Agatha Christie Wiki

In the novel Ordeal by Innocence, Maureen Clegg is the wife of Jacko Argyle. Jacko kept his marriage to Maureen a secret from his family as he believed that his family would never accept her and in any case, his mother Rachel Argyle would simply want to run her life as she seemed to want to do with everyone. After Jacko's death, Maureen's mother encouraged her to go to Sunny Point to tell the family about her marriage in the hope that they would help her out. Some members of the household, especially Kirsten Lindstrom were shocked that Jacko had a wife but Leo Argyle took it in his stride and gave Maureen a weekly allowance.

At the time of the events in the book, Maureen had remarried to Joe Clegg and works as an usherette, selling snacks in a movie theatre. When Arthur Calgary goes to interview her, she tells him about Jacko's character. Maureen was not surprised that Jacko had been arrested for the murder of Rachel Argyle. He had a very nasty temper and when he went to see his mother, he appeared to be worried and was obviously in some kind of trouble, although he would not tell Maureen what it was about. Jacko also had tendency to prey on middle-aged woman to swindle them of their money and she mentions one such case involving the wife of a garage owner that Jacko worked for. Jacko cheated the owner of some money but managed to get his wife to persuade her husband to drop the charges if the money was paid back. She then preceeded to use her own money for the purpose.

Maureen is described as having "a pretty, rather vapid little face, plastered with make-up, eyebrows plucked, hair hideous and stiff in a cheap perm."


Ordeal by Innocence (1984)[]

In the Cannon Films 1984 adaptation, Maureen is portrayed by Cassie Stuart. Like in most other adaptations, she also works as an usherette in a cinema. In this adaptation she did not remarry. She is still single and takes an interest in Arthur Calgary. Here she supplies different information from the original. According to her, she was surprised people thought Jacko did the killing from a fit of uncontrollable rage. He was always in control. She told Calgary that Jacko used to beat her. It was frightening but she does not think it was a matter of Jacko having a temper. He actually like it. Later Maureen tells Calgary that at the night of Rachel's murder, Hester was actually at her cinema watching a show--which contradicted her statement to the police that she was with Kirsten. In this adaptation the information about Jacko preying on middle-aged women comes from Hester.

Agatha Christie's Marple (2007)[]

In the 2007 ITV adaptation which was episode 2 of series 3 of Agatha Christie's Marple, Maureen is portrayed by Andrea Lowe. Here what she tells Gwenda Vaughan and Arthur Calgary follows the same lines as in the original novel especially as regards Jacko's tactic of preying on middle-aged women. She does not mention any one specific but Arthur Calgary later interviews Mrs Lindsay. As for Jacko going up to get money from his mother, he did not usually do this as it would usually not work. So Jacko must have been really desperate when went to see Rachel the night she was murdered. Jacko looked really scared. According to Maureen, the bookie that Jacko owed money to was a gangster and Jacko really believed that his life was at risk.

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha (2009)[]

In Am Stram Gram, the France Télévisions adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence for the TV series Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie, the parallel character is Rose Vallabrègues.