The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot

The Lord God Made Them All Book Cover

Information

GoodreadsThe Lord God Made Them All
Series: All Creatures Great and Small #4
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1981

Summary

After leaving the RAF, James Herriot returns to Darrowby, where he continues his veterinary practice in the Yorkshire Dales, and also makes a few trips as a travel vet.

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Review

The fourth volume in James Herriot’s series about veterinary practice in the Yorkshire Dales brings readers back to Darrowby after Herriot’s short stint in the RAF during WWII. The familiar people and places return, interspersed with chapters of Herriot’s trips to Russia and Istanbul. While I enjoyed Herriot’s trademark humor and gentle observations on life, I admittedly found the anecdotes less entertaining than those in his previous books. And I thought the foreign travel chapters were misplaced. Still, one cannot go wrong with Herriot. It’s always soothing to follow his stories at the end of a busy day.

Regrettably, much of the drama that makes the first two volumes in this series so memorable are missing. Herriot is no longer a young vet from the city who needs to prove himself, but an established professional. He no longer is courting Helen and finding himself in awkward situations, but is happily married with children. Even Siegfried and Tristan have gone off and gotten married, with no explanation of how that happened or who their wives are, meaning that a great deal of humor has gone. Even the anecdotes and people here are less engaging than those of yore. How I miss Tricki Woo! Still, Herriot’s gentle way of laughing at himself and finding the joy in everyday situations kept me reading.

But what to do with the chapters on Russia and Istanbul? Herriot, apparently, traveled as a ship’s vet to Russia once to make sure their livestock arrived healthy, and then by plane another time to Istanbul. He seems to have realized, however, that readers really just want stories from Darrowby, so he cuts up his accounts of each trip into chapters that appear randomly throughout the book. The first time the chapter on Russia suddenly cut off and switched back to Darrowby, I thought the audiobook I was listening to had skipped, or perhaps was defective. Had the creators just…forgotten to record the rest of the Russia chapters? But then, lo! A few chapters on, Herriot is back in Russia. It is extremely confusing.

To me, it seems obvious Herriot should have left these chapters out. The books are not really comprehensive accounts of his life and everything that happened, but anecdotes about veterinary practice in the Yorkshire Dales. Thematically, Herriot’s attempts to write a mini travelogue do not belong. I suppose he could have published them separately, but I also wonder if he knew his readers probably would not want to buy something like that from him. And, truly, I’m not sure Herriot was meant to be a travel writer. His account to Russia spends a lot of time on what he ate on the ship and how he was never sea sick, then meanders on to a few not particularly illuminating observations of the country. His trip to Istanbul is more humorous since he gets stranded there, but, he does not really have a keen sense for describing new places to readers. His talents are best reserved for the animals and the people who care for them.

Still, Herriot’s books are comfort reads. I love looking forward to his misadventures each day and to his gentle sense of humor. While I miss the Siegfried and Tristan stories of old, readers still get fun stories about the pets and farm animals Herriot treats. And one really feels Herriot’s love for his work and for humanity. The world always needs a bit of warmth, and that is just what Herriot’s books provide.

3 Stars

All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot

All Things Wise and Wonderful

Information

GoodreadsAll Things Wise and Wonderful
Series: All Creatures Great and Small #3
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published:

Summary

James Herriot begins training in the Royal Air Force during WWII, but still finds time to visit his pregnant wife Helen and reminisce about his veterinary practice in the Yorkshire Hills.

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Review

I was intrigued by the third volume in James Herriot’s series about being a vet in the Yorkshire Dales because I knew that Jim would be heading off to the Royal Air Force. What would this mean for his charming animal stories? Would the book become a WWII memoir instead? Would we ever see Tricki Woo again? The answer is complicated. The book switches between brief anecdotes about Herriot’s time in the RAF and his memories of Darrowby. Often, the parts about his time in the RAF are just a few sentences that lead him into a vet story instead of an RAF story. In the end, I have mixed feelings about All Things Wise and Wonderful. I suppose Herriot could not have left out his time in the RAF completely, yet these parts often seem tangential to the book, as if Herriot was well aware of what his readers actually wanted–the Yorkshire Dales.

