The first full-length novel, written and published in , is called The Murder at the Vicarage. She has an unusual background for a sleuth, with no background in criminology or the police force.
She lives in St Mary Mead, a small English village with a local pub, a handful of shops, the vicarage as well as the Gossington Hall estate. Jane Marple is house-proud, and has had a host of different housemaids, many of whom she takes in from an orphanage and trains in housekeeping skills. A caring employer with a passion for justice, Miss Marple seeks revenge when a former maid is murdered in A Pocket Full of Rye. She is an independent spirit who enjoys travelling to visit friends in the UK and further afield.
However, almost all of the Miss Marple mysteries are set in an English village or country house, with a handful of exceptions. As the book opens we are immediately drawn into the busy office of the wealthy financier, Rex Fortescue. This kind of fuss being made over such a fussy character is often a harbinger of death in novels of this ilk… and crisis ensues not long after his morning beverage is served.
Within minutes Rex Fortescue is gripped by a searing pain. This turns out to be taxine poisoning. How was the poison administered, and by whom? Why the rye?
Enter Inspector Neele of Scotland Yard, and the scene then moves to the home of the victim, Yewtree Lodge, where the cast of suspects gradually begins to gather. Many people swear by the cleverness of the murderer's alibi. Not me; it's not a deliberate choice, I simply can't appreciate the subtlety of a water tight crime.
The way I see it, is that if the journey is good, and if there are startling revelations, and if I can put a face to a well depicted character, then the said book would have fulfilled its purpose of providing me with a roller coaster ride. A Pocket Full of Rye does more than tick all the boxes. I did notice two jarring notes in this very entertaining book. First time ever, has Miss Marple been described as tall.
I never imagined her as beyond 5 feet 10 inches, tops. Almost all female characters are regularly said to be tall. One impossible explanation that occurred to me was that the author somehow had the word ringing in her brain, and wrote the entire book in one sitting. The more plausible reason was that it was a reference to something from her life.
She deliberately planted the word tall throughout her book. Anyway, I'll never imagine Miss Marple as taller than average, because she was old and she must have shrunk somewhat. Elementary, my dear. The second thing concerned the last sentence in the book: " Moving on, I'd like to say that this Inspector Neele person is a super Lestrade.
He is allowed one generous, clever deduction, and that was the blackmail of Jennifer Fortescue by Mary Dove. I also thought it was too much that the author made of Mary an accomplice to thieves. Too much going on, I would have liked Mary Dove to remain impassive to the end.
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Perhaps the author, having pitted Neele's wits against Mary's impassiveness, just had to make the Inspector put one over Mary Dove. Despite these middling things, I had great fun reading this mystery. This book is greater than the sum of its parts.
The letter and photo scene near the end provided a vital clue but was also poignant. It was a little piteous to see tears in Miss Marple eyes. When Rex Fortescue is discovered to have been murdered by poison in his office, Inspector Neele of Scotland Yard is quite sure he knows exactly who's behind it. But when two more members of Fortescue's household are also found dead, Neele is suddenly left quite perplexed. When Miss Marple arrives to aid the investigation due to her knowledge of one of the victims, the astute insights of the innocuous-looking old woman are likely to set everything on its ear.
Yet another thoroughly satisfying Miss Marple outing. As ever, she had me fully stumped on the whodunnit and her ability to create fantastic characters who feel utterly real from the moment they appear on the page is astounding. Christie continues her run of being unable to disappoint. Here is a delightful but deadly take on the child's nursery rhyme. It goes, "Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. 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.
A Pocket Full of Rye book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered bus. A Pocket Full of Rye: A Miss Marple Mystery and millions of other books are available for instant access. . Book 7 of 13 in the Miss Marple Mysteries Series.
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.