A Pocket Full of Rye
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!
Reviewed on 5th March 2009
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 nursey 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!