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Ngaio Marsh (1895–1982)

Författare till A Man Lay Dead

105+ verk 27,921 medlemmar 577 recensioner 69 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Ngaio Marsh was born on April 23, 1895 in Christchurch, New Zealand. She attended St. Mary's College and Canterbury University. She worked in the theater acting, producing, and even painting scenery. She was a partner in an interior decorating business in England from 1928 to 1932. She later visa mer returned to New Zealand and produced plays for a Shakespearean repertory company. She also worked with the Drama Department of Canterbury University. During World War II, she served in the New Zealand Red Cross Transport Unit. She traveled to England frequently and founded the British Commonwealth Theatre Company in 1949. Her first novel, A Man Lay Dead, was published in 1934. She wrote more than 40 books including the Roderick Alleyn Mysteries series and Black Beech and Honeydew. She also wrote theatrical and television plays. She was named to the Order of the British Empire in 1949 and was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966. The Mystery Writers of America named her a Grand Master in 1977. She died on February 18, 1982 at the age of 82. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre


Verk av Ngaio Marsh

A Man Lay Dead (1934) 1,371 exemplar
Artists in Crime (1938) 1,169 exemplar
Enter a Murderer (1935) 1,010 exemplar
Surfeit of Lampreys (1940) 945 exemplar
Overture to Death (1939) 893 exemplar
Mord av gammal årgång (1937) 870 exemplar
Death and the Dancing Footman (1941) 864 exemplar
Colour Scheme (Heta källor) (1943) 863 exemplar
Dödande dos (1935) 861 exemplar
Died in the Wool (1945) 845 exemplar
Death in Ecstasy (1936) 839 exemplar
Död, var är din udd? (1940) 838 exemplar
Döden på premiär (1951) 806 exemplar
Final Curtain (1947) 787 exemplar
Hand i handske (1962) 769 exemplar
Kom täta natt (1982) 764 exemplar
Off With His Head (1956) 763 exemplar
Tied Up in Tinsel (1971) 742 exemplar
Grav åt andra (1978) 726 exemplar
False Scent (Förrädisk doft) (1960) — Författare — 719 exemplar
Gåtan med den gröna damen (1963) 719 exemplar
Swing, Brother, Swing (1949) 700 exemplar
Last Ditch (1977) 685 exemplar
Killer Dolphin (1966) 672 exemplar
Spinsters in Jeopardy (1954) 671 exemplar
En divas död (1980) 657 exemplar
Black As He's Painted (1973) 655 exemplar
Money in the Morgue (2018) 98 exemplar
Artists in crime [abridged] (2008) 22 exemplar
Collected Short Mysteries (1989) 20 exemplar
Scales of justice [abridged] (1955) 20 exemplar
New Zealand (1942) 19 exemplar
The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries: The Complete Series (2007) — Författare — 13 exemplar
A Play Toward (1946) 5 exemplar
Death on the Air (1936) 4 exemplar
Ngaio Marsh 2 exemplar
Play Production (1960) 1 exemplar
The Christmas tree 1 exemplar
Morepork [short fiction] (1979) 1 exemplar
Moonshine [short fiction] (1936) 1 exemplar
Evil Liver [short fiction] (1975) 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

