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A wealthy family
A fatal cup of tea
Rex Fortescue was enjoying his morning cup of tea when he met his untimely end.
Suspicions naturally turn to his wife. He was filthy rich, after all.
Then she too is found dead.
Strange clues have Scotland Yard’s finest minds scratching their heads. Poisoned marmalade. Dead blackbirds. A victim found with a pocketful of rye.
It’s up to Jane Marple to put the pieces of this strange puzzle together…
Never underestimate Miss Marple
‘Captivating and addictive, Agatha Christie's work never fails to delight.’
‘This is the best of the novels starring Christie’s Miss Marple.’
New York Times
‘Without a doubt, the greatest mystery writer of all time’ – Ragnar Jonasson
‘A hundred years after her first novel, and we are all still standing in her shadow’ – Andrew Taylor
‘She gives us an insight into human nature that few, if any, have surpassed’ – Susan Lewis
‘Dame Agatha has sold more books than all besides Shakespeare and the Bible’ – David Baldacci
‘All crime fiction writers around the globe owe Agatha Christie a massive debt’ – Peter James
‘Reading a perfectly plotted Agatha Christie is like crunching into a perfect apple: that pure, crisp, absolute satisfaction.’ – Tana French
About the author
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.
It hardly seems possible for anyone to best Hugh Fraser's savvy audio performance of Christie's Hickory Dickory Dock, but Rosalind Ayres produces an amazing range of voices and accents to create her own one-woman full-cast audio book. After the death by poisoning of wealthy Rex Fortescue, others in the household are murdered in ways that mimic a Mother Goose rhyme. Ayres's Miss Marple is well-mannered, polite and even diffident. Ayres seems to be mocking stereotypes of British accents. Percival, the elder son, is stuffy and nasally clogged. Lancelot, the younger son, is ironic and cavalier. Ayres can slip effortlessly from one accent to another, as when the lofty voice of Rex's secretary collapses into the low-class accent of an East Ender after she discovers her boss's body. The greatest mystery in this 1953 novel is why any mid-century father would name his children Lancelot and Percival. Though the story lacks action and enough Jane Marple for Ayres to develop, her performance is a delightful romp for any Christie fan.