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Publisher's Summary

Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his "counting house" when he suffered an agonizing 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 parlor that confirmed Miss Marple's suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme....

©1954 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about A Pocket Full of Rye

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Brilliant Marple Mystery Performance!

Would you listen to A Pocket Full of Rye again? Why?

I would absolutely listen to "Pocket Full of Rye" again!!! It is a brilliantly done story with great characters and a wonderful performance!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I absolutely loved Inspector Neil! He is shrewd and calculating but just not quite up to Miss Marple's train of thinking - although wise enough to know that he needs her as a collaborator.

Have you listened to any of Richard E. Grant’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to two other performances by Richard E. Grant and I can honestly say that they are all brilliant. The first was my favorite "The Moving Finger" but that was simply because I liked Christie's characters there better. As far as the performance of this work, it's fantastic! He really makes the characters come to life. Often, so many performers don't understand the author and their humor or particular characters and it makes the book a droll and uninteresting. NOT SO HERE! I think that Mr. Grant genuinely understands the intentions of Christie in her characters and portrays them wonderfully. I would listen to any other Agatha Christie novel that he performs, simply because I know I will have an enjoyable work to listen to.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Four and twenty blackbirds say you're about to die"

OR

"Even Mother Goose can kill"

Any additional comments?

A must read for all book lovers, but especially mystery lovers and Agatha Christie enthusiasts!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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I put off this book for too long

Where does A Pocket Full of Rye rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

You won't be steered wrong by a tome read by Richard E Grant. His narration
could make the phone book sound good.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Agatha is always fun!

I don’t know if I’d call this Miss Marple book (by the wonderful Agatha Christie) her very best, but it’s quite a fun listen. It’s a cleverly plotted mystery that is filled with a rich assortment of characters, plot twists and turns, and reads very well—even 70 years after it was written.

The story is woven around an old children’s nursery rhyme, and of course, it takes all the quiet observational powers of Miss Marple to solve it. Sadly, Miss Marple doesn’t feature as strongly in this book as she does in some others. But the story flows well and the narration is good (Though a bit slow—I found that listening in 1.25 speed improved it greatly).

I’ve been an Agatha Christie fan for well over 50 years now, and I could almost say that her worst writing is still great reading. This is not her very best Miss Marple, but I’m happy to say it is very good. The plot is unusual, the characters well drawn, and the mystery quite fun. Even though I was well familiar with this book (having previously read it and seen the movie) it was an engaging listen. Agatha is like the Shakespeare of early mystery writers. You know the story but still love to hear them again and again. I sure do recommend it! 👍

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a good, clever, Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie books are my go-to when I need something that I can count on to be a good read. I find that overall they are a safe choice.
This is a good and clever story of Christie's. I would recommend it as a good choice. Richard E Grant did a good job of narrating.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story. Confusing narration.

One of Agatha Christie’s best stories. Twisting plot makes it fun to hear. The minor characters have clear and identifiable accents, but the main characters are difficult to distinguish.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WHO DOESN'T ENJOY AGATHA?

Would you consider the audio edition of A Pocket Full of Rye to be better than the print version?

THE REASON I DECIDED TO START AUDIOBOOKS WAS TO HEAR SOMEONE ELSE'S INTERPRETATION OF THE CHARACTERS AND RICHARD E. GRANT DOES A WONDERFUL JOB. I'VE DECIDED I LIKE THE AUDIO BETTER.

Who was your favorite character and why?

MISS MARPLE OF COURSE - SHE'S THE WHOLE STORY EVEN THOUGH A GOOD DEAL HAPPENS PRIOR TO HER APPEARANCE.

What about Richard E. Grant’s performance did you like?

EVERYTHING ABOUT HIS PERFORMANCE IS WONDERFUL; STYLE FOR EACH CHARACTER FIT PERFECTLY AND HIS PLAY ON MISS MARPLE WAS JUST TERRIFIC.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

NO PARTICULAR MOMENT STRUCK ME AS KEY, THE WHOLE STORY IS RELEVANT AND WHEN YOU HEAR THE TRUTH - DOWN TO THE LAST CHAPTER - YOU RECALL DIFFERENT PIECES THAT MADE IT ALL FALL TOGETHER.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful way to get back into mystery

I'm not familiar with Agatha Christie's works and her writing style but how she wrote this was genius. It's simple with a very well-thought-out plot. The end was very unexpected. To be honest, I prefer how she wrote it to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. While the iconic detective's methods were marvelous, the writer never laid out all the facts before Holmes gave his conclusion. So there never was a chance of learning from his methods and possibly predicting the ends of future stories. Here, you get pretty much almost everything and still get surprised about how things turned out.

Interesting how it's not a thriller like most mystery novels but that's what I like about it. Makes it friendly for binging on whatever hours and still get a good night's sleep. Also, it makes it very unique. She certainly stood out from the genre.

The voice actor was very talented. 👌 My only issue is that he has a little trouble with women's voices in particular. It made it hard to distinguish one character from the next, even getting mixed up with narrator. The men's were easier to tell from one another but there was this unmistakable similarity that made it difficult sometimes when you weren't paying attention. I will give him credit how he got each one's personality spot on which also showed in the voices. He also has a very nice quality voice. I look forward to listening to more books read by him.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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M. Marple Encourages the Detective

All the clues lead elsewhere, so I did not guess the murderer. It's a convoluted plot. So much fun to follow the stories of the different characters in a wealthy British family. Maybe this one did it, maybe that one? One of the best Agatha Christie mysteries, in my opinion. If you enjoy English Who Done Its- you'll like this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Always enjoy miss marple

I like the narrator he has good change of characters with his lives . Of
Course agatha Christie is the best .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Performance brings down an otherwise good story

Although I listened to the little sample of this audiobook, I'm afraid that the narration didn't hold up over time, and the characterizations got to seem like they were in a farcical drawing room comedy. Perhaps the accents are appropriate for that location and class of Brits at the time, but it seemed Grant was able to put more humanity into some of the characters than in others.....I don't know if he did it on purpose or not, but it didn't work very well.

As for the story and the mystery, I quite liked the implausibly convoluted mystery full of red herrings, with a little Miss Marple thrown in for good measure. Rather than taking place in the relative isolation of a small village, this one takes place in the relative isolation of a wealthy manor. I like the small-town Miss Marple and her common sense approach to things, though the wealthy environs didn't really seem to suit her this time.

4 people found this helpful