English Country House Murders (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 468 exemplar
The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories (1990) — Bidragsgivare — 392 exemplar
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 266 exemplar
A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 261 exemplar
A Treasury of Great Mysteries, Volumes 1-2 (1957) — Bidragsgivare — 260 exemplar
Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense (1988) — Bidragsgivare — 184 exemplar
A Treasury of Great Mysteries, Volume 2 (1957) — Bidragsgivare — 180 exemplar
Murder by the Book: Mysteries for Bibliophiles (2021) — Bidragsgivare — 151 exemplar
The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 117 exemplar
A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 95 exemplar
Murder for Christmas, Vol. 2 (1982) — Bidragsgivare — 83 exemplar
Fifty Best Mysteries (1991) — Bidragsgivare — 72 exemplar
Verdict of 13 (1978) — Bidragsgivare — 69 exemplar
Dead in the Water (1994) — Översättare, vissa utgåvor66 exemplar
Great Tales of Mystery and Suspense (1981) — Bidragsgivare — 60 exemplar
Three Times Three: A Mystery Omnibus (1964) — Bidragsgivare — 57 exemplar
A Century of British Mystery and Suspense (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 56 exemplar
The Arbor House Treasury of Mystery and Suspense (1981) — Bidragsgivare — 51 exemplar
Chapter and Hearse: Suspense Stories about the World of Books (1985) — Bidragsgivare — 49 exemplar
Bodies from the Library 3 (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 40 exemplar
Bodies from the Library 4 (2021) — Bidragsgivare — 27 exemplar
Murder Takes a Holiday: Classic Crime Stories for Summer (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 23 exemplar
Great detective stories (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 20 exemplar
Deadlier: 100 of the Best Crime Stories Written by Women (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar
Dangerous Ladies (1992) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
Christchurch : the city in literature (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar
En Kriminelt god jul : femten svarte julefortellinger (2006) — Bidragsgivare — 6 exemplar
Detective Omnibus — Bidragsgivare — 6 exemplar
Verdens største detektiver II (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
Some Like Them Dead (1960) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
Verdens største detektiver I (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Great Stories of Detection (1960) — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar
RDCBLP v086 The Horse Whisperer | Death on the Air (1993) — Författare — 2 exemplar
The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries: The Complete Second Season (2006) — Original book — 1 exemplar
Murder for Christmas [audio abridgement] (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Marsh, Dame Edith Ngaio
Church of the Holy Innocents Churchyard Peel Forest, Timaru District, Canterbury, New Zealand
New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
England, UK
Christchurch, New Zealand
St. Margaret's College (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Canterbury College (School of Art)
theatrical producer
interior decorator
detective novelist
Detection Club
Priser och utmärkelser
Order of the British Empire (Dame Commander, 1966)
MWA Grand Master (1978)
Kort biografi
Ngaio Marsh was the pen name of Edith Ngaio Marsh, born in Christchurch, New Zealand to English immigrants. Her name, pronounced "ny-o," was a Maori word meaning "reflections on the water." She attended the private St. Margaret’s College, where she showed an aptitude for acting and writing, producing poetry, prose and plays.

In 1913 she entered Canterbury College School of Art and left in 1919 in order to become a professional painter. The opportunity to tour with the Allan Wilkie Shakespeare Company delayed her plans until later in the 1920s. In 1928, Marsh made her first visit to England, where she worked in the theatre, interior design, and travel writing. She began writing novels and soon embarked on a prolific crime-writing career. In 1934, she published A Man Lay Dead, featuring the very English Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn. During World War II, she served in a New Zealand Red Cross Transport Unit, driving repatriated soldiers in a hospital bus. By the 1950s, Marsh was considered a “Queen of Crime” along with Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Marsh was passionately attached to her native country and returned to live in New Zealand but made frequent trips to England and other countries. She became a leader of the New Zealand theatre, mounting numerous Shakespeare plays. In her career, Ngaio Marsh wrote 32 novels and an autobiography, Black Beech and Honeydew (1965). She never married. Margaret Lewis wrote an authorized biography, Ngaio Marsh, A Life in 1991. New Zealand art historian Joanne Drayton's biography, Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime, was published in 2008.



Summary: A comedic play in a small village to raise funds for the church to buy a new piano turns into a murder mystery when the pianist is shot when playing the opening notes of the prelude by a gun concealed within,

An amateur comedic play in a local village to raise money for a new church piano for the church hall. What could go wrong? In the Village of Vale-of-Pen-Cuckoo, quite a bit. Even though the cast is small and consists of local talents, bringing them together is a combustible mixture that brings to a head simmering troubles in the village that results in murder. The production is directed by Dinah Copeland, the daughter of Rector Copeland. She is the one person with some professional stage experience. She’s also the serious love interest of Henry Jerningham, son of the village squire and constable, Jocelyn Jerningham. Jocelyn and his cousin Eleanor Prentice both oppose the marriage, albeit for different reasons. Jocelyn is a member of the species of impoverished landholders and Henry needs to marry into wealth, not a qualification of the Rector and his daughter. Eleanor, a religious spinster, came to live with her cousin after the death of Jocelyn’s wife as a kind of lady of the manor. Dinah, she fears, will supplant her.

