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In the novel Dead Man's Folly, Mr Merdell was the eldest son of Old Merdell, and the brother of Mrs Tucker. He came from a family of eleven siblings. He was the head gardener at Nasse House for thirty years and used to occupy the lodge. At the time of the events in the book, he was not longer the head gardener. Amy Folliat had moved into the lodge and the new head gardener, a much younger man with a young wife, had moved into another building on the grounds called "Top Cottage".

Because there are two Merdells who used to work at Nasse House, this is sometimes a cause for confusion, even with Poirot in the book.

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