Agatha Christie's well-known fondness for nursery rhymes asserts itself in this absurdly ingenious story, where a man called Rex - the "king" in the rhyme - is poisoned over tea, with rye seeds to be found in his pocket. But the explanation becomes increasingly serious as Miss Marple investigates and more murders occur - the seeming childishness of the various plot-twists becomes an index of the killer's mentality. Unlike the various travestied remakes made in more recent years by ITV, the BBC's versions of the Miss Marple stories always took death seriously, and the stories are never just "good fun". Here, the incomparable Joan Hickson is joined by another veteran actress, the utterly formidable Fabia Drake.
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