In thinking about my reaction to All Things Wise and Wonderful, I did wonder how Herriot could have mentioned his time in the RAF and yet still made the book feel a bit less choppy. I even wondered if he actually needed to mention the RAF at all. His books typically skip through time, with Herriot telling stories about his vet adventures before he was married, and then returning back to his “present.” If he just mentioned some of his training and then spent longer sections on his visiting his pregnant wife and meeting his son, it seems rather like that would have been well and good. Just enough to let readers know what his “present” is, while still launching him back into of his veterinary past. Because the joke is that, after finally getting trained to fly, Herriot is asked to have a surgery that then disqualifies him from flying. And, because he is in a reserve profession, he is unable enlist in another part of the military. Herriot gets sent home! His time in the RAF seems relatively minor.

In some respects, Herriot seems to understand his time in the RAF was relatively minor, and he really does not dwell on it. Sometimes I wondered why he bothered to bring readers back to his present, or frame narrative, at all. A section, for instance, might begin with a few sentences on a fellow trainee being odd, with Herriot using his observation to launch into a remark that animals can be odd, too. Then off we go into another memory. Why bring up the odd fellow at all? Why not just tell the animal story?

Because the animal stories are where Herriot really shines. He has some amusing incidents to relate about his time in the RAF, such as getting a tooth pulled by an incompetent dentist, but, by and large, his best writing is reserved for his time in Darrowby. This usually pertains to the animals, but, of course, his anecdotes about his colleagues Siegfried and Tristan are always worth a laugh, as well. The only character in Darrowby that Herriot does not really make come alive is arguably his wife Helen. Typically Herriot brings out the humor of human nature, but Helen is always presented as kind, generous, loving, and supportive. The perfect wife. It probably made for a happier marriage, but her character is one of the duller ones in the books.

Though some of the transitions from frame narrative to memories are clumsy, All Things Wise and Wonderful still brings Herriot’s signature charm, humor, and warmth to his stories. Joy, heartbreak, and wonder all mix together in his vivid depiction of life as a rural vet making this third installment well worth the read.

4 stars

A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

A Caribbean Mystery

Information

GoodreadsA Caribbean Mystery
Series: Miss Marple #10
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1964

Summary

While vacationing in St Honoré, Miss Marple learns of the death of a fellow guest. The authorities assume it was Major Palgrave’s health that gave out, but was Palgrave actually ill? What was it he was saying to her just the night before? Miss Marple tests her wits once again as she tries to uncover who wanted the Major dead, and why.

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Review

A Caribbean Mystery adds a bit of novelty to the Miss Marple series by moving the amateur detective from her home turf of the village of St. Mary Mead to a tropical island. However, human nature, according to Miss Marple, is much the same everywhere. So when a guest at her hotel dies overnight, Miss Marple’s mind begins working. The authorities believe the death was natural, but Miss Marple believe something is wrong. Watching Miss Marple baffle the local police force is always rewarding, though, in this case, the culprit is unusually obvious from the start, making A Caribbean Mystery a bit more lackluster than other books in the series.

The fun of reading a Miss Marple mystery is, of course, that everyone overlooks Miss Marple because she is an elderly woman and they thus believe that 1) she is none too bright and 2) her gentle mind could never conceive of such shocking things as murder. The joke, of course, is that Miss Marple’s age is precisely what gives her the edge she needs. She has experience. She knows people. And she knows how the world works. Yes, some things change, and Miss Marple might lament the passing of old traditions, but human nature remains the same. And Miss Marple’s mind is as keen as ever.

Unfortunately, in A Caribbean Mystery I did not particularly feel like I needed Miss Marple’s keen mind. Though it feels gratifying to solve a mystery, often the best mysteries are the ones I could not figure out, but that seem inevitable once the solution is revealed. In this book, however, I knew who the murderer was right away. The rest of the book was just Miss Marple trying to figure it out, and I was baffled that she seemed so much less certain than herself than usual. One recurring theme through the series is that Miss Marple is pretty sure who it is, but wants further proof or to catch them in the act. Here, she does not seem to fully consider the true culprit until it is almost too late. Considering the nature of the crime she is trying to prevent, that seems odd because her options are more limited than usual.

