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  • Location: England, London

A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple)

A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple)

Why a Booktrail?

Mid 1900s: Crime by Rhyme! Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye….

  • ISBN: 978-0007120970
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

What you need to know before your trail

Where a murders seems to follow a nursery rhyme..

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye… The King was in his counting house, counting out his money”-  A wealthy businessman is found dead with rye seeds in his pocket.

“The Queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey” – his wife is eating when she is found poisoned.

And finally – “The Maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes” Gladys the maid Gladys is indeed dealing with the laundry and is found with a peg on her nose….and very much dead.

Miss Marple soon discovers that the rhyme seems to echo a great deal about this crime. Can it also give her clues to solving it?

Travel Guide

Yewtree Lodge
The place for murder as detailed in a children’s nursery rhyme. Rex Fortescue is poisoned as he drinks a morning cup of tea at breakfast.  Wherever the poison was it’s the fact that his has a pocket full of rye at the time of death

Son Lance is travelling back from Kenya when he gets the news and is picked up by police at Paris airport. He comes to Yewtree but finds more murders seem to be piling up, all linked to the nursery rhyme. To have such an innocent childhood rhyme spell out the style and nature of murder is chilling and confusing at the same time – until Miss Marple gets on the case that is.

The best woman for the job – Miss Marple and Inspector Neele of the local police. Oh and the clues from the nursery rhyme keep piling up – Blackbirds are found on the dead man’s desk, a blackbird pie has been discovered and son Lance has a connection to the Blackbird name too…his mine back in Africa was called Blackbird Mine.

The mystery soon takes the children’s rhyme and instead spins a story which takes the reader from Africa, via Paris, and paints a unique impression of the blackbirds of that rhyme. You will never sing it again without thinking of this novel!

Yewtree Lodge/Baydon Heath –

“Call it a lodge, indeed! Yewtree Lodge! The affectation of these rich people. The house was what he, Inspector Neele would call a mansion.”

Inspector Neele questions it as he has been brought up in a lodge and so mentions the lodge of Hartington Park where he was small and damp but which was now a national trust property.

These are the days of post world war England and rationing is still in place as is the difficulty of getting good staff. The lodge itself is the scent of the man’s murder and this lodge is quaint and essentially English with its fold fashioned ‘ Smoking room’ and the fact that they enjoy afternoon tea in the library.

The maid is part of the mystery and at the time of the novel (1952) there was even a mystery surrounding the staff of a house – Housekeepers and being a housekeeper is.

“..the perfect racket. People will pay anything – anything to be spared domestic worries”

The novel paints a rounded picture of what it must have been like to have lived in a grand house after the war whether you were one of the upstairs or downstairs people. An Agatha Christie mystery in a grand old house with links to Africa makes for an intriguing stay..

The booktrail follows some of the main sites of Agatha Christie locations since the book setting is fictional

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