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In the novel Ordeal by Innocence, Dr MacMaster is a retired local doctor who saw the children in the Sunny Point house, and formed views on the five children adopted by the Argyles. During World War 2 he served as medical attendant to the war nursery which Rachel Argyle set up. After the war, he continued as the doctor to the children adopted by Rachel Argyle, although Mrs Argyle herself typically went to specialists in Harley Street.

Mr Marshall, the Argyle family lawyer recommended that Arthur Calgary see Dr MacMaster if he wanted background on the family. The doctor knows the family very well and gives Calgary important insights. MacMaster says that it surprised him that Jacko Argyle should have murdered his adoptive mother, mainly because of the "kind of murder" that it was. To the doctor, people like Jacko were "willing for murder, ready to incite murder, but they've not got the nerve tao do murder themselves with their own hands".

As for the rest of the family, contrary to the police opinion that none of them would have a motive because they do not benefit financially from Rachel Argyle's death, MacMaster feels that all of them have a motive. The children all want to hescape and be free of the mother and be themselves. They had been controlled and over-cared-for all these years because of the extreme benificence of Rachel Argyle. As for Leo Argyle, the neglected husband, he had developed an affection for his secretary Gwenda Vaughan but feels it will be impractical to carry on an affair in his own household. The death of his wife must therefore be a great convenience.

Dr MacMaster is described as being an "old man with bushy eyebrows, shrewd grey eyes and a pugnacious chin". He tells Dr Calgary that he has been "bored to death" since his retirement, as he had been a busy man all his life, and did not "take kindly to sitting still".

Dr MacMaster expresses the opinion that no one in the household at Sunny Point seems to be a likely murderer, but he is also unable to rule out any of them as a possibility. He is of the opinion that the police will not be able to get evidence after so much time has passed, and with so little to go on. He compares the Argyle case to the Bravo case.

Dr MacMaster later receives a visit from his young successor, Dr Craig. He is fond of Dr Craig, but sometimes wishes it were easier for Dr Craig to see a joke.

Dr Craig tells Dr MacMaster that when he looks at the household at Sunny Point, he does not feel that any of them are likely to have killed Mrs Argyle, until he comes to Hester. He feels that Hester could have killed Mrs Argyle in a fit of rebellion. Dr MacMaster tells him that it is possible, but is by no means certain. When Dr Craig says that he is prepared to marry Hester even if she did kill Mrs Argyle, as long as she tells him, Dr MacMaster expresses the opinion that they would not be able to live happily in that state. According to him, Dr Craig would be wondering about the bitter taste of his coffee, and thinking that the poker in the grate is too big, and Hester would see him thinking it.

Portrayals[]

In Am Stram Gram, the France Télévisions adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence for the TV series Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie, there is an unnamed doctor portrayed by Denis Cacheux. He was the family physician and had served this role for many years, making him a parallel of MasMaster. He tells Larosière and Lampion that Esther Vallabrègues was at times unstable and manic, and prone to fits of violence.

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