Even so, a Miss Marple mystery always remains a pleasant read. I enjoy matching wits with Christie and watching Miss Marple confound the authorities time and again. I eagerly await Miss Marple’s next case.

3 Stars

All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Information

Goodreads: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Series: All Creatures Great and Small #2
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1974

Summary

The second volume of James Herriot’s account of life as a vet in the Yorkshire Dales brings new experiences and new characters. Herriot is recently married, and enjoying it. However, his customers–both human and animal–continue to surprise and delight!

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Review

James Herriot brings his signature charm and gentle humor to this second volume of stories collecting his experiences as a veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales. Recently married, he adds some stories about the bliss of married life. But the focus remains on his four-legged patients and the humans who own them–and the humans often prove the most difficult to work with! Readers who adored All Creatures Great and Small will rejoice to find that the story continues.

In many respects, All Things Bright and Beautiful captures the same elements that make the first volume so special. Herriot treats all his subjects with sympathy, so that even rude and ungrateful customers come across as a part of a bemused observation on the eccentricities of human beings. Herriot himself is always the joke, and never the people who put him through such trials.

Still, at times, I found myself that Herriot were not always presenting himself as the hapless victim of circumstance. For instance, three times he gets drunk at the hands of the hospital vet, becomes ill, and embarrasses himself in company. Herriot always writes as if he just could not help it–he had to drink all that alcohol to prevent offending his friend. After awhile, however this particular storyline was not amusing. I really wanted to shout, “Just say no!” at Herriot, and tell him he is not obligated to make himself ill to make his friend feel good.

I also found myself wishing for more stories of Siegfried and Tristan. Tristan does get a rollicking storyline involving the appearance of a local ghost. Otherwise, however, he is relegated to chief supporter of Herriot’s attempts to court Helen. (The book goes back and forth in time, so it covers both Herriot’s current marriage and his past dating experiences.) Siegfried, too, is notably absent, which is a shame since his larger-than-life personality added a great deal to the humor of the first volume. Helen gains more prominence instead. But, as Herriot always portrays Helen as kind, loving, and generous, she is not exactly as interesting as the unhinged Siegfried, even if she does sound like a wonderful person to know.

Altogether, however, All Things Bright and Beautiful is a charming and cozy read, the type of book one wants to open when the world seems harsh. It is full with a great joy in life and a great love for humanity, the type that seems absolutely contagious.

4 stars

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie

The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side

Information

Goodreads: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
Series: Miss Marple #9
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Publication Date: 1962

Summary

Heather Badcock is meeting her idol, the film star Marina Gregg, when suddenly she seems overcome by an illness. In a few minutes, she is dead. Poison is the cause, but was it meant for Heather or for Marina? Miss Marple matches wits once again with a killer as she tries to uncover the real motive behind the murder.

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Review

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side takes on a more somber tone than previous installments in the series, as Miss Marple finds herself aging and treated as a child by her disrespectful caregiver. Even though her mental faculties are as keen as ever, Miss Marple has to face the fact that her physical health is not quite what it once was. And that times are changing. Many of her old friends are gone, the village has grown with the addition of a new Development, and family-owned shops are being replaced by supermarkets. Miss Marple’s personal struggles receive almost equal weight to the murder mystery, adding a personal touch that is sometimes missing in other books, when her musings about the old days are treated a bit more like a joke. Indeed, I would say that Miss Marple’s aging gives the story more interest than the murder mystery, which lacks enough clues to make it truly engaging.

Miss Marple has always been a grand protagonist because she challenges stereotypes about the elderly. Ageism is rampant in many societies–despite the fact that everyone faces the possibility of growing old one day–and Christie’s Miss Marple books have always subtly challenged it by presenting readers with an old woman who whose wits are sharper than anyone else’s around her. But The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side is not subtle. In this story, Miss Marple is even older than previously–the book is full of wistful mentions of her former cases, her former friends. And she is, while not bedridden, practically forbidden to leave her house, and at the mercy of a caregiver who treats her like she no longer has the ability to think clearly or make decisions for herself. The worst of it is that, the more she is treated with contempt, the more Miss Marple seems to start to wonder if perhaps she is not a bit too old, if perhaps she ought to give in. Readers, of course, know that Miss Marple can still vie intellectually with the best of them. But Miss Marple, as an old woman, is not allowed to speak for herself; there is no one to listen. The others always know better.

