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A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Let us explain: Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' office when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain rye grain. What is that all about? It was another incident, this time in the parlo A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Let us explain: Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' office when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain rye grain. What is that all about? It was another incident, this time in the parlour at his home, which confirmed Jane Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme! Librarian's note: this entry is for one of 13 books in the Miss Marple series which includes twelve novels and a collection of short stories. There are 20 short stories about Miss M.; they can be found by searching Goodreads for: "a Miss Marple Short Story."


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A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Let us explain: Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' office when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain rye grain. What is that all about? It was another incident, this time in the parlo A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Let us explain: Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' office when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain rye grain. What is that all about? It was another incident, this time in the parlour at his home, which confirmed Jane Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme! Librarian's note: this entry is for one of 13 books in the Miss Marple series which includes twelve novels and a collection of short stories. There are 20 short stories about Miss M.; they can be found by searching Goodreads for: "a Miss Marple Short Story."

30 review for A Pocket Full of Rye

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    A rich dude chokes on his tea, and in his pocket the fuzz find...RYE. Nefarious, I say! Or maybe not. For some reason, Pocket Full of Rye seemed like a more complex story than what you normally get from one of Agatha's murder mysteries. <--I have no evidence for that statement, it's just this feeling I got while I was reading it. I mean, there are always red herrings in Christie's books. Sometimes even blue and yellow herrings. All those delicious, delicious herrings... But there were a lot of people A rich dude chokes on his tea, and in his pocket the fuzz find...RYE. Nefarious, I say! Or maybe not. For some reason, Pocket Full of Rye seemed like a more complex story than what you normally get from one of Agatha's murder mysteries. <--I have no evidence for that statement, it's just this feeling I got while I was reading it. I mean, there are always red herrings in Christie's books. Sometimes even blue and yellow herrings. All those delicious, delicious herrings... But there were a lot of people who wanted this guy dead for one reason or another, and all of them looked guilty. I didn't figure it out till the end when Miss Marple revealed the killer but I still (as always) had fun trying my hand at being an amateur literature sleuth. Good stuff. Richard E. Grant was the narrator and he did a lovely job.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7), original publication year 1953, Agatha Christie Abstract: A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain traces of cereals. Yet, it was the incident in the parlour which confirmed Jane Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a c A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7), original publication year 1953, Agatha Christie Abstract: A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his 'counting house' when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain traces of cereals. Yet, it was the incident in the parlour which confirmed Jane Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme! Characters: Miss Jane Marple, Rex Fortescue, Percival Fortescue, Lancelot Fortescue, Adele Fortescue, Pat Fortescue, Elaine Fortescue, Jennifer Fortescue, Mary Dove, Inspector Neele, Gladys Martin, Vivian Dubois, Ellen Curtis, Miss Ramsbottom, Irene Grosvenor, Gerald Wright, Crump, Sergeant Hay. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و نهم ماه نوامبر سال 2010 میلادی عنوان یک: جیب پر از چاودار، نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: مجتبی عبدالله‌ نژاد، نشر تهران، کتابهای هرمس، کتابهای کارآگاه، 1388،‬ ادبیات پلیسی و جنایی در 253ص.‬‏‫، قطع: 11س.م × 19س‌.م. شابک 9789643636128؛ واژه نامه، موضوع: داستانهای کارآگاهی از نویسندگان انگلیس - سده 20م با کشته شدن پیرمرد ثروتمندی، به نام: «رکس فورتسکیو»، کارآگاه پلیس، «بازرس نیل»، به جستجوی قاتل یا قاتلان میپردازد و ...؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 21/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melindam

