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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great mystery, one of the best ones ever written!
When a rich man dies under very mysterious circumstances, Miss Marple becomes interested. However, when she begins to really follow the details of what has happened, she quickly realizes that more murders are sure to follow. This is a very deep mystery, and only Jane Marple can find out what is really going on and why!
Jane Marple was the literary creation of that...
Published on 27 Jan 2006 by Kurt A. Johnson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Queen Was in Her Writing-Room
Rex Fortescue was the King, dead in his counting-house, a handful of rye in his pocket. Poor Adele was the Queen, eating bread and honey. Nursery rhymes served Agatha Christie well, sparking her imagination and providing scope for clues and red herrings alike. A Pocketful of Rye has clues and red herrings galore, but something is missing. It almost feels as though...
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by Poldy


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great mystery, one of the best ones ever written!, 27 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (North-Central Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When a rich man dies under very mysterious circumstances, Miss Marple becomes interested. However, when she begins to really follow the details of what has happened, she quickly realizes that more murders are sure to follow. This is a very deep mystery, and only Jane Marple can find out what is really going on and why!
Jane Marple was the literary creation of that most famous of English mystery writers, Agatha Christie (1890-1976). For those of you unfamiliar with Miss Marple, she was your stereotypical elderly spinster-lady, who loves to gossip and grow her flowers. But, even more, she has a razor-sharp mind that she uses to solve mysteries, using her own brand of lateral thinking that allows her see clearer than anyone else around her.
This is actually Agatha Christie's sixth Miss Marple novel, written in 1953. (The first one was The Murder at the Vicarage (1930), and the second one was Sleeping Murder, which was written in 1940 but locked away to be published after Ms. Christie's death in 1976.) Overall, I found this to be a fascinating read. If you love a good mystery, then get this book - it is a great mystery, one of the best ones ever written. I give this book my highest recommendations!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 11 Sep 2007
This is a brilliant miss Marple novel and it is one of my favourite Agatha Christies books. It isn't too complicated but it is not simple either.

It is about the leader of a financial industry ( Rex Fortescue ), who gets poisoned during work and dies shortly after. The obvious suspect is his wife but is this actually the case? Two more murders shortly follow and miss Marple is called in to help the investigation. She quickly discovers that the murders are following the nursery rhyme Sing A Song Of Sixpence.

The clues are, a connection with the blackbird mines and a family called the MacKenzie's, Rex's will, why the murderer chose to kill according to the rhyme. There are lots more clues aswell.

I think this is a great book and most people will really enjoy it. If you like this type of book, another equally brilliant one, that is similar to this one, is Crooked House.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not many suspects, but buckets full of red herrings., 19 May 2001
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Almost every formula, idea, and trick that Agatha Christie used in her detective fiction works proved to be entirely successful and won her an enormous reading public. Making use of nursery rhymes was one such formula. Nursery rhymes can reawaken the sense of wonder, mystery and enchantment in any reader. They also can carry symbolic levels of meaning, and some are allegories.
In this her 1953 offering she makes use of the nursery rhyme "Sing A Song Of Sixpence". Appropriately it is one of her Miss Marple books. Although her elderly spinster sleuth has little to do here, and is late making her appearance, it is she who perceives and urges the significance of the nursery rhyme. "Don't you see, it makes a pattern to all this."
The murders occur in the disfunctional family of Rex Fortescue, a financier, and the action occurs in his London office and in the family home, Yew Tree Lodge. The opening chapters are wonderfully engaging. Agatha Christie, when she took the trouble, could sketch characters vividly. Amongst all of them in this book, there are not more than a handful of suspects. To compensate, Mrs Christie throws in buckets full of red herrings.
You'll enjoy the puzzle, and having innumerable theories suggested and dismissed. The solution, when it comes, however, is no more plausible than is the likelihood of a blackbird pecking off a maid's nose.
If you can obtain the unabridged reading of the book by Rosemary Leach, your enjoyment will be enhanced. Rosemary Leach is unusually skilled at "doing" the voices of a large cast of characters, male and female.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Marple, 8 Feb 2013
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This is one of my favourite Miss Marple novels. A businessman gets murdered and then a step mother and maid who Miss Marple has trained. Miss Marple goes to stay in the family home and assist the police. Miss Marple stumbles upon a lot family secrets that they would rather keep hidden.