This is not her only jealousy. When she moved to Pen Cuckoo, she developed a complicated friendship with another spinster, Idris Campanula. They loved to gossip about the rest of the village but saw each other as rivals for the affections of the rector who is trying his darnedest not to get entangled with either of them, who come to him with their “confessions” to spend time in spiritual intimacy with him

Meanwhile, the village newcomer, Selia Ross, is apparently having an affair with the handsome Dr. Templett, who has an invalid wife at home. Her suggested play is the one adopted, to the consternation of the two spinsters. Subsequently, Selia receives an anonymous and threatening letter, reeking of Idris Campanula’s favorite scent. She shares it with Dr. Templett. Meanwhile, Eleanor comes across Henry and Dinah in a passionate embrace on the day before the play and harsh words are spoken by all. Later that day Eleanor, coming for her confession with the rector, shows up at the very moment Idris throws herself in the rector’s unwilling arms. She was unseen and leaves, calling to make an excuse for cancelling.

Still, this cast manages to make it to the day of the play. Eleanor, chosen to play as overture to the play the “Venetian Overture” by Ethelbert Nevin, is found in pain in her dressing room from an infected finger. The doctor insists she must not play and Idris steps in triumphantly with her Prelude in C by Rachmaninoff. The two ladies had competed at gatherings with these pieces for years. This sounds like a comedic soap opera, right?

And then Idris Campanula plays the first three notes, stepping on the soft pedal with the third…and the piano seems to explode. When the smoke clears, Idris is slumped dead, a gunshot through the head, fired from inside the piano. They discover a gun, a Colt 32 belonging to Jocelyn, rigged with a “Twiddletoy” apparatus to fire when the soft peddle was depressed. The gun had been mentioned the previous evening at a cast gathering, was left loaded with a warning card in a box in the library, easily accessed from outside during the day. Anyone could have accessed it

But who was the intended victim, Idris or Eleanor? Idris substituted for Eleanor at the last minute, but as we see, there were people with motives to kill each woman. When a major theft ties up local investigators, Alleyn and his team are called in, along with his “Watson,” Nigel Bathgate to unravel this strange murder. Early on, they discover that the “Twiddletoy” belonged to the village prankster, Georgie Biggins, who had rigged up a water pistol. Somehow, another person had substituted the Colt for the water pistol. But when and how? Another woman had played the piano an hour before, using the soft pedal, with no lethal effect. And the stage was occupied in preparation for the play after that.

Alleyn must piece together the surviving cast’s movements and figure out the significance of a box at the church hall window with some fragments of rubber, and an onion found on the scene. Meanwhile, all the principals are withholding information, closed as only a secluded village can be.

It seemed to me that the character of Bathgate plays a much more minor role than in previous works. We also learn Alleyn is engaged to Troy, but apart from a love letter at the end, she’s absent, pursuing her own work. And Alleyn? He seems at his refined best, asking the hard questions with a velvet touch, not surprised by the transgressions common to adult human beings, and willing to keep quiet the things not essential to the case, all the while gathering and arranging the threads until the climatic scene where he calls the cast together one last time….
… (mer)
BobonBooks | 24 andra recensioner | Nov 20, 2023 |
The solution to the murder is just really unbelievable. It even gives a specific timeframe that's so ridiculously short plus relies on a bunch of people not noticing a bunch of things. At the end they even admit there's very little to pin it down on the murderer. The secret society subplot is goofy and doesn't make any sense either. Oh and there's a romance subplot too which is totally unconvincing and pointless but then they always are in mystery novels. There were a few sections which I had to read multiple times to understand because they were pointlessly complicated.

Overall the writing is serviceable and I read through like yeah sure whatever this is fine so maybe 2 stars but I'm rating 1 cause mystery novels hang together on a convincing conclusion and I didn't see it at all. Nothing else about it is interesting enough for me to care - no funny dialogue, no stand out characters. So yeah.

Oh also it uses the n word once. And what universe is it that someone can *remove another person's trousers* in the middle of a normal social get together and everyone just acts totally casual about it? This bullying is even given as a motive for murder later but when it happens I had to read a few times to be like what??? why

Some of the inconsistencies

What's with the whole secret society? They're a Russian one but 2 of the key figures are a Pole (who they murder) and someone who only speak English and Swedish. Why are they a communist society if they're centuries old? Why did the Pole give the knife to the victim in the first place? Oh and the Pole is referred to as speaking Russian and not Polish - why is he called a Pole?? How did the society even find out the Pole had given away the knife? When the society all get arrested, why did Alleyn come through the chimney when all the other police apparently got in fine at the same time by just walking in? I think he was hidden the whole time? I guess? Which is uh. Sounds very uncomfortable. What were the secret society even doing? They were arrested for sedition and treason but they didn't seem to do anything except murder each other. They're a big red herring subplot but none of their actions really make sense.

