The normally friendly village of Lymston is plagued by vile anonymous letters. When a mother of three takes her own life, following such a letter, Ms. Marple is not at all convinced things are as they seem.
While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.
A friend of Miss Marple's sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. When police cannot find a body and doubt the story, Miss Marple enlists professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover.
Wealthy business man Rex Fortescue collapses when he reaches his office. It is determined that he was poisoned. No one seems too upset, as everyone agrees that Rex was a tyrant. Soon however Rex's young wife also turns up poisoned. The maid, Gladyes, whom Miss Marple trained, writes to Miss Marple asking for help. Miss Marple arrives too late, as Gladyses' body is found strangled and strung up on the clothes line. Now it's personal, and Miss Marple is determined to see the murderer punished. Written by
The back page of the newspaper read by Miss Marple has a headline stating "Strathspey 25-1 Winner of the Cesarewitch." The Cesarewitch is a British "flat" (no jumps) race for thoroughbreds, run in Newmarket, which the horse Strathspey did indeed win, in 1949. See more »
Just after Lance's car is spotted by the police, he drives past a modern (post-1964) speed limit sign. See more »
One of the better TV translations of an Agatha Christie novel...
JOAN HICKSON was an excellent Jane Marple and this is definitely one of the better TV works of Agatha Christie's A POCKET FULL OF RYE. The clever plotting uses a nursery rhyme (one of Christie's favorite ways of linking a complex set of clues to a murder), and gives a nice assortment of suspicious characters a chance to make the perfect sort of red herrings.
The mystery gets underway as soon as Rex Fortescue is killed. He's a rich, nasty old man who has a fortune tied to some nasty business in his past, and enough enemies to make everyone a likely suspect. Crisply acted and played in elegant British fashion by an assortment of reliable British supporting players, it keeps you interested in solving the crime along with the baffled inspector, who is no match for Miss Marple.
Hickson is perfectly cast as the wise old lady and makes the character seem as though Christie had her in mind for the role.
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