Rex Fortescue, king of finance, was sipping tea in his "counting house" when he suffered a sudden, agonizing death. Traces of grain were found in his pockets, yet it was the incident later in the parlor—and the blackbirds, of course—that convinced Miss Marple they were looking at a case of crime by rhyme. This 1953 whodunit is classic Christie, in a handsome new edition that belongs in everyone's mystery library. The star of a dozen novels and twenty short stories, the shrewd and curious Jane Marple was inspired by Agatha Christie's grandmother and her cronies in the leafy London suburb of Ealing. Miss Marple's independent mind and acute sense of human nature—not unlike Christie's own—have made her an enduring prototype in detective fiction.
"Agatha Christie was the absolute master of misdirection. No matter how logical we think we're being when we read her, she always manages to send us swimming after her red herrings while ignoring that huge whale."—Margaret Maron