    Sing a song of sixpence, A pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds, Baked in a pie. When the pie was opened The birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish, To set before the king. The king was in his counting house, Counting out his money; The queen was in the parlour, Eating bread and honey. The maid was in the garden, Hanging out the clothes, When down came a blackbird And pecked off her nose. The title and parts of the plot of the novel refer to the nursery rhyme quoted above. Originally I gave th Sing a song of sixpence, A pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds, Baked in a pie. When the pie was opened The birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish, To set before the king. The king was in his counting house, Counting out his money; The queen was in the parlour, Eating bread and honey. The maid was in the garden, Hanging out the clothes, When down came a blackbird And pecked off her nose. The title and parts of the plot of the novel refer to the nursery rhyme quoted above. Originally I gave this book 3 stars, but upon re-reading I decided it deserves a 4th. :) The only problem I have with the book is that almost all characters are unlikeable. Apart from Miss Marple, Inspector Neele and Pat Fortescue (view spoiler)[and look what kind of fate AC dealt her - very sad. (hide spoiler)] , the rest are a nasty, unsympathetic bunch. (OK, maybe Elaine Fortescue is just simply pathetic, but still unlikeable.) They are very well described: precisely and concisely and you can imagine any of them doing the killing all right. And hats off to Agatha Christie's brilliancy, for queerly enough, she manages what no others (according to my limited knowledge) can, namely, making the first victim's dying and the subsequent pathological consultation the funniest part of the book. This she does, not with malice or morbidity, but with an irresistible, gentle irony, concentrating on the various reactions of the other people around: a bunch of secretaries and typists at a loss what to do in time of crisis and the professional satisfaction the pathologist takes in the "unusual" method of poisoning. Miss Marple does her usual stuff to satisfaction: knitting baby-things, drawing references to characters of her native village St. Mary Mead & eventually finding the murderer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Agatha Christie and it’s easy to let one’s brain flow back into her story telling style. Her books do have a comforting familiarity. Dry humor to set the scene; the murder; the investigation; more dead bodies; the red herrings; the revealing. No heavy lifting required. Like a pleasant spring day. This one is a Miss Marple and a decent read. It also provides an unexpected and emotional denouement. Here’s the kicker for me: I find it very quaint that the Br It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Agatha Christie and it’s easy to let one’s brain flow back into her story telling style. Her books do have a comforting familiarity. Dry humor to set the scene; the murder; the investigation; more dead bodies; the red herrings; the revealing. No heavy lifting required. Like a pleasant spring day. This one is a Miss Marple and a decent read. It also provides an unexpected and emotional denouement. Here’s the kicker for me: I find it very quaint that the British police force let an old lady (their term: old pussy. Yikes!) wander into a crime scene and start sorting things out and offering clues. Here’s the way it would go down in America: Old lady wanders onto multiple murder scene, annoys American cops, American cops plant crack pipe on old lady, subject her to a strip search and interrogation, drop her 20 miles outside of town, murder, of course, remains unsolved. If this were James Ellroy, they’d slip her a mickey and film her having sex with a camel, just for good measure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    When life ever gets back to “normal,” I think one of the best things to come out of quarantine is that I have discovered Agatha Christie mysteries again. Last year was primarily a nonfiction reading year for me. I read a number of celebrity memoirs in between denser reads to clear my head. While I enjoy learning about celebrities away from the camera, my favorite genre to read in between heavier books has always been mysteries. The quick pace of determining whodunit keeps me on my toes and my br When life ever gets back to “normal,” I think one of the best things to come out of quarantine is that I have discovered Agatha Christie mysteries again. Last year was primarily a nonfiction reading year for me. I read a number of celebrity memoirs in between denser reads to clear my head. While I enjoy learning about celebrities away from the camera, my favorite genre to read in between heavier books has always been mysteries. The quick pace of determining whodunit keeps me on my toes and my brain working so that I don’t fall into the proverbial book slump. I just completed a non-fiction book, a rarity for me these days, so it was time for another mystery. A Pocket Full of Rye is the fourth Agatha Christie book i have read this year, but the first Miss Marple case. Needless to say, I was excited to reacquaint myself with the charming older woman. Miss Marple travels to Yew Lodge in Braydon Heath to assist Inspector Neele in solving the Fortescue murders. The third victim was one Gladys Martin who used to be Miss Marple’s housekeeper. Although Miss Marple is a sharp woman, she has been getting older and her nephew and niece have insisted that she keep a housekeeper to handle domestic chores. This would free up Miss Marple for her gardening and of course solving the murders that always seem to disrupt the life in St Mary Mead. Gladys Martin has been in Miss Marple’s service so the older woman felt responsible for bringing the girl’s murderer to justice. While Inspector Neele has a sharper mind than most of the Scotland Yard detectives featured in Christie’s books, he still needed Miss Marple to help him solve this peculiar case. An older woman like Miss Marple is unassuming and can talk to distraught family members in ways that the police cannot. What the family does not realize is that Miss Marple is of a sharp mind and often solves murders before the police have an idea as to what happens. Rex Fortescue is found murdered at his desk with a shirt pocket full of rye seeds. His wife Adele is found murdered in her library having tea. The third murder is that of Gladys Martin, who was found near a clothesline with a clothespin on her nose. In Miss Marple’s words, a crude thing to do. Immediately, what comes to her mind is the Mother Goose rhyme, “six pence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds found in a pie.” The murders fit the rhyme down to the King at his counting house with a pocket full of rye, the Queen found with honey, and the maid near a clothesline. Miss Marple alerts Inspector Neele that blackbirds must be involved in this case, and indeed they are. Neele is incredulous that a nursery rhyme would give revealing clues as to whodunit, but he examines the blackbird angle nonetheless. Now, to question all members of the Fortescue household and acquaintances until they discover who is responsible for these murders. In Poirot cases, Dame Christie omits an important clue until the end in order to keep readers guessing. Miss Marple is sharp as a tack and figures out all clues for herself well before the end of the book. The thing that makes her cases charming is that she figures immediately whodunit, even giving her opinions, usually the correct one, to the police, and it takes them awhile to catch up. Here, Inspector Neele kept getting held up with the rye in the pocket and the yew berry trees, which contain a fast working poison, on the Fortescue property. Miss Marple pieced together whodunit from her brief examination of Gladys Martin, and only needed to question the remaining members of the Fortescue household in order to verify her hunches. That is what makes Miss Marple a change of pace from Poirot, that she gets to the root of the matter and then goes back to her quiet life in St Mary Mead. Poirot examines every angle with his gray cells and continues to take on new cases as his reputation grows with each one. Although both detectives are among my favorite characters, I find myself enjoying the