers. He is less cranky than in other adaptations. He is impressed by Miss Marple's sharp observations and partners up with Miss Marple shortly after the death of Major Palgrave to prevent further killings. He goes with Miss Marple to see Inspector Daventry to persuade him to exhume the Major for example. Upset by the inspector's lack of interest, he tells Miss Marple that they would get to the bottom of the case themselves. In this adaptation he unwittingly contributes two motives for Tim Kendal to want to kill his wife. In the first place, he had secretly willed some money to Esther Walters--something which the snooping Jackson had discovered and had told Tim. Secondly, Rafiel had been trying to buy over the Golden Palms hotel because the land contained valuable guano deposits. Tim welcomed the opportunity but knew that Molly would never sell for sentimental reasons--the hotel had belonged to her parents.