In Agatha Christie's murder mystery play The Mousetrap , Mrs. Boyle is one of the guests at Monkswell Manor, an old home newly-refurbished as a guest house. Mrs. Boyle is a pompous, pretentious, middle-aged woman who complains constantly and who looks down at the world around her with displeasure...
In Agatha Christie's murder mystery play The Mousetrap, Mrs. Boyle is one of the guests at Monkswell Manor, an old home newly-refurbished as a guest house. Mrs. Boyle is a pompous, pretentious, middle-aged woman who complains constantly and who looks down at the world around her with displeasure and disdain.
Mrs. Boyle is described at her entrance as "a large, imposing woman in a very bad temper." She enters the play already complaining that no one from the Manor came to meet her at the train station, that the taxi driver wouldn't come up to the Manor because the snow hadn't been cleared from the driveway, and that she's displeased that Mollie Ralston, owner of the Manor, seems very young and inexperienced. She says, "To be running an establishment of this kind. You can't have had much experience."
Throughout the first act, Mrs. Boyle continues complaining and making caustic, disapproving remarks about everyone and everything, including the weather, the paint, the lack of servants and a "proper staff," the breakfast, the "cornbeef" lunch, the insufficient heat coming from the radiators, and the fact that someone else was put up in the "best bedroom" instead of her. "No, indeed, I shan't stay here long," she says.
Towards the end of the act, it's revealed that Mrs. Boyle was once a magistrate and that she sent three children to live with foster parents at Longridge Farm, where they were abused and the youngest child was killed. She disavows any responsibility for her actions and the subsequent tragic events. "I can hardly be held responsible," she protests. "The farm people seemed very nice and were most anxious to have the children . . . But how was I to know?"
At the end of act one, Mrs. Boyle is sitting alone in the Great Hall, listening to the radio and reading a magazine. She hears someone whistling "Three Blind Mice," turns to the sound, and recognizes the person who is whistling. The lights suddenly go out, and the radio blares at full volume. Then there's the sound of a scuffle, a gurgling sound, and the sound of a body falling to the floor.
Mollie Ralston returns from the kitchen to the Great Hall, turns on the lights, turns down the radio, and finds Mrs. Boyle lying dead on the floor. Apparently, Mrs. Boyle has been strangled.