company of Miss Marple more than Poirot because she has a lifetime worth of wisdom and would be a lovely companion to invite to tea. A quick read, Miss Marple solved whodunit and life at both Yew Berry Lodge and St Mary Mead get back to normal. I am hoping that real life gets back to normal soon as well; however, reading Agatha Christie cases is never going to go out of style. After reading many cases of both Poirot and Miss Marple, I have yet to figure out whodunit before the detective unless the book is a reread. Mysteries keep me on my toes and allow me to use my gray cells even if the books are fast paced brain candy. Even if her books are easy reading, Christie’s two sleuths are timeless. Miss Marple is always refreshing to visit with because she is a charming lady, and I learn a lot from her character. Until another murder case that warrants solving finds Miss Marple in St Mary Mead, I will move on to my next book. 3.75 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    As anybody who reads the Miss Marple books knows, she often trains young housemaids, so they can go into service. When Miss Marple reads that one of the young maids she trained, Gladys Martin, has been found strangled - a clothes peg left on her nose - in the garden of the house where she worked, she sets off at once to see who did such a wicked thing. Murder had already visited the family, as the head of the household, Mr Rex Fortecue, was poisoned at work and, in his pocket, was a handful of r As anybody who reads the Miss Marple books knows, she often trains young housemaids, so they can go into service. When Miss Marple reads that one of the young maids she trained, Gladys Martin, has been found strangled - a clothes peg left on her nose - in the garden of the house where she worked, she sets off at once to see who did such a wicked thing. Murder had already visited the family, as the head of the household, Mr Rex Fortecue, was poisoned at work and, in his pocket, was a handful of rye… The crimes in this novel are all lined to the nursery rhyme, “Sing a song of sixpence…” and yet it all seems unbelievable to Detective Inspector Neele, who is sent to investigate. However, as Miss Marple points out to him, there must be blackbird and, indeed, there are blackbirds. She quickly gets to know the members of the family and, of course, manages to unravel the reasons behind the murders. Meanwhile, D.I. Neele, having heard of Miss Marple’s reputation, is quite happy to listen to what she has to say. This is one of my favourite Miss Marple mysteries. I love the opening of the book, the characters and the way Christie deftly creates the various plot twists. Miss Marple is also very involved in the storyline and her outrage on Gladys behalf is wonderful to see. Although never emotional, she is obviously quite attached to those young girls who pass through her little cottage in St Mary Mead, and she is determined to see justice done.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Christie's various attempts to incorporate Nursery Rhymes into her plots has a varied degree of success. It actually seems quite fitting for a Miss Marple story that it works rather well. Both the childish rhyme and the elderly spinster appearances are always deceiving! It's of course Jane herself that connects the three murders to the song: As London businessman Rex Fortescue dies in his office drinking tea. (The king was in his counting house, Counting out his money.) His wife then follows the same Christie's various attempts to incorporate Nursery Rhymes into her plots has a varied degree of success. It actually seems quite fitting for a Miss Marple story that it works rather well. Both the childish rhyme and the elderly spinster appearances are always deceiving! It's of course Jane herself that connects the three murders to the song: As London businessman Rex Fortescue dies in his office drinking tea. (The king was in his counting house, Counting out his money.) His wife then follows the same fate... (The queen was in the the parlour, Eating bread and honey.) Whilst housemaid Gladys Martin is found strangled in the yard with a clothespin put on her nose. (The maid was in the garden Hanging out the clothes When down came a blackbird And pecked off her nose.) It certainly perplexed both Inspector Neele and the reader. Once Miss Marple was aware of her former trainee maid's demise, she was desperate to solve the mystery. When Miss Marple is on the case you know things are serious. Whilst our series main character only nominally appears in the story, she makes such an impact - in truth the family at the centre of this tale are pretty hard to like, though the enjoyment here is seeing how the rhyme seems to fit so perfectly to the case. Yet again Christie certainly fooled me with another brilliant reveal.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This is one of the interesting ones of the Miss Marple series. Falling into the formulaic pattern of murder, police investigation, more murders, and final revelation, Christie weaves a clever story of mystery and intrigue. The common theme of family disputes, the return of the prodigal son, and the usual drama that follows returns in this story as well, yet the similarity didn't make the story suffer. It was a quick page-turner with events taking place at quite a fast pace. I liked that about it This is one of the interesting ones of the Miss Marple series. Falling into the formulaic pattern of murder, police investigation, more murders, and final revelation, Christie weaves a clever story of mystery and intrigue. The common theme of family disputes, the return of the prodigal son, and the usual drama that follows returns in this story as well, yet the similarity didn't make the story suffer. It was a quick page-turner with events taking place at quite a fast pace. I liked that about it, unlike some of the Christie mysteries that drag in the middle. Miss Marple's role in this was a small one, but enough to justify her involvement in the case and to show her cleverness to the utmost. This story is one where Miss Marple shines her best. She puts the clever yet blundering inspector to the right. And what more, she provides him with proof too. Such a clever dear old pussy! :) This was decidedly an entertaining read and one that deserves four stars. However, the ending was abrupt, leaving behind a sense of incompletion. The mystery was solved, and the criminal was identified; yet, there were some ends that needed tying up but were left hanging. A nice epilogue could have come in handy to complete and compliment the story. Taking everything into account, I can safely say that this is one of the best I've read in the Marple series. With this reading, I've come to realize that Marple stories are incredibly clever than most of the Christie mysteries, including many Poirots. Miss Marple was no professional detective and not one that can be summoned when a crime is committed. So, Christie had to come up with a plausible cause to help Miss Marple enter the scene of a crime. I don't think it was such an easy task. And credit certainly goes to Christie for taking up the burden and executing it well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    I was right! I figured out this mystery's culprit. And I also figured the identity of the person who had the grudge against the Fortescue family. Though Miss Marple doesn't show up till maybe halfway (and figures things out, of course), I did enjoy following Inspector Neal about as he questioned the family members about old nasty Rex's habits and behaviours. I really enjoyed how Miss Marple does her twittery thing at first, until the inspector really begins taking her seriously. Then we see the I was right! I figured out this mystery's culprit. And I also figured the identity of the person who had the grudge against the Fortescue family. Though Miss Marple doesn't show up till maybe halfway (and figures things out, of course), I did enjoy following Inspector Neal about as he questioned the family members about old nasty Rex's habits and behaviours. I really enjoyed how Miss Marple does her twittery thing at first, until the inspector really begins taking her seriously. Then we see the Jane I love; tough as nails and very sure in her assessments, never mind her "pink cheeks" and bag of yarn.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ivana - Diary of Difference

