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In the short story The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor, Mrs Maltraver was the young wife of Mr Maltravers, the owner of Marsdon Manor at Marsdon Leigh. At the time of Maltravers' death, she had only been married to him for one year.

To most people, including Hastings, Mrs Maltravers appeared to be a frail and helpless widow to be pitied. Dr Ralph Bernard told Poirot that she was a "very beautiful and charming young creature, but terribly unstrung by this sad catastrophe. A mass of nerves...."

Poirot however discerned that she was a scheming woman. She made a pretence of mourning but Poirot was unconvinced because she had "such heavily-rouged eyelids". Mrs Maltravers have got the idea for the "perfect" murder from a yarn told by a visitor, Captain Black. Poirot did not have any evidence and had to device a ruse involving the supernatural to frighten her into confessing.

Portrayals[]

Mrs Maltravers was played by Geraldine Alexander in the film adaptation of The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor in Series 3 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot. In the adaptation she was given the first name "Susan" which was not used in the original story. In the film, she tried to induce death by natural causes by frightening her husband. She pretended to see ghosts and staged apparitions in the grounds of the manor. When this didn't work, she got the idea for a perfect murder from a news story in a piece of newspaper used to wrap a present Captain Black had given her.

Geraldine Alexander also played the part of Gwenda Reed in the BBC adaptation of Sleeping Murder.

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