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Outlander: What happens to Claire in the books regarding Malva’s murder?

Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser, as seen in Season 6 of Starz's Outlander
Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser, as seen in Season 6 of Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

Episode 7 of Outlander saw the shock arrival of Richard Brown (Chris Larkin) and his Committee of Safety. They declared that they wanted to arrest Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) for the murder of Malva Christie (Jessica Reynolds).

Judging by the preview for next week’s episode, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire are not going down without a fight.

However, how did this all play out in the books?

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses the series of Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid potential spoilers.

Claire Fraser is charged with murder

As in the TV series, Claire is also charged by Richard Brown in the books for the murder of Malva.

Malva died in the Fraser’s yard, but it is unclear yet who killed her. Claire found the body and tried to save Malva’s unborn child, placing her as the first person on the scene or, potentially, the murderer, depending on who you listen to on the Ridge.

Jessica Reynolds stars as Malva Christie in Season 6 of Starz's Outlander
Jessica Reynolds stars as Malva Christie in Season 6 of Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

According to HitC, some time passes between Malva’s death (in May 1775) and the revelation of Malva’s true killer (in November 1776), giving members of the community plenty of time to gossip.

In the Outlander book series, Claire is eventually taken away and tried for Malva’s death. However, Tom Christie (portrayed by Mark Lewis Jones in the TV series) surprisingly steps forward to escort her to New Bern, where the trial is expected to take place.

Tom does this as Richard is wanting Claire tried — and executed — for murder, and Tom wants to make sure she makes it to the trial in one piece. Because let’s face it, Richard is not at all impressed that his brother Lionel (Ned Dennehey) died because of Claire.

Mark Lewis Jones stars as Tom Christie in Season 6 of Starz's Outlander
Mark Lewis Jones stars as Tom Christie in Season 6 of Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

Tom Christie comes to her rescue

Along with escorting Claire, Tom also goes one step further and announces he is Malva’s killer.

This comes about after negotiations with Governor Josiah Martin break down, and it becomes clear that Claire will be tried for murder. Tom confesses to murdering his daughter, thus sparing Claire the death sentence and putting his own neck at risk.

This saves Clarie from the trial and possible execution, but it also raises plenty of questions. Namely, why would Tom do that?

According to the Outlander books, Tom is secretly in love with Claire. He even confesses this to her in the books, but, obviously, nothing comes of it.

As for who really killed Malva? Well, that remains to be seen, and viewers will have to continue watching Outlander in order to find out more.

Alternatively, they can check out this other spoilery article by Monsters and Critics and find out right away.

Season 6 of Outlander currently airs every Sunday night on Starz.

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