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4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable High Tea With Dame Agatha,
Most of Christie's great novels were written in the 1930s and 1940s. Although she could still create a stunner when she wished, with A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED a case in point, by the 1950s Christie favored a less complicated approach, preferring to write novels that might be described as creamy confections for a very civilized high tea. A POCKET FULL OF RYE is perhaps the perfect example. Like most Christie novels, the plot is extremely contrived--but in this instance she makes no effort to conceal the contrivance; it is a shell game, pure and simple and without pretension, a game undertaken for the pleasure of it. And when Christie sets out to write a novel for the pure fun of it, there is always a great deal of fun to be had. This will never rank among her greatest works, but fans will devour it in a single sitting and feel as satisified as if they had just enjoyed a blow-out of cream buns. Thoroughly enjoyable.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Children are cruel, cruel little things...",
The first chapter described the death of Rex Fortescue in great detail, although those details curtail none of the man's suffering but his assistants worries: whether their boss is having a sudden attack of epilepsy, drunk, or simply dying. I find this chapter very funny - I have a very strange sense of humour, so sue me - and sets the motion for the proceeding chapters when more of the rhyme came into fulfilment: the dead queen in the parlour, the maid with a clothespin on her nose to make up for the 'bird came and nipped her nose' and even the pie that contained dead blackbirds, which of course, accounts for the first part of the rhyme.
Ms Marple commented these things in the book as horribly childish, and she set out to seek the murderer who not only killed from afar but also killed merely out of covering his/her own sad behind. Another brilliant novel from the Dame.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of Dame Agatha's Twisted Nursery Rhymes,
Rex Fortescue was a very rich and quite unpleasant man. He ran his family and his business with an iron fist. One morning his very efficient secretary took in his morning tea and found him dying. While investigating his death the police were met with one puzzle after another, what killed Mr. Fortescue?, how was it administered? and why did he have a pocket full of rye grain? As they were beginning to get some answers another murder occurred and then yet another each bringing more confusion to the scene.
Jane Marple arrives to the house and begins to sort through the tangle of clues to steer the police in the right direction.
This story may seem quite familiar. The Fortescue family is Christie's standard - domineering, wealthy father who keeps most of his family trapped in the family home, under his control. An errant "black sheep" child returns just as the murders begin and there are many family secrets.
Although the story is somewhat formulistic it is still a well told tale and a fairly laid out puzzle. All the clues are there for the reader to use to try to solve the mystery before the last chapter. The only drawbacks for Miss Marple fans are that Miss Marple doesn't arrive nearly half way through the book and that it is not set in St. Mary Mead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not many suspects, but buckets full of red herrings.,
This review is from: Miss Marple Pocket Full Of Rye (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusually good Christie,
By A Customer
a very short time, but it is the only one which has really stuck
with me. What sets it apart is the unusually fine character
portrayal, the ingenuity of the crime and its solution, and the
striking contrast between the wry humor which pervades much of
the book and the wrenching effect of its final pages (noted by a
previous reviewer). I'd never have expected to find a Christie
work thought-provoking, but this one was.
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and satisfying,
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Plot, Excellent Execution Combine for Great Read,
It is the death of the maid that brings Miss Jane Marple into the case. Gladys had been one of the village girls Miss Marple had trained for domestic service. Miss Marple considers it her duty to find the person who killed Gladys, and with Inspector Neele, the investigator in charge of the case, she does just that.
The book is filled with possible suspects: Percival, the eldest son along with his wife and daughter; a younger son Lancelot and his wife; Miss Effie Ramsbottom, an elderly aunt; and several suspicious servants.
Once again, it is Miss Marple's life-long experience with wickedness and her understanding of a young girl's mind that leads her to the solution of this outstanding mystery.
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice afternoon's outing,
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pocket Full of Rye is Great!,
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Miss Marple,
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Pocket Full Of Rye Marple Facsimile Edition by Agatha Christie (Hardcover - Jan. 26 2006)
Used & New from: CDN$ 8.93