    Same old good Agatha Christie book. Easy read and impossible to be put down. I really missed reading the Agatha Christie books :D

  11. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Update: September 20, 2020-Still one of my favorites. Re-read for comfort read. I weirdly have some Miss Marple in paperback format and some that are not. I have no idea why. So realizing that I had this on my bookshelf, I decided to read it for Halloween Bingo. This was done really well. Christie starts the book off with us following an Inspector Nettle to figure out who murdered Rex Fortescue and his second wife, Adele. Initially, it appears that Adele and the man who she is having an affair wi Update: September 20, 2020-Still one of my favorites. Re-read for comfort read. I weirdly have some Miss Marple in paperback format and some that are not. I have no idea why. So realizing that I had this on my bookshelf, I decided to read it for Halloween Bingo. This was done really well. Christie starts the book off with us following an Inspector Nettle to figure out who murdered Rex Fortescue and his second wife, Adele. Initially, it appears that Adele and the man who she is having an affair with are the perpetrators behind the crimes. When the maid is found strangled to death, Nettle is baffled by who is behind these crimes. Then enter, Miss Marple. We find out that the maid, Gladys worked for Miss Marple, and once Miss Marple found out about her death, she arrives at home of the Fortescue's (Yewtree Lodge). This is Miss Marple at her best. She and Nettle work well together and even though Nettle is behind Miss Marple in figuring out who is the murderer and the reasons why, it was a fun book to read and try guess who did it and why. Without giving away the ending, I loved how Miss Marple fixates on the rightful murderer and the reasons why. Christie does a great job of setting up all of the characters before Miss Marple shows up. Sometimes I find myself bored with Marple or Poirot books until they show up, this was not one of those times. The setting of Yewtree Lodge is good and there are so many people who are viable suspects, Rex had two sons, a daughter, two daughters in laws and a general housekeeper that you are going to wonder if they are behind things or not. The ending doesn't give you a cut and dried solution though. Things are left at loose ends. You can guess what is going to happen next though.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I listened to this book while working on a jigsaw puzzle with my family. We finished both and felt most satisfied! I love that this book begins with making a cup of tea. The first sentence, "It was Miss Somer's turn to make the tea." Apparently, she was not very good at it, and was "the most inefficient of typists" to boot, with "a mild worried face like a sheep." Growing up in England I learned that the water needed to come to a full boil to make a good cup of tea. Alas, "Poor Miss Somer's was I listened to this book while working on a jigsaw puzzle with my family. We finished both and felt most satisfied! I love that this book begins with making a cup of tea. The first sentence, "It was Miss Somer's turn to make the tea." Apparently, she was not very good at it, and was "the most inefficient of typists" to boot, with "a mild worried face like a sheep." Growing up in England I learned that the water needed to come to a full boil to make a good cup of tea. Alas, "Poor Miss Somer's was never quite sure when a kettle was boiling. It was one of the many worries that afflicted her in life." Miss Marple is renowned for her ability to winkle out the details from people. They confide in her openly, as she appears harmless. Indeed, people seem to fall over themselves to share their juicy bits of gossip or their opinions on things. One such person was the lonely Mrs. Emmett, the bank manager's wife. "The necessity to talk grew upon Mrs. Emmett, and on that particular day it had burst its bounds, and Miss. Marple had received the full flood of the torrent." Mrs. Emmett's complaints about village life and the inhabitants in particular illustrate the nuances of class and how she did not fit in "the old guard of ladies" and she could not "associate with the wives of trades people" either. In short, Mrs. Emmett had become an unlikeable snob who lacked self-awareness and had managed to isolate herself. Narrator, Richard E Grant reads her diatribe with such great expression and captures her disdain with particular feeling. One phrase in particular stood out to us, "Then, of course, there's a sprinkling of - well, you can only call them old pussies who love to potter round with a trowel and do the gardening." Mrs. Emmett fails to realize that her audience, Miss. Marple "an inveterate gardener" fits just exactly this description! Overall, it was a wonderful read, with a cast of interesting characters and a complex mystery to unravel. It is one of my favorites of the Miss. Marple series. How wonderful to wile away the hours with family and 'old friends.' I'll leave you with one final pearl of wisdom from Miss. Marple, which seems particularly apt, "One needs a great deal of courage to get through life."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye, four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing. Now wasn't that a dainty dish to set before a king? A standard-issue Christie mystery, focused on rhyme crime (see what I did there?) Inspector Neal does a decent job sifting through the inevitable Possible Suspects for half the book until little ol’ Jane Marple that Christie has for three books called, the “old pussy” (and sometimes “the old tabby” comes to help h Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye, four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing. Now wasn't that a dainty dish to set before a king? A standard-issue Christie mystery, focused on rhyme crime (see what I did there?) Inspector Neal does a decent job sifting through the inevitable Possible Suspects for half the book until little ol’ Jane Marple that Christie has for three books called, the “old pussy” (and sometimes “the old tabby” comes to help him solve the crime. Everything is mostly meant to be amusing, though in keeping with the rhyme, several crimes (i.e., murders) take place. Random stuff that sticks in my mind now, but not for long maybe: *One inspector says he is relieved that this particular (first) poisoning is done with Taxine, from Yewberries or their leaves instead of the usual weedkiller. I smiled at that, but it’s either funny or corny to you that this murder takes place on Yewberry Lane. *This is one of several Christie murder mysteries in part based on children’s songs or nursery rhymes. So we need to get blackbirds baked into a pie somewhere. Check! *And victims have pockets full of rye, too. Why rye? Why pie? Why die? Sigh. *Everyone wants the first victim, Rex, to die. This is common in Christie so we can keep the number of suspects at a high level. *In almost every single book from Christie people decide the murderer must be “mad” and (spoiler alert) almost never is. * "The kettle was not quite boiling when Miss Somers poured the water on the tea, but poor Miss Somers was never quite sure when a kettle was boiling. It was one of the many worries that afflicted her in life." :) I do like Agatha Christie; this is not her best work, but at maybe book 55, she knows what she is doing. This one just does not stand out for me. And I like just fine Jane Marple, who has that interesting combination of being charming and with a low view of human nature. And I did like the fact that the actual murderer she identifies was a surprise to me, clever old. . . woman (he says in contemporary, more respectful language).

