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In the novel The Body in the Library, Mr Harbottle is mentioned by Miss Marple. He lived with his spinster sister, who kept his house, and a young maidservant. After his sister went away to care for a dying relative, he let the maidservant do much as she pleased. She stopped wearing her cap and apron and was sitting down in the drawing room, laughing and talking.

Miss Marple says that Mr Harbottle enjoyed having a young woman about the house, who would tell him how clever and amusing he was, rather than his sister, who would point out his faults. This led him to tell his sister that she had kept house for him long enough, and he was making other arrangements. Despite the village gossip, Miss Marple was sure there was no familiarity of any kind between the old man and the young girl.

Conway Jefferson and Ruby Keene reminded Miss Marple of Mr Harbottle and his maid.

BBC's Miss Marple[]

Mr Harbottle is mentioned by Miss Marple in the BBC adaptation.

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