Agatha Christie Wiki

A Fruitful Sunday is a short story written by Agatha Christie which was first published in the Daily Mail on 11 August 1928. In the U.K. the story was subsequently collected and published as part of the anthology The Listerdale Mystery which came out in 1934. In the U.S. the story was not published in any collection until 1971 when it came out as part of The Golden Ball and Other Stories.


A couple has a moral dilemma when they find a ruby necklace in a fruit basket.

Plot summary

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

Dorothy Pratt, a housemaid, is enjoying a Sunday drive in a cheap old car with her young man, Edward Palgrove, a city clerk. They stop at a roadside fruit stall and buy a basket of fruit from the seller who tells them with a leer on his face that they are getting more than their money's worth. Stopping off near a stream, they sit by the road to eat the fruit and read in a discarded Sunday paper of the theft of a ruby necklace worth fifty thousand pounds. A moment later, they find such a necklace in the bottom of the basket! Edward is shocked and scared of the sight, seeing the possibility of arrest and imprisonment but Dorothy sees the possibility of a new and better life from selling the jewels to a 'fence'. Edward is shocked by the suggestion but reluctantly agrees and takes the necklace.

The next day, Edward thinks about how to find a "fence"--he doesn't know any. Just then Dorothy contacts him. She has come to her senses after a sleepless night and realizes that they must hand the necklace back. On the way back from work that night, Edward reads the latest developments on the jewel robbery in the newspaper but it is another adjacent story, which catches his attention. He meets Dorothy that night and shows her the second story – it is about a successful advertising stunt in which one out of fifty baskets of fruit sold will contain an imitation necklace. To their mutual relief, they realize that they are not the possessors of the stolen necklace.


Publication history