  14. 4 out of 5

    BrokenTune

    It was Miss Somers' turn to make the tea. Miss Somers was the newest and the most inefficient of typists. She was no longer young and had a mild worried face like a sheep. The kettle was not quite boiling when Miss Somers poured the water on the tea, but poor Miss Somers was never quite sure when a kettle was boiling. It was one of the many worries that afflicted her in life. She poured out the tea and took the cups round with a couple of limp, sweet biscuits in each saucer. That quote has very li It was Miss Somers' turn to make the tea. Miss Somers was the newest and the most inefficient of typists. She was no longer young and had a mild worried face like a sheep. The kettle was not quite boiling when Miss Somers poured the water on the tea, but poor Miss Somers was never quite sure when a kettle was boiling. It was one of the many worries that afflicted her in life. She poured out the tea and took the cups round with a couple of limp, sweet biscuits in each saucer. That quote has very little to do with the plot of A Pocket Full of Rye, but it does set the tone of this story. There is something edgy and sinister about A Pocket Full of Rye. This is not a "cozy" mystery. Sure, there is not blood or gore, but there is darkness, thirst for revenge, and calculating human horribleness. And that's what I see in the mention of tepid tea and limp biscuits. No, I kid. But I do see in this opening that there is something just not right, and it is this feeling that runs through this story. I can't say that I liked this story a lot, and I can't even put my finger on why this is. Maybe it is because of the murder method causes me to have questions, maybe it because the police investigation misses the mark so often, or maybe it is because of that horrible children's rhyme that is the basis for this story, but it is not a story that I enjoy re-reading a lot. Nevertheless, I recommend it. The different relationship angles in this story are fascinating. Dark, but benefiting from Christie's acute eye for suffering that can be caused by family. Approach with strong tea, and sweet, rich, fresh biscuits.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    3.75* It’s the beginning of the month, which means time for another Christie book ;0) I remembered this one quite clearly, having read it a few years ago. It felt somewhat different. On one side, we have a Miss Marple story, although our favourite old lady doesn’t come on the scene until around the middle of the book and stays in the background, and on the other a pretty ruthless murderer, hidden from sight until the very end. The narrative is very deceptive, immersing itself in the life of this h 3.75* It’s the beginning of the month, which means time for another Christie book ;0) I remembered this one quite clearly, having read it a few years ago. It felt somewhat different. On one side, we have a Miss Marple story, although our favourite old lady doesn’t come on the scene until around the middle of the book and stays in the background, and on the other a pretty ruthless murderer, hidden from sight until the very end. The narrative is very deceptive, immersing itself in the life of this household, going from character to character, focusing on what looks like trivial things, until you realise the audacity of the killer. In theory, I loved Christie’s portrayal of all these protagonists, killer included, but on the other I didn’t ‘connect’ as much as I usually do.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    Without a doubt this has been one of my favourite books in the Miss Marple challenge. It is not a novel I remembered reading and so it was wonderful to experience for the first time (maybe ?) As with a lot of the novels, Miss M is in it only fleetingly, but each appearance is worth waiting for in terms of insight and revelation, and yes I still see Joan Hickson every time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened the birds began to sing, Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king. The king was in his counting house, counting out his money, The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey. The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes, When there came a litte dickey bird and nipped off her nose." When Rex Fortescue suddenly falls ill after drinking his regular cup of tea at his o "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened the birds began to sing, Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king. The king was in his counting house, counting out his money, The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey. The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes, When there came a litte dickey bird and nipped off her nose." When Rex Fortescue suddenly falls ill after drinking his regular cup of tea at his office and dies shortly after, the police suspect foul play. Inspector Neele visits Yewtree Lodge, Mr. Fortecue's home, to interview the family and staff. Between a younger second wife, an son with which Mr. Fortescue was currenlty at odds with, a daughter who wished to marry but the fiance was not aproved by dad and a whole slew of characters with the staff, inspector Neele has no shortage of suspects and an abundance of motives. As the investigation progresses, Miss Marple inserts herself into the case and soon links the murder to a rhyme. Uncovering a complex plot, Miss Marple unmasks the culprit. The seventh book in the Miss Marple series, 'A Pocket full of Rye' was originally published in 1953. Rex Fortescue is a ruthless business man with questionable practices. Accustomed to having a cup of tea at work, he falls ill quite suddenly and dies. A handful of rye is found in his pocket and soon his death is a confirmed case of poisoning through taxine. Inspector Neele is assigned to the case which leads him to Yewtree Lodge, the home of the the Fortecues. The house is surrounded by the plant needed to get taxine and now inspector Neele has a household full of suspects. Miss Marple reads about the murder in the papers and after another twist in the case, gets involved. As per usual with Christie, there were plenty of red herrings and misdirections. I greatly enjoyed the way in which the plot unravelled and found the characters intriguing and entertaning (especially Miss Ramsbottom, the sister of Mr. Fortecue's first wife). I love how the rhyme was incorporated into the narrative and how the culprit came to be revealed. This book is yet another favorite by Miss Christie and I absolutely love it. This book is a crime by rhyme and it was done masterfully. Highly recommended!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Constantine

