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Siobhan Hayes as Mary Hill in Agatha Christie's Marple

In the novel Murder at the Vicarage, Mary Hill was the maid at the vicarage at the time of the murder of Colonel Protheroe. She has been dating Archer for two years.

Mary is not a good cook, and has poor manners. However, Griselda continues to employ her, as she and her husband cannot afford to pay a servant highly, and Griselda feels that if Mary were a better cook and had good manners, she would leave to take a post offering higher wages.

Mary is called as a witness during the inquest, where she gives evidence that Colonel Protheroe arrived at the vicarage at a quarter past six, and that she had not heard a shot.

After the inquest, she returns to the vicarage, and finds Lettice Protheroe in the study. Lettice says she is looking for her hat, and when Mary says she has not seen it, Lettice says that Mary would not be likely to notice, as she does not spend much time cleaning. Mary is so offended by this, that she gives notice, and intends to leave. However, the vicar tells her that her mistress would be sorry to lose her. Mary decides to stay, as she does not want to cause her mistress any inconvenience.

Christie would reuse the name Mary Hill again in another work shortly thereafter. Both of them are in service, and both are in Miss Marple stories but the personalities are quite different.

Portrayals

In the BBC 1986 adaptation of the novel which formed part of the Miss Marple series, Mary is played by Rachel Weaver. Her name is changed to "Mary Wright". Like in the original novel, she has a relationship with the poacher Bill Archer.

In the ITV 2004 adaptation of the novel (Episode 2, Season 1 of Agatha Christie's Marple), the name of the character revverts to "Mary Hill". She is played by Siobhan Hayes. She also has a relationship with the poacher who, this time, has the name "Frank Tarrant". In this adaptation she was the one, and not Mrs Price-Ridley who heard a sneeze around the time of the murder.

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