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In the novel The Body in the Library, Hugo McLean is a friend of Adelaide Jefferson, who is very fond of her. Mark Gaskell likens him to William Dobbin, a character in the novel Vanity Fair. Mark says that Hugo displays dog-like devotion to Adelaide, that she only has to whistle and he will come from wherever he is, and that he always hopes that she will marry him someday. His devotion reminds Miss Marple of Major Bury, who hung around an Anglo-Indian widow for years.

Hugo is described as a "tall middle-aged man with a thin brown face".

At the time of the death of Ruby Keene, Mr McLean was staying at Danebury Head.

When Adelaide takes tennis lessons with Raymond Starr, Hugo appears to be jealous, questioning why she wants to take lessons when she is already quite a good player, and where Raymond comes from. He is even more displeased when Sir Henry Clithering mentions that Raymond is one of the Devonshire Starrs.

At the end of the novel, Adelaide tells Conway Jefferson that she is going to marry Hugo, and he gives the couple his blessing, saying it is about time she married again.


In BBC 1984 adaptation of the novel which formed part of the Miss Marple series, Hugo McLean is played by Martin Read.

Hugo is not featured in the ITV 2004 adaptation of the novel (Episode 1, Season 1 of Agatha Christie's Marple).