    Rating: Very Good Genre: Mystery + Classic A Pocket Full of Rye is part of the Miss Marple series. It is about this rich businessman Rex Fortescue when he is poisoned and inspector Neele finds some rye in his pocket. What happens next is that two more murders take place and everybody in the man’s house is suspected of committing the murders. Miss Marple shows up and helps the inspector in solving this murder mystery. I enjoyed reading this Marple murder mystery. The idea of the crimes being part of Rating: Very Good Genre: Mystery + Classic A Pocket Full of Rye is part of the Miss Marple series. It is about this rich businessman Rex Fortescue when he is poisoned and inspector Neele finds some rye in his pocket. What happens next is that two more murders take place and everybody in the man’s house is suspected of committing the murders. Miss Marple shows up and helps the inspector in solving this murder mystery. I enjoyed reading this Marple murder mystery. The idea of the crimes being part of a nursery rhyme made it a lot more interesting. As usual, Agatha Christie will make you suspect every single character. I love how she kept everything suspicious and all the characters have their own different motives to commit the murders. This made guessing the murder not an easy task. A Pocket Full of Rye has a fantastic story, a mysterious atmosphere, and some interesting characters making it a very entertaining read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Hannah

    Loved this - brilliantly surprising ending, and one of those ideal Christie solutions where everything turns on its head at the end and all the same facts suddenly look completely different. I would have given it four stars, except that Miss Marple didn't really (as far as I can see) have enough clues to lead her to the truth. She seemed to have magicked the truth out of nowhere. I know she's a genius about human nature, but I'd have liked a couple of more concrete clues to set her on the right Loved this - brilliantly surprising ending, and one of those ideal Christie solutions where everything turns on its head at the end and all the same facts suddenly look completely different. I would have given it four stars, except that Miss Marple didn't really (as far as I can see) have enough clues to lead her to the truth. She seemed to have magicked the truth out of nowhere. I know she's a genius about human nature, but I'd have liked a couple of more concrete clues to set her on the right path. Still...it's a novel by Agatha, and therefore in a league way above most books!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I'm honestly the worst detective ever when it comes to Miss Marple books. I feel like I'm on the trail for one suspect and then end up being completely wrong because I took a clue or two the wrong way. I'd like to blame myself because I'm not even sure how I was wrong when I was the reading the book. Yet, it happens all the damn time. One day I will be the superior detective when it comes to books. One. Freaking. Day. Just not today - ya know.. I'm kind of busy. The one interesting thing for me was I'm honestly the worst detective ever when it comes to Miss Marple books. I feel like I'm on the trail for one suspect and then end up being completely wrong because I took a clue or two the wrong way. I'd like to blame myself because I'm not even sure how I was wrong when I was the reading the book. Yet, it happens all the damn time. One day I will be the superior detective when it comes to books. One. Freaking. Day. Just not today - ya know.. I'm kind of busy. The one interesting thing for me was how Miss Marple knew one of the murder victims. It just seemed pretty cool that she would help orphan kids in her spare time. Plus the whole rye in the pocket in the beginning confused me endlessly. I didn't understand that or the blackbirds until Miss Marple came in and held my hand while explaining it all. In the end, this book was pretty fast paced and kept me engaged from start to finish. I can't wait to get my hands on the next mystery book just to see how Miss Marple falls into it and how she can solve it all in a matter of seconds.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

    I couldn’t figure out who the killer was! And it was so annoying, because I usually figure it out pretty fast. But, without a doubt, this was another well written book by Agatha Christie. 👍

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vintage

    A Pocketful of Rye is one of my favorite Agatha Christie’s. It’s not as flashy as Murder on the Orient Express or And Then There Were None, but it’s a solid example of how Christie’s detectives use human nature and common sense to solve crimes. Miss Marple is on hand to solve the puzzle of a triple murder. She’s just as smart as Hercule Poirot without the sidekick, mustaches or humongous ego. Agatha and Miss Marple have such common sense when it comes to people that her comments are as much fun a A Pocketful of Rye is one of my favorite Agatha Christie’s. It’s not as flashy as Murder on the Orient Express or And Then There Were None, but it’s a solid example of how Christie’s detectives use human nature and common sense to solve crimes. Miss Marple is on hand to solve the puzzle of a triple murder. She’s just as smart as Hercule Poirot without the sidekick, mustaches or humongous ego. Agatha and Miss Marple have such common sense when it comes to people that her comments are as much fun as the mystery. A 4 star for me despite having to close my eyes to the fact that there are some missing conversations and clues as she figures out who the evil doer is. I’ve read this before so I knew who the murderer was but it was just as enjoyable this time around. I listened to the audio this time and Richard Grant, no mean actor in his own right, does an excellent job with the accents and narrating both sexes. He even manages to slip in some regional and class differences.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Richards

