- For the character in the 2017 film Murder on the Orient Express named Pilar Estravados, see Greta Ohlsson.
In the novel Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Pilar Estravados is the only granddaughter of Simeon Lee. When she is invited for a Christmas celebration, it is the first time that her English relatives meet her.
Pilar is described as having black hair, "rich creamy pallor", and "eyes with the depth and darkness of night in them", the "sad proud eyes of the South". She wears a locket on a long gold chain, which contains pictures of her mother and father.
When Stephen Farr first meets Pilar on the train from London, he notices that her clothes are cheap, but he associates the quality of splendour with her, feeling that she is splendid, fine and exotic.
Pilar is attracted to men who are "very big, tall", with broad shoulders, and "very, very strong".
Pilar's mother was Simeon Lee's daughter Jennifer. Jennifer had married Juan Estravados, who had died shortly after the marriage. Jennifer died about a year before the events of the novel, leaving Pilar an orphan. Mr Lee then made arrangements for her to come and stay with him at Gorston Hall.
At Gorston Hall, Pilar sits with her grandfather in his room. She tells him that although she does not love him, she likes him very much. She feels that he is more real than the other members of the household, that he has interesting things to say, and has led a life of adventure. She feels that if she were a man, she would have led that kind of life too.
Simeon shows Pilar the uncut diamonds in his safe, and she is awed when she finds out that they are worth several thousands of pounds. She asks him why he does not sell them, since they are worth so much money, and is impressed when he says that he does not need the money.
After Simeon is discovered dead, Pilar picks something up from the floor of his room. This turns out to be a small piece of rubber and a small object made of wood.
Pilar later tells Poirot, Colonel Johnson and Superintendent Sugden that Simeon had called for the whole family to come to his room, and that angry words had been exchanged, which she found "great fun". She says that she likes to see people get angry, but that people in England do not get angry the way that people in Spain do.
Pilar later asks Stephen to dance with her. He says that it would not look good, because they are in a house of mourning. However, she says that she did not know her grandfather, and does not want to cry and be unhappy because he is dead, and that they can put gloves and stockings in the gramophone so that no one will hear the music.
Poirot later asks Pilar for her passport. She accidentally knocks it out of her bedroom window, and has to go downstairs to retrieve it from the flower-bed below.
After Simeon's will is read, it is revealed that Pilar will not inherit anything. Stephen tells her that the Lees will look after her, and she says that is not very amusing. He asks her if she would like to come to South Africa, and she nods. He then asks her if she is good at work, and she says that she does not know.
Pilar tells Stephen that she had read in books that an English Christmas is very gay, and she had thought that she would have laughed more that Christmas. He shows her a store-room full of food and decorations that had originally intended to be used that Christmas. They take some balloons to play with.
Stephen suggests that they send the balloons up into the sky and wish, and Pilar announces that she will wish for a great deal of money. When one of the balloons pops, she says that the piece of rubber that she had picked up in Simeon's room on the day of his death must have been a fragment of a balloon as well.
The family tells Pilar that she is to have her mother's share of Simeon's estate, and that this is a matter of justice, not charity. Pilar refuses to take the money, and says that she is leaving at once.
Pilar returns to her room, where a heavy cannon ball that was balanced on top of her door crashes down. It would have killed her, but her skirt caught on a nail as she was entering the room, and jerked her back.
It is revealed that Pilar was not in her bedroom at the time of the murder, as she had earlier stated. She was in a recess along the passage leading to Simeon's room. She had left the drawing room to go and see Simeon, thinking that he would be pleased to see her. However, she saw that someone else was standing at his door, so she slipped into the recess in order not to be seen.
It is further revealed that the real Pilar died in the Spanish civil war, and the person who had claimed to be Pilar is really a woman called Conchita Lopez. Conchita and Pilar had been travelling together in a car, and Pilar was killed when a bomb hit the car. Conchita took Pilar's passport, and went to England to see if she could impersonate Pilar and become rich. She found it fun wondering if she could get away with it or not.
When Poirot asked for her passport, Conchita threw the passport out of the window and ran down to get it. She rubbed earth on the photograph in nthe passport, to prevent anyone from noticing that the photograph was not of her.