All of this gives The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side a bit of a melancholy air, as if Miss Marple is ready to say goodbye not only to solving mysteries but also to life. I admit I was more concerned about her emotional wellbeing than I was about the mystery, which lacked enough clues to make it really intriguing. The police turn up plenty of possible suspects, but I knew who the culprit was from the first. I just could not figure out the motive–and I do not know that there were really enough clues that I could have figured it out. Readers need Miss Marple to explain it all at the end. But my favorite mysteries do not rely on the detectives pulling out some obscure knowledge at the end, to cause wonder and surprise.

Still, I think The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side will be one of my favorite Miss Marple stories for the sensitivity and empathy with which it depicts aging. Christie, at the time of publication, would have been 72, and perhaps feeling herself the doubts of those around her. How long could she keep going? Would her writing still be up to par? Not often do the concerns of the aging get so much attention in literature. It is refreshing to see Christie remind readers that Miss Marple, even if seemingly funny with her old-fashioned ways, is still human and still worthy of respect.

4 stars

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

All Creatures Great and Small Book Cover

Information

Goodreads: All Creatures Great and Small
Series: All Creatures Great and Small #1
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1972

Summary

Fresh out of college, James Herriot arrives in Yorkshire, England to act as assistant to the local veterinarian.  He quickly finds practicing medicine vastly different from what he had expected.  The job requires him to labor at all hours of the night and day, often in bad weather, and healing animals proves difficult, dirty, and sometimes dangerous.  Even so, Herriot grows to love the countryside, its inhabitants, and his work. In All Creatures Great and Small, he gives vignettes of life as a country vet, chronicling his defeats, his triumphs, and his never-ending wonder at the miracle of life.

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Review

After enjoying the first two seasons of PBS’ TV series All Creatures Great and Small, I knew I had to return to James Herriot’s original book–which I had first read over ten years ago! Herriot brings such warmth and humor to his memories of vet practice in the 1930s, that even the difficulties of his profession seem minor when compared to the joy it brings both him and the people (and animals) he helps. Reading his stories feels like tucking into bed with a warm cup of cocoa on a fall evening–cozy, comforting, and altogether perfect!

Part of the delight of the stories stems from how the past and the present intertwine. Herriot gives many fascinating glimpses into a way of life that was fading even at the time of his writing–farms were changing, veterinary medicine was making advances that would make his old medicines and techniques seem charmingly quaint. But much of what Herriot experienced still feels relevant today–the eccentricities of a boss who would give conflicting instructions and make his employee out to be wrong either way, the struggle for a young professional (and outsider) to find acceptance in the community, the chance at finding love. Times may have changed, but Herriot’s struggles and triumphs are still relatable.

And he relates all of it with a gentle humor that shows just how much he loved his life, the Dales, and the people he met. Even when he has stories of dishonest, rude, and overbearing customers, Herriot always makes himself the target of the joke, the hapless young vet at the mercy of the public. He relates his stories with such fondness, it seems impossible for readers not to fall in love with the Dales and its way of life, too.

Fortunately, this is only one book of many stories that Herriot write based on his life as a country vet. So readers who enjoy this volume have many more heartwarming stories to look forward to!

5 stars

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile

Information

GoodreadsDeath on the Nile
Series: Hercule Poirot #16
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1937

Summary

Famed detective Hercule Poiret is approached by the young and beautiful socialite Linnet Doyle while on vacation in Aswan.  She wishes Poirot to stop her old friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from following her and her new husband Simon–previously Jacqueline’s fiance.  Poirot decides he can do nothing to stop Miss de Bellefort from appearing in the same public places as Linnet.  But then Linnet dies.

