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A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie
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A Pocket Full of Rye (original 1953; edition 2002)

by Agatha Christie

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2,613523,538 (3.7)89
Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his "counting house" when he suffered an agonizing 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 parlor which confirmed Miss Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme. . . .… (more)
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Title:A Pocket Full of Rye
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:HarperCollins (2002), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Tags:crime

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A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie (1953)

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» See also 89 mentions

English (47)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye...

Businessman Rex Fortescue is found dead in his office after drinking his morning tea. It doesn’t take long to determine that he’s been poisoned. But the really puzzling thing is the handful of rye that was found in his pocket. What purpose did it serve? Inspector Neele is on the case, and of course he’s interested in finding out who would gain by Fortescue’s death. His much younger widow, who doesn’t play golf yet has lots of golf dates with a handsome young man? His son and junior business partner? His daughter, who is in love with a young man with socialist views? Or his estranged son who has just reappeared on the scene from exile in Africa? Or maybe the murderer will be found among the household help, including the secretive housekeeper, Miss Dove, the butler, Crump, the cook, Mrs. Crump, or the young maid, Gladys? More deaths make it even more urgent to find the killer. Inspector Neele finally gets the breakthrough he needs once Miss Marple arrives on the scene.

This is one of my favorite Miss Marple novels. I had read it years ago and still remembered the solution. What I didn’t remember is that Miss Marple doesn’t show up until about halfway through the book. As usual, she makes the most of her limited page time. Her insights into human nature from decades of village life help her spot individuals with character flaws that just might lead to murder under the right circumstances. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jul 13, 2019 |
Rex Fortescue dies after a seizure at his office. The doctor determines poison to be the cause of death. Because of onset time, suspicion falls on those in the man's household. Inspector Neele arrives to question suspects. Two more deaths occur. Miss Marple, who read about the deaths, arrives to assist the inspector by doing what she does best--poking her nose in the household affairs. A nice complex mystery with a literary allusion to the nursery rhyme in the title. I listened to the audio version read by Richard Grant who did a great job. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jul 1, 2019 |
Same old good Agatha Cristie book. Easy read and impossible to be put down. I really missed reading the Agatha Cristie books :D ( )
  InnahLovesYou | Apr 18, 2019 |
A Pocketful Of Rye (1953) (Miss Marple #7) by Agatha Christie. Here is a delightful but deadly take on the child’s nursery rhyme. It goes, “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.” But Dame Agatha has again taken something familiar from childhood and twisted it to her own dark ends. Rex Fortescue is the king of his family and his business, but he ends up at work, dead, poisoned that morning at breakfast. His second wife, twenty years younger than he, his two sons, one returned from Africa just after the murder, and their wives, and Rex’s daughter Jennifer, are the main cast of likely suspects, along with several family servants.
In charge of the case is Inspector Neele and while he starts out on possibly the right path, his footing is taken away when his chief suspect becomes body #2. To his rescue comes kindly, frail Miss Jane Marple. She has read about a portion of the murders that has greatly upset her and so she is determined to become part of the investigation. While the police are skeptical at first, Miss Marple uses her charms to inveigle her way into the family, uncovers several secrets and delivers the surprising solution to the puzzle. This last bit is mostly speculation as there is a great lack of evidence, but later she receives confirmation of her ideas.
This is another charming story with a confusing set of circumstances which lead to a very good read. Not the best, but four stars plus none the less. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Apr 10, 2019 |
Rex Fortescue is poisoned one day in his office but the type of poison used and when it must have been administered mean that suspicion falls on those at home rather than anyone in the office. Christie is very good at creating an atmosphere of deep unease and 'something wrong but can't quite put my finder on what' in what should otherwise be a well-off upper middle-class household. Miss Marple arrives to assist with this one fairly late in the day and is described as 'tall' in defiance of every TV adaptation (never noticed this before).

The link to the nursery rhyme feels less contrived than in some of Christie's other books (possibly because it's deliberately done by the murderer to cast suspicion elsewhere).

"I don't believe this was ever a happy house. I don't believe anybody was ever happy in it, in spite of all the money they spent and the things they had." ( )
  souloftherose | Feb 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ayres, RosalindNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blum, GabrieleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boba, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borbás, MáriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ebbesen, SvendTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engelstad, Carl FredrikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franconeri, FrancescoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAfee, MaraCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, MilenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Miss Marple Meets Murder by Agatha Christie

A Miss Marple Quartet: The Body in the Library, A Pocket Full of Rye, A Murder Is Announced, The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye [and] Thirteen for Luck by Agatha Christie

Neiti Marplen murhat by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple Omnibus (Volume 2) by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye [and] The Hollow by Agatha Christie

The Nursery Rhyme Murders: Crooked House / Hickory Dickory Dock / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

4.50 From Paddington / After the Funeral / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Collection by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Crime Collection: Destination Unknown, The Murder on the Links, A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

4.50 From Paddington / Murder in Mesopotamia / A Pocket Full of Rye / Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Hickory Dickory Death / Murder on the Orient Express / The Mystery of the Blue Train / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple Novels: The Murder at the Vicarage / The Body in the Library / A Pocket Full of Rye / Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

A Miss Marple Quintet: Murder At The Vicarage; A Murder Is Announced; A Pocket Full Of Rye; The Mirror Cracked From Side To Side; At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

The Complete Miss Marple Collection (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library / A Murder Is Announced / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye [and] A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced / They Do it With Mirrors / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

They Do It With Mirrors [and] A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie's Marple: Geraldine McEwan Collection [Videorecording] by Charles Palmer

Agatha Christie's Marple Series 1-5 by Charles Palmer

Agatha Christie's Marple: The Collection Series 1-4 by Andy Wilson

The Best of Miss Marple: What Mrs. Mcgillicuddy Saw!, A Caribbean Mystery, A Pocket Full of Rye and At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye [and] A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

The Folio Society Miss Marple Novels by Agatha Christie

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For

BRUCE INGRAM

who liked and published
my first stories
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It was Miss Somers' turn to make the tea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the Agatha Christie book A Pocket Full of Rye featuring Miss Jane Marple. It is not the same work as the Agatha Christie short story "Sing a Song of Sixpence", nor is it the same as the Agatha Christie short story "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" featuring Hercule Poirot.

It is the same work as Das Geheimnis der Goldmine (The Secret of the Goldmine), which is its German title, but it is not the same as the Poirot short story "The Secret of the Lost Mine".
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