    Another great read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    A most interesting fact about my interpretation of detective books is that I'm not able to appreciate and rate with the consensus how good the outcome of an investigation is. Many people swear by the cleverness of the murderer's alibi. Not me; it's not a deliberate choice, I simply can't appreciate the subtlety of a water tight crime. The way I see it, is that if the journey is good, and if there are startling revelations, and if I can put a face to a well depicted character, then the said book A most interesting fact about my interpretation of detective books is that I'm not able to appreciate and rate with the consensus how good the outcome of an investigation is. Many people swear by the cleverness of the murderer's alibi. Not me; it's not a deliberate choice, I simply can't appreciate the subtlety of a water tight crime. The way I see it, is that if the journey is good, and if there are startling revelations, and if I can put a face to a well depicted character, then the said book would have fulfilled its purpose of providing me with a roller coaster ride. A Pocket Full of Rye does more than tick all the boxes. I did notice two jarring notes in this very entertaining book. First time ever, has Miss Marple been described as tall. I never imagined her as beyond 5 feet 10 inches, tops. Almost all female characters are regularly said to be tall. One impossible explanation that occurred to me was that the author somehow had the word ringing in her brain, and wrote the entire book in one sitting. The more plausible reason was that it was a reference to something from her life. She deliberately planted the word tall throughout her book. Anyway, I'll never imagine Miss Marple as taller than average, because she was old and she must have shrunk somewhat. Elementary, my dear. The second thing concerned the last sentence in the book: "...successfully reconstructed an extinct animal from a fragment of jawbone and a couple of teeth." That was a haphazard phrase thrown in making the last line look very abrupt. Moving on, I'd like to say that this Inspector Neele person is a super Lestrade. He is allowed one generous, clever deduction, and that was the blackmail of Jennifer Fortescue by Mary Dove. I also thought it was too much that the author made of Mary an accomplice to thieves. Too much going on, I would have liked Mary Dove to remain impassive to the end. Perhaps the author, having pitted Neele's wits against Mary's impassiveness, just had to make the Inspector put one over Mary Dove. Despite these middling things, I had great fun reading this mystery. This book is greater than the sum of its parts. The letter and photo scene near the end provided a vital clue but was also poignant. It was a little piteous to see tears in Miss Marple eyes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This one was really good! I think it might be my favorite of the Miss Marple books I've read so far, which is about half of them. (Until now I liked A Murder is Announced the best, because it had so much of Miss Marple in it, but this one barely features her at all, and it was quite good, so who knows what my standards even are anymore.) This is one of her infamous nursery rhyme mysteries (I think she did three or four of them? which is why it was so fun to see Magpie Murders take that on as well This one was really good! I think it might be my favorite of the Miss Marple books I've read so far, which is about half of them. (Until now I liked A Murder is Announced the best, because it had so much of Miss Marple in it, but this one barely features her at all, and it was quite good, so who knows what my standards even are anymore.) This is one of her infamous nursery rhyme mysteries (I think she did three or four of them? which is why it was so fun to see Magpie Murders take that on as well; that book really is a great homage to Christie). "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye . . ." I thought the rhyme was worked in rather cleverly. The whole mystery is just very, very solid, and more important than that, interesting! Rex Fortescue dies of poisoning over his morning tea at the office, a handful of rye found in his pocket. Inspector Neele has to meet the whole rather unsavory Fortescue family, who all congregate on Yewtree Lodge. There are disinherited sons, dirty money deals, gambling debts, secret boyfriends, affairs . . . the whole works. But I had a grip on exactly who all the characters were the whole time. They all had nice psychologies that made for one of her more weighty reads, emotionally speaking. I felt for them, even the worst ones (well, except for one). I also did not figure out the murderer, and not only that, it came as a genuine surprise to me, for reasons I can't say without spoiling anything. So: (view spoiler)[She spends the whole book making you like Lance, the disinherited son, who apparently has a very solid alibi, and she throws a shit ton of red herrings at you the whole time, all of them plausible. He was one of two people I was absolutely certain didn't do it (the other being his wife, again because of their alibi of not being in the country for the first murder). Oh, how wrong I was. And then when it was all revealed (by Miss Marple of course, it was very pleasurable to see everything I'd missed). (hide spoiler)] Really, it was the emotional connection that was key. The last two books of hers I've read (Murder on the Links and The Big Four) I did not care about the characters at all. I do recommend the audiobook, narrated by Richard E. Grant. He does a great job. [4.5 stars]