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Review

Death on the Nile is one of of Agatha Christie’s finest works, a masterpiece of characterization as well as a truly clever mystery.  Fans of the genre will delight in the plot’s intricacies and red herrings, its myriad of suspects and potential solutions.  Even though I had already seen the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh before reading the book, Christie’s incisive prose and compelling narration kept me engrossed to the very end.  A must read for every Christie fan!

Much of the fun of this book comes from the glamor and the atmosphere.  The setting seems practically dripping in diamonds, and I am not one to turn down a mystery set among the scandalously wealthy.  There is just something especially compelling about secrets kept by the upper classes, try as they might to maintain that they are superior to the rest of humankind.  And there is something especially poignant, of course, about a young life cut suddenly short–a life that seemed to everything before it.  Branagh’s luscious setting and slick production features are really the perfect fit for this story, if you are interested in watching the film (which does differ slightly from its source material).

The setting is spellbinding, but the characters are gripping, too.  Christie is a master at describing human nature, and she spares no one from her perceptive wit.  I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous and wealthy heiress, Linnet Doyle, but was eventually  absorbed by all the supporting cast, from the overbearing and haughty invalid woman to her downtrodden niece to the grumpy doctor.  Most of the people on board the ship have a secret, and it is always great fun disentangling them all when the investigation begins.  Who is guilty and who is guilty of…something else?

Altogether, I was delighted by this offering from Christie.  The prose, the characterization, the setting, and the puzzle all combine to make a thrilling mystery.  I have not read many Poirot stories, but this one assuredly has made me keen to read the rest!    

4 stars

They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie

Information

GoodreadsThey Do it with Mirrors
Series: Miss Marple #6
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1952

Summary

Miss Marple’s old school friend Ruth confesses that she feels uneasy for her sister Carrie Louise, and enlists Miss Marple to investigate.  Carrie Louise, it turns out, has married a philanthropist whose dream was to set up a reform school for delinquent boys.  Now she lives with her husband, a servant, and an assortment of family members who may or may not resent having to share their home with a number of troubled youth.  Initially Miss Marple cannot quite seem to find anything wrong, however.  Until someone dies.

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Review

They Do It with Mirrors seems to break new ground with its unique–for Miss Marple–setting, a reform school for troubled boys.  Though the list of possible suspects might seem to be immense, however, Miss Marple and the detectives quickly narrow down the list of possible suspects to the immediate friends and family, thereby making the setting apparently superfluous; the same incidents could have taken place in just about any wealthy home.  Once readers realize that the boys are not particularly relevant, the steam in the engine runs down a bit, though readers will be eager to see how Miss Marple solves this particularly puzzling crime.

For me, the title of the book proved perhaps the most interesting part about it.  Miss Marple has, by now, solved her fair share of perplexing crimes, most of them involving her well-to-do acquaintances.  The formula risks growing stale.  However, the title promises some sort of sleight of hand, some unusual trickiness that the other stories perhaps do not reach for.  I am not sure that the book fulfills that promise, however.  Though Christie provides her customary surprise ending, I admit I was not dazzled.  Readers know from the start that some sort of distraction was put in place to enable the criminal to confuse the witnesses and I rather wanted something more.  It is a fine ending.  It is a Christie ending. I just wonder if Christie needs to start doing something that feels new?

Even so, however, I can help but enjoy each of the Miss Marple stories.  Christie has a real gift for characters, and her descriptions of the key players always prove a highlight of her stories.  She is both perceptive and wittiy, and gives readers a real sense that she is about to plumb the depths of human nature.  Her observations make for fine reading, even if no mystery were involved at all.

Though perhaps not a standout in the Miss Marple series, They Do It with Mirrors is still worth a read, especially for those who are avid fans of Christie or for those who have not yet many of her works and may find this one more surprising than a veteran reader.    I will certainly be carrying on with my goal to read all the Miss Marple stories!

3 Stars

4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie

450 from Paddington

Information

Goodreads4:50 from Paddington
Series: Miss Marple #8
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1957

Summary

Elspeth McGillicuddy is sitting in her train when another train runs parallel to hers. For a brief moment, she sees a man strangling a woman to death. Then then the train is gone. But, with no body to discover, the police do not believe her story. It is up to Jane Marple to bring the murderer to justice.