One of Christie's best Miss Marple novels. Very easy to read. Would recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cereal murder, 17 Jun 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Rex Fortescue dies shortly after drinking his morning tea. The post mortem reveals he was poisoned with yew berries or leaves. But there was no trace of poison in his office where he was taken ill. The police are baffled as they cannot work out how and when the poison was administered. It is easy to see where the poison could have come from as his home is surrounded by yew trees. But why does he have some rye grains in his pocket and how did they get there?

His family are not altogether sorry to hear of his death but they are not happy to discover that they are the first on the police list of suspects. When Rex's grieving widow and a parlour maid are found dead Miss Marple takes an interest and turns up at the house because the dead parlour maid used to work for her.

I enjoyed this book and was completely wrong about who the murderer was though it was easy to see how it was done and who was responsible when all was revealed by Miss Marple. As a portrait of a strange family the book is fascinating and all the characters, however minor, are well drawn.

If you like your crime novels in the classic mode then you really cannot beat Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L Sayers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Queen Was in Her Writing-Room, 4 Aug 2009
By 
Poldy "Paul" (Darwen, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
Rex Fortescue was the King, dead in his counting-house, a handful of rye in his pocket. Poor Adele was the Queen, eating bread and honey. Nursery rhymes served Agatha Christie well, sparking her imagination and providing scope for clues and red herrings alike. A Pocketful of Rye has clues and red herrings galore, but something is missing. It almost feels as though Christie was on autopilot when she wrote this; the writing is flat and uninteresting, the characters, though varied as one would expect from this writer, less well-defined than usual. It is a clever mystery, but not one of her best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not many suspects, but buckets full of red herrings., 19 May 2001
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Almost every formula, idea, and trick that Agatha Christie used in her detective fiction works proved to be entirely successful and won her an enormous reading public. Making use of nursery rhymes was one such formula. Nursery rhymes can reawaken the sense of wonder, mystery and enchantment in any reader. They also can carry symbolic levels of meaning, and some are allegories.
In this her 1953 offering she makes use of the nursery rhyme "Sing A Song Of Sixpence". Appropriately it is one of her Miss Marple books. Although her elderly spinster sleuth has little to do here, and is late making her appearance, it is she who perceives and urges the significance of the nursery rhyme. "Don't you see, it makes a pattern to all this."
The murders occur in the disfunctional family of Rex Fortescue, a financier, and the action occurs in his London office and in the family home, Yew Tree Lodge. The opening chapters are wonderfully engaging. Agatha Christie, when she took the trouble, could sketch characters vividly. Amongst all of them in this book, there are not more than a handful of suspects. To compensate, Mrs Christie throws in buckets full of red herrings.
You'll enjoy the puzzle, and having innumerable theories suggested and dismissed. The solution, when it comes, however, is no more plausible than is the likelihood of a blackbird pecking off a maid's nose.
If you can obtain the unabridged reading of the book by Rosemary Leach, your enjoyment will be enhanced. Rosemary Leach is unusually skilled at "doing" the voices of a large cast of characters, male and female.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four and twenty blackbirds...., 9 April 2010
By 
P. Nicholls "LookingLikeBruce" (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One of my favourites and a puzzle right to the end.
A fantastic work from the pen of Agatha Christie, this is a great story and as usual all is not what it seems.
A must for all Christie fans!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Standard Murder Mystery, 25 Jun 2009
By 
J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Another standard murder mystery for Miss Marple, with a fortunate coincidence which involves her to assist the befuddled policeman. Perhaps by this point in her career, Christie's opinion of the police had dropped.

The setting was quite similar to the previous novel: large country house, complicated family, all with adequate motives, several not who they say they are. This one was better done, with plenty of red herrings mixed in with the real clues.

The inclusion of the titular cereal and its follow-ups seems unnecessary - yes, perhaps nursery rhymes were Christie's inspirations for some of her novels but I doubt many authors continue it into the narrative when it isn't important to the plot.

Overall, a good quick read - I wasn't certain at the end but the suspicions were certainly there. There's plenty more Marple books on my shelf so I hope the thrill levels pick up!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant plot but lacking of description of mood., 6 Mar 1999
By A Customer
In A Pocket Full of Rye, Agatha Christie has, as always, created a magnificent plot for murder. The solution came suprisingly and I could hardly put the book down, I was so interested in who the murderer was. The thing I miss, though, is more involvment in the book. The author doesn't describe the mood very well, it's like murder is a very common case and happens all the time without affecting people very much. Also, Miss Marple came in far too late, but I enjoyed the connection of the plot with the nursery rhyme "Sing a song of six-pence...".
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A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple Mysteries (Audio))
A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple Mysteries (Audio)) by Agatha Christie (Audio CD - 1 April 2014)
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