In Murder on the Orient Express, Susanne Michel was the only daughter of Pierre Michel, and the nursemaid of the Armstrong family. She was described as "a pretty laughing girl". She was accused of being involved in the kidnapping of Daisy Armstrong, but it was later found that she was innocent. She had chatted idly with someone, giving information about the time of Daisy's outings, not knowing that this information would be used by the kidnappers. Susanne was greatly distressed at being accused of involvement in the kidnapping, and threw herself out of a window.
Portrayals[edit | edit source]
Murder on the Orient Express (1974) [edit | edit source]
In the 1974 movie, the character's name is changed to Paulette Michel. She was not the nursemaid but the personal maid of Mrs Armstrong. Newpapers reported that she had been in the garden house with a man (thought to be Cyrus Hardman but never confirmed) at 3 a.m. on the night of the kidnapping. She had witnessed the getaway car. The news coverage speculated that she might have been part of an "inside job". Like in the original story, she committed suicide by throwing herself out of the window after coming under suspicion for being involved in the kidnapping. Paulette was a good friend of the cook Hildegarde Schmidt. Schmidt gave Poirot a photo of Paulette and he used it to elicit reactions from Pierre Michel and Cyrus Hardman.
Murder on the Orient Express (2001) [edit | edit source]
In the 2001 movie, the character's first name is not given. Similar to the novel, she was the nursemaid of the Armstrong family. She does not appear in person in this adaptation. However, she is briefly seen in a video, where she is being arrested. Poirot explains that the police were desperate to arrest somebody, and they believed that she had knowledge of the crime. The girl later managed to hang herself in her cell. This is different from the novel, where it was not stated whether she was arrested or not, and where she committed suicide by throwing herself out of a window.
Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express computer game (2006) [edit | edit source]
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010) [edit | edit source]
In the 2010 adaptation, this character is named Francoise, and she is the Armstrong family's maid. As in the novel, she is the daughter of Pierre Michel. She and the Armstrong family's chauffeur, Antonio Foscarelli, were lovers. This is different from the novel, where Cyrus Hardman was her lover. The character of Cyrus Hardman does not appear in this adaptation. Francoise committed suicide after being suspected of involvement in Daisy's kidnapping. Foscarelli stated that she had innocently chatted with someone, revealing information about the Armstrong house, including when the nursemaid would be off, not knowing that this information would be used by the kidnappers.
Poirot found a photograph of Francoise with Hildegarde Schmidt. Similar to the 1974 adaptation, he shows the photograph to Pierre Michel, to elicit a reaction from him.