In John Curran's "Agatha Christie's Notebooks", Curran brings up the point that Cora Lansquenet's death in After The Funeral is "one of Christie's most brutal and bloody murders" and he elaborates that "the reason for the savagery of the killing in After The Funeral is not justified by the plot and it is difficult to understand why this method was adopted by the killer, or indeed, by Christie [....] stabbing or any other blunt instrument would have met the killer's requirement."
Curran mentions how the deaths of Miss Sainsbury Seale in One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Simeon Lee in Hercule Poirot's Christmas seem to fit the motive of the crimes. Why was Cora's death handled the way it was in such a violent and horrific fashion by Agatha Christie? Why did Miss Gilchrist use a hatchet by all means and not any other weapon or poison? Was the use of a hatchet a demonstration of a deep seething hatred Miss Gilchrist had for her employer? Did they both have their scuffles? Was Cora bossy, fussy, or rude?
What do you make of Curran's observation?
Griselda: " I still can't remember what that term is for when a third person
narrative uses element of the first person in the choice of grammatical
features used for the telling of a section about a particular person,
and slipping into their words."
I believe the term is free indirect discourse. It is a fancy way of describing situations in a book when the thoughts/feelings of an individual character is melded with the narrator's voice so one cannot tell whose opinion is actually being expressed.
One example of free indirect discourse is the description of Lady Russell's opinions of Anne Elliot's engagement to Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen's Persuasion. Here the narrator's and Lady Russell's individual voices blur together: "Anne Elliot, so young; known to so few, to be snatched off by a stranger without alliance or fortune; or rather sunk by him into a state of most wearing, anxious, youth-killing dependence! It must not be, if by any fair interference of friendship, any representations from one who had almost a mother's love and mother's rights, it could be prevented."