In the novel Nemesis, Verity Hunt was a young woman who had lived in Jocelyn St Mary, with her guardians Clotilde and Anthea Bradbury-Scott. She died years before the events of the novel, however Miss Marple is asked by Jason Rafiel posthumously to revisit the crime and find out the truth.

Biography

Past

Verity's parents died when she was young she was then cared for by Clotilde Bradbury-Scott and her sister Anthea. Verity's life with the sisters was a happy one she spent many a day in the Greenhouse and did well at school. After she finished School where Elizabeth Temple was School Mistress, Clotide took her to Europe several times. However despite the future Clotide has planned, Verity wanted to know more of life, she became good friends with Nora Broad, who was street smart and openly promiscuous. She met Michael Rafiel, quickly falling in love with him, he proposed and Archdeacon Brabazon despite his doubts agreed to marry them seeing that they were in love.

Before they were married she was murdered, and Michael was accused of being the murderer. However Michael was imprisoned rather than executed, psychologist Professor Wanstead analysed him and declared to Jason that his son was unable to be a murderer. Verity was buried in a small grave in the church, upon seeing it, Miss Marple feels there is wrong due to it's plain nature.

Present

Miss Marple is asked to revisit the crime, upon meeting Temple (before her death), Wanstead and Brabazon asking questions about the girl, upon asking about Nora Broad, she discovers from Wanstead that her Mother thinks her dead due to their close relationship and the behaviour of the Bradbury-Scott when she talks about her. With this she meets with the sisters to announce why Rafiel asked her to solve the crime and that she has the solution.

Solution

SPOILERS AHEAD

At 3am she confronts Clotide about the truth, she found out about the relationship of Verity and Michael's so she poisoned her the day before then she beat Nora Broad to death and falsely identifies the disfigured girl as Verity, she buried Verity in the Greenhouse. After being saved by Miss Barrow and Cooke, Clotide committed suicide by drinking the poisoned milk she intended for Miss Marple.

Miss Marple tells the story to the Home Secretary, Michael Rafiel is set freed, he is gifted a picture of Verity that his Father wanted him to have.

Adaptation

BBC's Miss Marple

In BBC's 1987 adaptation of the novel the depiction of Verity is largely faithful to the original novel with some minor changes. In this adaptation Michael Rafiel was charged with Verity's murder but discharged because psychological evaluation by Professor Wanstead showed that he was incapable of the deed. Verity Hunt had a tombstone in the local churchyard at Abbey Ducis which Miss Marple noted was very plain for a girl who was so much loved. The greenhouse at the Old Manor House had not completely collapsed and Verity is buried in a mound there. Verity does not actually appear in person in the episode and is mentioned only.

ITV's Agatha Christie's Marple

In ITV's 2007 adaptation, Verity Hunt's backstory is totally changed. The only plot elements retained are in some of the circumstances leading to her death and how the body was hidden. In this adaptation, Verity was the daughter of a maid in the employment of Lord Forrester who actually fathered her. Amanda Dalrymple, Forrester's niece, drove her from the house at Forrester Grange because she feared Verity would threaten her chance of inheriting from Forrester's will. Verity subsequently lodged with Sydney Lumley but fled from him when his attentions became overbearing and he wanted her to marry him. She escaped to Medhurst where the nuns at Saint Elspeth's Convent took her in as a novice. During the Second World War, she rescued and nursed a German pilot Michael Faber and fell in love with him. They planned to run away together but Sister Clotilde Merryweather loved Verity too much and killed her. She then disguised the body as that of an unknown soldier being nursed at the convent. The body was then buried in a grave to an unknown soldier at the convent (see Martin Waddy for more details). Verity is seen at the beginning of the episode and in a few other scenes in flashback. She is portrayed by Laura Michelle Kelly.

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