A Pocket Full of Rye

 by Agatha Christie is available to buy here.


When successful business man Rex Fortescue is killed in his 'counting house' and grain is found in his pocket - it is only Miss Marple who sees that, when his wife is also poisoned with her afternoon tea 'eating bread and honey' - that there is a very clear rhyme and reason to the killings...


The 6th Novel by Agatha Christie to feature Miss Jane Marple.The next novel in the Marple series is '4.50 from Paddington'.

when to read

This is a great novel to read at any time of the year - perhaps whilst enjoying some bread and honey?

murder mystery

Classic country house murder mystery with a high body count to keep you entertained from cover to cover.


Another country house murder mystery to enjoy.

Publishing info

This novel was published in 1953, the previous Marple novel was 'They Do It With Mirrors' the year before.

overall rating


On Screen

Watching Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie was filmed as part of the ITV feature length episodes and is Season 4 episode 1 starring Julia Mckenzie as Miss Marple. A Joan Hickson version was also filmed in 1985 and in 1983 Ita Evar played Marple in a Russian film adaptation.

A Pocket Full of Rye Character List

Adele FortescueRex’s wife
Albert EvansGladys’ boyfriend
Aunt Effie Rex Fortescue’s sister-in-law
Detective Constable WaitePoliceman working on the case
Donald MacKenzieSon of Mr and Mrs MacKenzie who died in the war
Dr CrosbieHead doctor at the Pinewood Private Sanatorium where Helen MacKenzie is a resident
Dr Edwin SandemanRex Fortescue’s doctor
Dr IsaacsA doctor from Bethnal Green who attends Rex Fortescue with his doctor Edwin, when Rex falls ill
Elaine FortescueYoungest daughter of Rex in love with Gerald Wright
Ellen CurtisHousemaid at Yewtree Lodge
Elvira FortescueRex’s first wife, mother of Lance, Percival and Elaine
FredFishmonger at St Mary Mead
Gerald WrightSchool master in love with Elaine
Gladys MartinParlour-maid at Yewtree Lodge and former maid to Miss Marple
Helen MacKenzieMr MacKenzi’s widowed wife living at the Pinewood sanatorium
Inspector NeeleInvestigating officer
Jennifer FortescuePercival’s wife  
KittyMiss Marple’s current maid in this novel
Lancelot FortescueRex’s son who is recently returned from Kenya
Lord Frederick AnsticeDeceased second husband of Pat who committed suicide
Marion BatesAcquaintance of Miss Marple – daughter of a wealthy iron monger
Mary Dove Housekeeper at Yewtree Lodge, employed by Rex Rortescue
Miss BellTypist at Rex Fortescue firm, Consolidated Investments Trust.
Miss ChaseTypist at Rex Fortescue firm, Consolidated Investments Trust.
Miss GriffithHead typist at the offices of Rex Fortescue.
Miss Irene GrosvenorPersonal secretary to Rex Fortescue
Miss RamsbottomRex’s sister-in-law
Miss SomersNewest secretary in the office of Rex Fortescue
Mr AnsellSolicitor from ‘Ansell & Worrall’ who wrote up Adele’s will
Mr BatesMan who married Marion Bates initially for her money
Mr Billingsley Solicitor for the Fortescue family from the London firm ‘Billingsley, Horsethorpe & Walters’
Mr CrumpButler at Yewtree Lodge
Mr EmmettThe bank manager at St Mary Mead
Mr MacKenzieOriginally discovered the Black Bird Mine, left for dead by Rex Fortescue
Mrs CrumpCook at Yewtree Lodge
Mrs EmmettWife of the bank manager at St Mary Mead who didn’t feel she fit in with her husbands social standing
Mrs HardcastlePersonal secretary to Percival Fortescue
Mrs Latimer Resident o St Mary Mead who ran the girl guides
Mrs SparrowA lady Miss Marple knew who’s son married the nurse who tended to him while he has pneumonia 
Mrs Trefusis JamesLady to which Jennifer Fortescue worked as a nurse
Pat FortescueLancelot’s wife travelling with him, he is her third husband
Percival FortescueRex Fortescue’s eldest son, married to Jennifer
Professor BernsdorffDoctor at St Jude’s hospital who confirms Rex’s cause of death
Rex FortescueWealthy businessman and victim, owner of Yewtree Lodge
Ruby MacKenzieDaughter of Mr and Mrs MacKenzie
Sergeant HayPoliceman on the case
Vivian DuboisGolf instructor


Rex Fortescue

Gladys Martin

Adele Fortescue

Lancelot Fortescue

Lancelot discovered that the Black Bird Mine was actually very valuable and wants to inherit it. He dupes Gladys into administering the poison to Rex acting as her boyfriend and calling himself Alfred by telling her the poison is a truth serum. He then kills her to keep her quiet and Adele to ensure the he receives his inheritance.

Rex is Poisoned with Taxine

Adele is poisoned with cyanide

Gladys is strangled

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