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Ruth kettering

Ruth Kettering as portrayed in Agatha Christie's Poirot

In The Mystery of the Blue Train, The Honourable Mrs Ruth Kettering (née Van Aldin) was the daughter of Rufus Van Aldin. She was married to the Honourable Derek Kettering.

Ruth was twenty-eight and had auburn hair. She had dark eyes and very black lashes, the effect of which was "slightly enhanced by art". She was tall and slender, and moved well. At first glance, her face appeared to be that of a "Raphael Madonna". However, when one looked closely, one perceived the same line of jaw and chin as in her father's face, which bespoke the same hardness and determination. She had been accustomed to having her own way from childhood onward, and never gave in.

She lived at 160 Curzon Street. The telephone number is Mayfair 81907. Her household included Ada Mason, her maid, and Annie, a housemaid.

Ruth was angry at Derek's behavious, as she had hardly seen him for a month, and he had been going about everywhere with Mirelle. She spoke to both Lord Leconbury and her father about it. Her father advised her to divorce Derek, and she proposed to take his advice.

Ruth loved jewels, and had always done so. She was very happy with the rubies her father gave her, which included the historic "Heart of Fire". Her father advised her to leave the rubies at the bank when she travelled to the Riviera, but she later decided to take them with her.

Before her marriage, Ruth had been involved with the Comte de la Roche, but her father had broken them up. At the time of the events of the novel, Ruth had been seeing the Comte again. Unbeknownst to her father, she was going to meet the Comte in Paris when she travelled to the Riviera.

Ruth travelled to France on the Blue Train. She knew that going to meet the Comte was foolish and reckless, and she was level-headed enough to condemn her own action. But she was swept away by her emotion, and was also determined to get what she wanted.

Ruth met Katherine Grey on the train, and confided in her, saying that she felt bad for deceiving her father, and that she knew it was foolish to meet the Comte, but she could not draw back now. She also said that she had a feeling that something horrible was going to happen.

Ruth was found dead by the conductor of the train, Pierre Michel. She had been strangled, and after death, her face had been disfigured by a heavy blow. Her jewel case, which had contained the rubies and other jewels, was missing.

According to Michel, Ruth had told him that she had been obliged to leave her maid in Paris, so that he only needed to make up one berth. She also told him not to wake her early in the morning.

Characters with a connection to Ruth[]

Rufus Van Aldin - Ruth’s father, who gave Ruth a precious ruby. He didn’t like the fact that Ruth was married to Derek.

Derek Kettering - Ruth’s husband, who married the latter only for inheritance.

Armand, count de la Roche- Ruth’s lover, an amateur burglar

Mirelle - Derek’s lover, a dancer at Parthenon, who wanted Derek to divorce from Ruth. She had the opportunity to kill Ruth

Ada Mason - Ruth Kettering’s personal maid

Role in the novel (several spoilers ahead)[]

Ruth Kettering was strangled and disfigured onboard Le Train Bleu, and her ruby "Heart of Fire" was stolen. Derek was arrested for her murder, and then released by Poirot. The murderer of the case was actually Ada, who had killed Ruth with her accomplice.