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Sing a song of sixpence

A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie

A Pocketful of Rye was first published in 1953, and is one of the Miss Marple novels. I never enjoy the Marples quite so much as I enjoy the Poirots, although I'm not sure why since I actually find Poirot annoying much of the time.


This was a fun one, though. Christie builds her murders around the titular nursery rhyme. It is a bit atypical that none of the characters in the book were very likeable. The victims were all fairly loathesome - a financier who is barely on the legal side of the swindle most of the time, his much younger adulterous wife. The suspects, equally, were highly unlikeable: the elder son, a pompous goody-two-shoes, and the younger son, a charismatic creep.


She did a good job redirecting the reader and sending us down blind alleys, and the solution to the mystery was fairly ingenious. The murderer was a nasty piece of work, as is usual in the Dame Agatha mysteries. Unlike the real world, where murders are actually rarely committed "with malice aforethought," Agatha Christie brings us a world where the most mundane individuals are capable of vicious premeditation, usually for money, but sometimes for sex. Her murders are rarely crimes of passion, which means that they come off, to me at least, as a bit sterile. Puzzle to be solved, not that different from a working a crossword - unless you are the victim, of course.


I enjoyed this one, though, and I'm sure I read a few more since most of them are available on scribd. In fact, if there are any that you all particularly enjoyed that are a bit on the obscure side, let me know in the comments. I've already read most of her best known books, but would love some recommendations for some of her less well-known novels.