Lancelot “Lance” Fortescue is a charcter in A Pocket Full of Rye. He is the younger son and engaging black sheep of the Fortescue family, banished to South Africa for a spot of forgery.
Mr. Rex Fortescue's sudden change of heart regarding his younger son is seen by the elder as further evidence of mental imbalance. Lance arrives at the family home expecting fatted calf and is instead greeted with the news that his father is dead, murdered. Since Lance was still in France at the time of Rex Fortescue's death, he can't be a suspect... can he? Lance has recently made what his father describes as a 'good' marriage to 'Pat', the impoverished but aristocratic daughter of an Irish peer, with a history of choosing attractive rogues as husbands. Lance is devoted to her. He makes up with his family and faces the grim prospect of life 'in the City' entirely for her sake. But at the end of the book Miss Marple proves that it was Lance who was a heartless killer and killed his father, stepmother and a maid who he pretended to date.