Dramatis Personae #AtoZChallenge 2022 Murder Motives

Here is a list of all of the suspects I have covered in this A to Z, with links.

***UPDATE: I see that Sue Ranscht has kindly also made a list of the suspects. Thank you Sue! To check out Sue’s list, look at her comment under Zoe’s Zodiac. It is in many cases more detailed than my list!***


Annabelle, Sir Adam’s second wife. Would much rather be married to Sir Adam’s brother Gregory.

Bruce, Sir Adam’s secretary. Isn’t really Bruce; he took a dead man’s identity in the Great War. Sir Adam is blackmailing him.

Cecil, Sir Adam’s old friend. They had a falling out, and Cecil was about to be evicted from the cottage he rented from Sir Adam.

Dr. Daniel, Sir Adam’s doctor and friend. He recently learned that Sir Adam was dying of cancer. Might he have decided to save him from months of slow dying?

Eli, Sir Adam’s daughter Ingrid’s intended. Sir Adam opposes the marriage because Eli is Jewish.

Freddie, Sir Adam’s neighbor. Freddie and Sir Adam had a falling out over the sale of some property.

Gregory, Sir Adam’s younger brother. Gregory wants to marry Meghan, but Sir Adam stands in the way of the union.

Hattie, Sir Adam’s niece. Sir Adam refused to help her open a hat shop, and was rude about it.

Ingrid, Sir Adam’s daughter (by his first wife). Ingrid wants to marry Eli, but without her father’s approval she will have to wait another two years. Also, she’ll be disinherited. Meanwhile, Sir Adam is trying to force her into marrying Quinton.

Josephine, Sir Adam’s mistress, wife of Freddie. Sir Adam has been ignoring her of late.

Kathy, a tenant on Sir Adam’s estate. Years ago, she killed her husband with poison. Might she have done it again?

Leonard, Sir Adam’s solicitor. He has been embezzling money from Sir Adam for years to pay a blackmailer. And Sir Adam was about to find him out.

Meghan, Sir Adam’s cousin, and his wife Annabelle’s unpaid companion. Wants to marry Gregory, but Sir Adam will expose her horrible secret if she does.

Nobody, in which the possibility of self-slaughter is mooted.

Ollie, Sir Adam’s illegitimate half-brother. Or is Sir Adam the illegitimate one?

Polly, Sir Adam’s neighbor. She is behind the poison-pen epidemic that has of late been plaguing the village of Clutterbuck Parva. Sir Adam was about to find her out.

Quinton, Sir Adam’s aristocratic neighbor. Sir Adam has discovered that Quinton is gay, and is using this knowledge to blackmail Quinton into paying court to Sir Adam’s daughter Ingrid.

Ravi, Sir Adam’s long-ago partner in scientific research. Sir Adam stole Ravi’s discovery and published it as his own.

Stella, Sir Adam’s first wife. A mystery writer. She is in the village under a pseudonym, secretly watching over the happiness of her daughter Ingrid.

Timothy, Sir Adam’s old friend. Timothy and Sir Adam are the last survivors of a valuable tontine.

Ulric, Sir Adam’s grumpy uncle. He lives in the moldering Elizabethan wing of the house and sulks.

The Vicar of Clutterbuck Parva, Sir Adam’s spiritual advisor. He and the deceased had a fierce quarrel, lately.

Wilhelmina, Sir Adam’s neighbor. An attractive young widow. Sir Adam has been harassing her with his unwanted attentions.

Xavier, Sir Adam’s cousin. Long ago, they loved the same girl. Now, Xavier has found evidence suggesting that Sir Adam may have murdered her.

Yuri, a stranger at the local inn. He believes that Sir Adam was with him on an ill-fated Himalayan expedition several years ago, and that Sir Adam ran off with the Yeti specimens he collected.

Zoe, Sir Adam’s neighbor. Astrologically inclined. She may have seen Sir Adam’s death in the stars.

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  1. Lovely! I think you’ve included more salient detail than I did. Thank you!

  2. Many thanks to you both. After all, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard!
    So, I am not able to narrow it down to a single top suspect, but here are my thoughts.
    I do not think Annabelle should be discounted. The unhappy wife is always a very right and proper prime suspect.
    Bruce, too, should not be allowed to be swept away by subsequent letters of the alphabet.
    Kathy and Polly both seem to me to have weaker motives, but we do know they are both poisonous types, so I think they should remain firm possibilities.
    But my top two scenarios are EITHER Timothy, whose means, motive, opportunity, and personality all combine for an extremely high suspicion quotient…
    OR Freddie and Josephine in cahoots all along. Josephine tried to seduce Sir Adam with Freddie’s knowledge and encouragement, in order to wheedle the sale out of him. But when the affair seemed to have fallen apart, they realize they’re going to have to resort to more drastic measures. Freddie knows that his public altercations will cause him to be questioned pretty sharply, so he has busily established rock-solid alibis for relevant time periods. Meanwhile Josephine has put the poison in the bottle, with Freddie providing her a false alibi which they are counting on not be questioned too closely because everyone knows the couple are arguing and estranged over this affair of Josephine’s, so why, people will think, would Freddie lie to save her when he hates her anyway?

    • I’m happy to help even a little.

      Your list of possible suspects is interesting! I like the idea of Josephine and Freddie in cahoots.

    • Annabelle has possibilities. For one thing, she’s not very nice, so readers wouldn’t mind too much if she hangs for murder. For another, she does have a motive (or she thinks she does!). And maybe all of her husband’s philandering has also irritated her.

      Bruce is also a sound suspect, I think. It all depends on the details of the long-ago crime he is suspected of. Hm…

      Kathy and Polly are known to be poisonous, so yes, they might have done it, though I think Kathy’s motive is a touch weak.

      Timothy, eh? Hm… I guess he is a fairly suspicious individual. Lurking about like he was doing. And the motive is strong.

      The Freddie/Josephine thing is really fun, and I like the way it turns what we know (or think we know) on its head. That is important, for a Big Reveal.

  3. A very intriguing premise 🙂

    • Thank you! I visited your website and see that you did your A to Z on crime novels, so I’ll have to have a good long read-through of your entries when I get a moment! Looks like you are covering new-er stuff, which I don’t know much about, so it should be interesting.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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