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Review

4:50 from Paddington proves a delight, largely from the addition of the capable Lucy Eyelesbarrow as a protagonist. Realizing that she may be too old to go running about the countryside looking for bodies, Miss Marple enlists the help of Lucy–a young woman who made her fame (and money) from being the perfect domestic help. The team-up of two strong, intelligent women is one I wish had been repeated in future works, even if the ending of this one seems a bit abrupt.

The capable Lucy really does prove the highlight of the story, as the rest takes on features familiar to avid readers of Christie. The basic premise is that Luther Crackenthorpe, a wealthy invalid and widower, has a will stipulating that his estate will be divided among his children upon his death. But, of course, the share due to each will increase should one or more of the children die, giving each of the potential heirs a clear motive to dispose of their siblings. The first murder begets more and more, as if the perpetrator of the crime simply cannot stop themselves–until the sensational climax. It is a formula that Christie uses with variations in several of her works, so she really does need to rely on characters like Lucy freshening things up.

The climax, one must admit, might be a little too sensational, even for a thriller like this. Miss Marple, as some of her fans might be sad to learn, sits rather quietly by in this novel, until the end. Lucy goes to her with clues and the two consult, but Miss Marple only takes action to reveal the murderer in the final pages, in a scene not entirely believable. And not only because the clues leading to the perpetrator prove lacking in this mystery, but also because the means of discovery is just so odd. I am not sure it would actually work.

On the whole, however, Christie always spins an engrossing mystery. Even her novels that are not her best always engage and perplex me. She can turn a phrase as well as she can craft a puzzle, and I look forward to continue reading more of Miss Marple’s cases.

4 stars

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Pocket Full of Rye

Information

GoodreadsA Pocket Full of Rye
Series: Miss Marple #7
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1953

Summary

Businessman Rex Fortescue is found dead in his office after drinking a cup of tea. But why does he have a pocket full of rye? Only the mind of Miss Marple is keen enough to realize the significance of the action, and how it ties in to a decades-old wrong.

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Review

So far I have enjoyed my read through Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books immensely. Christie’s shrewd mind not only routinely provides readers with unexpected plot twists and seemingly unsolvable mysteries, but also offers keen observations of human nature. Sadly, however, though I found A Pocket Full of Rye a perfectly serviceable book, I do not think it one of Christie’s finest. I prefer mysteries that readers have a sporting chance of solving, but A Pocket Full of Rye ends abruptly with information discovered off-page by our amateur sleuth. The mystery thus starts out in a promising manner, but may leave readers ultimately unsatisfied.

Many of Christie’s mysteries seem to follow the formula of one murder begetting multiple murders, and A Pocket Full of Rye proves no exception. However, Christie’s trick is to take an old formula and so something new with it. In this case, the police (with the aid of Miss Marple) must figure out the connection between a pocket full of rye and a dead man. More clues emerge, but Miss Marple’s explanation still puzzles the police. Where is the method in the madness? I admit I could not figure it out and still think it a conceit that was created merely for novelty, and not because it makes a lot of sense in the story.

The characters sadly are almost all rather disagreeable, so there are few figures for readers to sympathize with or cheer on. Miss Marple and Inspector Craddock, of course, prove the exception, as the ones attempting to bring the murderer to justice. But the reality is that, once a person knows how this book ends, I am not sure if there will be enough to bring them back for a second read. Christie is a masterful storyteller with incisive prose, of course, but there is just no joy to be found in spending time with the characters here.

The ending itself is rather disappointing. Miss Marple seems to make several leaps of logic to scenarios that are highly implausible–but that turn out (of course) to be correct. Normally, a good mystery should give the reader an aha! moment, a sense of satisfaction and completion. A Pocket Full of Rye does not really do that because the solution seems to come from nowhere. The ending feels like it needs more lead-up, as well as a bit more to tie up the loose ends.

A Pocket Full of Rye is a solid mystery, certainly one worth reading by any fans of Agatha Christie’s. I do not, however, see myself prioritizing it for a reread in the future.

3 Stars