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elham

    Although Miss Marple is always the one who finally finds the truths, too bad she's not herself a real detective. I think I must look for such character in radical science-fiction dystopian feminist novels. Although Miss Marple is always the one who finally finds the truths, too bad she's not herself a real detective. I think I must look for such character in radical science-fiction dystopian feminist novels.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    There's something that feels very quintessentially Christie about this one - the family dynamics, the pacing, the types of clues, the character types. All of it plays to her strengths... so much so, I'll pardon her fondness for overly contrived framing devices in the form of nursery rhymes :) There's something that feels very quintessentially Christie about this one - the family dynamics, the pacing, the types of clues, the character types. All of it plays to her strengths... so much so, I'll pardon her fondness for overly contrived framing devices in the form of nursery rhymes :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    Book 12 for the Miss Marple Challenge. When I picked up my copy of this one, I found the first couple of pages has fallen out―so I used for the first time, the “preview” feature on GR to read the missing bit―so very glad this was available. The wealthy Rex Fortescue, a shrewd but unscrupulous man, is poisoned, falling ill just after having tea in his office, his pocket full of rye. While Mr Fortescue’s name and circumstances of his death merely hinted at the rhyme “Sing a Song od Sixpence”, befor Book 12 for the Miss Marple Challenge. When I picked up my copy of this one, I found the first couple of pages has fallen out―so I used for the first time, the “preview” feature on GR to read the missing bit―so very glad this was available. The wealthy Rex Fortescue, a shrewd but unscrupulous man, is poisoned, falling ill just after having tea in his office, his pocket full of rye. While Mr Fortescue’s name and circumstances of his death merely hinted at the rhyme “Sing a Song od Sixpence”, before long there are other deaths, the similarities with the rhyme no longer coincidental. But one of the people killed, the young maid Gladys Martin happened to be Miss Marple’s former maid, and the cruel circumstances of her death bring Miss Marple to the Fortescues’ residence Yewtree Lodge, where Inspector Neele, in charge of the case, and a bit out of his depth with it, finds himself relying on her skills before long. Mr Fostescue has some skeletons in his closet, and not all is right with his current life either―his second wife, the glamorous Adele, thirty years his junior is in love with another man, his elder son Percival is worried about Mr Fortescue’s sudden tendency to speculate with his wealth and mounting losses, his daughter has a suitor he disapproves of, while his younger son Lance, who Mr Fortescue had kicked out some years ago over a forged cheque seems to be returning expecting a reconciliation. Miss Marple once again relies on her age, and indeed the stereotypes associated with it (gossiping) to obtain an insight into all those involved, and her skills of finding parallels for character in people she has known in St Mary Mead too come to her aid. Christie as usual, surprises us with how the murders were committed, whodunit, and what it was that the maid Gladys saw or heard that led her to lose her life. This was another enjoyable Marple mystery, with plenty of secrets even if not as many plot twists as some others. I enjoy mysteries in country house settings, and this was again one such. Great (re)read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mansuriah Hassan

    Agatha Christie is definitely one of my favourite author. I immensely enjoyed this book - an innocent cup of tea leads the reader on a path of exploration into the world of a very disfunctional family. This is a good Miss Marple mystery. Even though Miss Marple was not mentioned as often as I had expected. A Pocket Full of Rye contains many of the very best elements of Agatha Christie: vivid and interesting characters, a great set-up, and the clever "gimmick" of three murders all being cleverly Agatha Christie is definitely one of my favourite author. I immensely enjoyed this book - an innocent cup of tea leads the reader on a path of exploration into the world of a very disfunctional family. This is a good Miss Marple mystery. Even though Miss Marple was not mentioned as often as I had expected. A Pocket Full of Rye contains many of the very best elements of Agatha Christie: vivid and interesting characters, a great set-up, and the clever "gimmick" of three murders all being cleverly tied together by a child's nursery rhyme. Miss Marple comes to the conclusion that, similarly to what we have read in 'And Then There Were None', they are dealing with a crime by rhyme. First, I really enjoyed the manner in which the plot is unraveled in the book. We have been introduced to the murder very quickly and the investigation starts from the second chapter itself. Second, the way we are introduced to the characters. Christie also made sure that all the characters in this book blend into the main plot, which is really nice. Third, the plot of the story is believable, murders felt real and not at all far-fetched. However, if you are a Miss Marple fan, I have to disappoint you. Although it is a Marple mystery, most of the investigation process is done by the police. As always, she holds the key to the whole business but she doesn’t get involved until the very end. The ending for me was a great surprise – a very witty and cleverly done business and I have to admit I suspected someone else all along. The murderer turned out to be someone I did not want it to be. To sum up, it is a well written work and is hard to put down once the first victim dies. You cannot help being involved in the story and keep investigating with Inspector Neele all along. I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Laurel Young

    Agatha Christie loved to use nursery rhymes as a motif in her mystery novels for added creepiness. Sometimes it works perfectly, as with And Then There Were None or (my favorite) Crooked House . Sometimes it feels a little forced, as with One Two Buckle My Shoe or, in this case, A Pocket Full of Rye. The premise is clever and also disturbing--three murders echo the rhyme (the king, the queen, the maid). I wondered how on earth Dame Agatha would explain the murderer's use of the rhyme without res Agatha Christie loved to use nursery rhymes as a motif in her mystery novels for added creepiness. Sometimes it works perfectly, as with And Then There Were None or (my favorite) Crooked House . Sometimes it feels a little forced, as with One Two Buckle My Shoe or, in this case, A Pocket Full of Rye. The premise is clever and also disturbing--three murders echo the rhyme (the king, the queen, the maid). I wondered how on earth Dame Agatha would explain the murderer's use of the rhyme without resorting to sociopathy. The answer is...not as well as I hoped. The motif ultimately peters out into red herrings and some unlikely actions. I think perhaps she had the excellent idea for the set-up and then, like me, couldn't quite decide where it could go from there. I was also hoping for a twist regarding the Arthurian names of the children (Lancelot, Percival, Elaine) but no dice. However, there are good elements here as well. I always love dear Miss Marple, and really enjoyed the idea of bringing her former maid Gladys in and giving her a starring role. (I feel as though I've encountered Gladys before but can't think where.) I also really liked the character of Mary Dove, who struck me a foil for Lucy Eyelesbarrow from 4:50 From Paddington. Christie seems to have been interested in the idea of a smart young woman getting rich by filling the void of domestic service in England in the 1950s. Lucy appeared just four years after Mary; I wish the two had met in the course of their profession! Overall, this is not among my favorite Miss Marple mysteries--that award goes to The Body in the Library, A Murder is Announced, and Nemesis. However, it is always good to see Miss M outwit the killer and the police, knitting and drinking tea all the while.

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