Book Review: A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie



At the beginning of the story, a certain Rex Fortescue (a supposedly rich businessman, leader of his own firm) is sipping his tea in his office when he suffers a sudden and very tragic death. After the police examines the body more closely, they found a handful of rye in one of his pockets… and no one knows what it is supposed to mean. After our -witty and reckless- murderer strikes again, 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.

“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.”

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. This was my first book from Miss Maple series. I picked up this book at random to read while traveling. This book was probably not as good as my three absolute favourites, but I would still recommend it to everyone who is looking for a good read.

One of the things I really liked about this book is that it is not a long-drawnout story. This one is pretty straightforward as the murder happens in first chapter  itself and readers are sucked into this murder mystery. Investigation is already in full swing right after the second chapter or so, keeping us all in suspense and making us guess who might have done it, as Christie’s works tend to make us feel all the time.

This is the first Marple book I have read and I was disappointed to know that the most of the Investigation is done by the police and it’s Miss Marple who helps them with the missing piece of the puzzle. The ending for me was a great surprise – a very witty and cleverly done business and I suspected someone else all along, I have to admit. (who wasn’t completely innocent either, that’s true)

To sum up, it is a well written work and is hard to put down once the first victim dies. I am sure you wont be disappointed if you treat this as a standalone Agatha Christie’s novel and are happy to get along with the investigation with Inspector Neele you wont be disappointed.

Make sure to drop your comments. Your feedback matters

Agatha Christie fans also read:

Agatha Christie’s – And Then There Were None

The Monogram Murders – A Review


Why Is Mystery Genre So Popular


The mystery novel is one of the most popular genres in the world and these books is second only to that of romance stories.

What is it about mystery novels that makes them so readable, so addictive? You know the feeling. You snuggle up in bed or on a couch and become totally immersed in a world of suspense, secrets, and danger. You are so keen to reach for the climax of the story and once you reach there you are left wanting for more….

The greatest single attraction of the mystery novel is the character of the detective. Take for example Sherlock Holmes or a Hercule Poirot we have read and enjoyed most of their novels. The novels we have not yet read are in our to be read list. I am confident you will agree.

We talk about characters as if they were real people. Reading books about a series detective is like spending time with a friend,


The Readers:


bigmidgetmurdersnever-say-no-to-a-killerReaders who are into reading mysteries are intelligent people and it appeals to their sense of curiosity. We enjoy non stop action involving cat and mouse chase.  The psychological makeup and motivational drives of characters fascinates us. Most mystery readers are as interested in how and why a crime is committed as they are in who committed it. Sifting through clues and analysing them as the story progresses adds challenge.

Readers respond to books because they can relate to one of the characters.   With a sleuth, or amateur detective, we respond because we can become part of the solution.  We’re on the winning team, capturing villains, killers, and righting wrongs.

Mystery fans also want to marvel at the genius of the Detective as he finally solves the crime. Indeed, the reader loves to match wits with the sleuth and the criminal—and the author. Perhaps our most satisfying experience is to figure out “Who did it?” before the end of the book.


The Monogram Murders – A Review

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot. – NEW YORK TIMES

The blurb:

Hercule Poirot is seated alone in a London cafe when he’s approached by a mysterious woman who claims that her life is in danger. Fearing she will die, she tells Poirot not to seek the killer, for justice will have been carried out by her death. Later that same evening, Poirot meets with his friend and associate Inspector Catchpool of Scotland Yard and lemonogram1arns that three murders were committed at the Bloxham Hotel, each victim found with a monogrammed cuff-link in his or her mouth. Sensing a connection, Poirot is determined to track down the mysterious woman and bring about a solution to the mysterious deaths before the killer has a chance to strike again…

From the blurb itself, the book sounds compelling read, but once I started reading, I found my mind diverting away a lot of times. Honestly for me, the book started very poorly, Well…Poirot seemed out of character to say the least. There were of course obligatory references to Poirot’s “little grey cells”, his mustache and desire for neatness and symmetry in his surroundings, but aside from these attributes, the detective herein could have been anyone.

The mystery was very brilliantly unfolded. It offers a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. But remember, this is not Agatha Christie’s book, this book is written by Sophie Hannah, so don’t expect it to turn out to be another Agatha Christie novel.

Did I like the book?

No, I didn’t. But it’s Not too bad at all!

Bookshelf Porn

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Agatha Christie’s – And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie is the queen of crime and her novel ‘And There Were None’ proves it.
And Then….. is considered her masterpiece by many. And is probably described by her as the most difficult of her book written.  The story is very engrossing and gripping. As a  reader I was just bamboozled in a straightforward way from first to last…
The story involves ten strangers, each with a dark secret, who are lured to a mansion on an uninhabited island and one by one they begin to meet a gruesome end. The plot revolves around a nursery rhyme, as used to commit the perfect crime. Here the diminishing group must try to discover the identity of the murderer.

Who will be the last person standing?

And Then There Were None is a compelling introduction to the mystery genre.

A must read.


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