a pocket full of rye

Vintage Mystery Challenge 2012 – Completion

I participated on the Vintage Mystery Challenge 2012 hosted by the wonderful Bev Hankins of My Readers Block.

I had chosen to read from two Vintage Themes (16 books). The themes were,

Deadly Decades: 8 books, one from each time period plus one of your choice (Pre-1900s; 1900-09; 1910-19; 1920-1929; 1930-1939; 1940-1949; 1950-59).

Golden Age Girls: 8 books by female authors OR 8 books with female detectives.

And drumroll, please! I completed the challenge last month! It took me on an average two books per month. I could have done it faster but I didn’t want to. I wanted to savour it as much as possible. But here we are at the end of the road.

Once again, I’d like to thank Bev for hosting this challenge! 🙂

Completed Books:

Deadly Decades: 

Pre-1900s: The Big Bow Mystery. Israel Zangwill. (1892)

1900-09: The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (1902)

1910-19: At the Villa Rose. A.E.W. Mason. (1910)

1920-1929: Behind That Curtain. Earl Derr Biggers. (1928)

1930-1939: The Thirteen Problems. Agatha Christie. (1932)

1940-1949: The Body in the Library. Agatha Christie. (1942)

1950-59: 4.50 from Paddington. Agatha Christie. (1957)

Decade of my own choice: 1900-09: In the Fog. Richard Harding Davis. (1901)

Golden Age Girls: 8 books by female authors.

1. The After House. Mary Roberts Rinehart.

2. The Lodger. Marie Adelaide Belloc.

3. A Pocket Full of Rye. Agatha Christie.

4.  The Old Man in the Corner. Baroness Orczy.

5. The Moving Finger. Agatha Christie.

6. Evil Under the Sun. Agatha Christie.

7. Death And The Dancing Footman. Ngaio Marsh.

8. The Beckoning Lady. Margery Allingham.

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Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012 – Completion

I participated in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012 hosted at the Book Chick City. My participation level was TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels.

And I have completed my first challenge of 2012! I thought it would take me at least six months to finish 12 mystery & suspense books but I did it in five. So yay me! 🙂

So glad to have participated in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012! Thanks to everyone in Book Chick City for hosting this fabulous challenge!

Completed Books:

1. The Big Bow Mystery. Israel Zangwill.

2. The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

3. At the Villa Rose. A.E.W. Mason.

4. Behind That Curtain. Earl Derr Biggers.

5. The Thirteen Problems. Agatha Christie.

6. The Body in the Library. Agatha Christie.

7. 4.50 from Paddington. Agatha Christie.

8.  In the Fog. Richard Harding Davis.

9. The After House. Mary Roberts Rinehart.

10. The Lodger. Marie Adelaide Belloc.

11. A Pocket Full of Rye. Agatha Christie.

12. The Old Man in the Corner. Baroness Orczy.

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a bookish meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link up at Freda’s site

Today’s sentence comes from A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie.

“Now, as she looked out in the fading light, she noticed a man’s figure just disappearing round the yew hedge”

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye.

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;

Wasn’t that a dainty dish,

To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour,

Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes;

When down came a blackbird

And pecked off her nose.

This, in short, is the plot of A Pocketful of Rye.

Agatha Christie had a real affinity for nursery rhymes. Many of her novels and short stories are named after nursery rhymes. A Pocketful of Rye gets its name from the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence.

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie was first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in 1953 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year.

The setting of the story is classic Christie. A large household filled with unpleasant people were everyone has a motive and any of them might have been the killer.

The bodies pile up amazingly quickly which is unusual for a Marple mystery.

Among the characters, I found the character of the chief investigator Inspector Neele to be kind of different. He is quite young and not portrayed in the usual way the police are portrayed in detective books. He kind of reminds me of Inspector Craddock, another young detective from the Marple stories. I felt sorry for Jennifer Fortescue. Getting what you want may not always be a good thing.

In this novel, Miss Marple is much sterner and much more eager to catch the killer. She had known one of the victims and it is her death that makes Miss Marple angrier than I’ve ever seen her before. Inspector Neele calls her ‘avenging fury’ (though he admits she does not look like the popular idea of it).

Miss Marple deduces the identity of the killer once again through her infinite knowledge of the ‘Human Nature’. I was kind of surprised by the identity of the killer. Because it is not the usual type Christie goes with (not that there hasn’t been one or two exceptions to this rule in some of Agatha Christie’s books).

The narrative is crisp and enjoyable. The book almost reads itself.

A Pocket Full of Rye is a very entertaining Miss Marple novel. Mystery buffs will definitely enjoy this engaging little problem. Recommended.

Teaser Tuesdays (May 8)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 My Teaser:

“…So she went out with a torch to take them in and she almost fell over the body – the girl’s body – strangled, she was, with a stocking round her throat – been dead for hours, I’d say. And, sir, it’s a wicked kind of joke – there was a clothes peg clipped on her nose –

A Pocket Full of Rye”  by Agatha Christie