With the murder, the murderer is specifically allotted *exactly 8 seconds* to get from the bathroom to downstairs, do the murder and turn the lights off. His method relies on the victim being in *exactly* the right place to get stabbed (he could never have turned around, he couldn't have moved away from the stairs). In those 8 seconds, after apparently sliding down a banister, he got the knife in EXACTLY the right spot between bones that was considered so impressive that the murderer needed to know anatomy well. His alibi was 2 people thinking he was in the bath but as well as those 8 seconds he also got out the bath to get a glove from his wife's dressing room. That would take some time. Surely someone would have noticed the splashing had stopped? Bath noises are actually pretty distinctive - you can usually tell when someone's getting out. And there's door noises, footsteps too. In fact, the servant who comes into give Nigel shaving water would surely have seen him on the landing? The timescale is even less than the 8 seconds allotted and it seems extremely unlikely. He'd also have dripped water EVERYWHERE! I can't believe nobody noticed. (Realised iirc he actually wasn't in the bath. He was just pretending to me. Even then splashing about would get you wet and you'd drip. And the noises are noticeably different when you're not in with your whole body. Ah well) The attempts in the scene before the murder to make it work just... don't. He also decided to do this plan even though he only had a single glove - he tried to avoid leaving prints but completely failed. Surely his wife would have thought "oh I'm sure I put those gloves in the drawer" too and realised something was up - but she doesn't; Alleyn actually misleads here by claiming he found one in the hall so the wife doesn't question it.

When Alleyn does a totally pointless "reconstruction" (he asks Nigel to play the murderer and then goes off at him when he shows a slight hesitancy... before asking the person he knows to be the murderer to do it... and him doing it was essential to his terrible plan... so why attack Nigel??)
the murderer is in no way revealed except for Alleyn accusing him and him saying "damn you".
Which he didn't need to do and would hardly hold up in court.

Also the motive of "oh he was mad at the victim for flirting with his wife" seems kind of weird given he never even attempted to stop it in any way at all and apparently let it go on for years and years. The victim seems like an utter prick by the way. Can't pretend I felt any sympathy towards him.

There's probably more but just. blurgh. Bad. Maybe also I'm stupid! I don't know
… (mer)
tombomp | 49 andra recensioner | Oct 31, 2023 |
Summary: A struggling New Zealand spa by some sulphur springs becomes the scene of espionage, the visit of a famous stage actor, and murder.

This is one of Marsh’s New Zealand novels, in which Roderick Alleyn is engaged in anti-espionage World War II. The story is set at a down-at-heel struggling resort by the fictional town of Harpoon, near the coast on New Zealand’s North Island. The resort, a spa located near sulphur springs and pits is run by Colonel Claire, his wife, and daughter, Barbara and son, Simon. They’ve recruited the Colonel’s brother-in-law, Dr. James Ackrington, a retired physician of some reknown to be the house doctor. The “staff” is rounded out by Bert Smith, an often-drunk handyman, and Huia, from the nearby Maori village, who serves as housekeeper and cook.

The main “guest” at the start is Maurice Questing, a businessman. It becomes apparent that he has an interest in the spa, having given the Colonel a loan on which he has fallen behind. Questing has big plans for the spa and one of his first acts is to advertise it, resulting in recruiting a distinguished guest. Geoffrey Gaunt is a Shakespearean actor with a leg that is paining him. He’s accompanied by his secretary, Dikon Bell, and his dresser, Colley.

Questing is not well liked. Both Ackrington and Simon suspect him of spying. He’s been seen on a volcanic peak, near a Maori preserve. In a couple of instances, flashing lights had been observed at times that coincided with the sinking of ships. Ackrington has written to Alleyn, a friend, sharing his suspicions. At one point, Questing was driving in sight of a railroad signal when he waved Bert Smith across a railroad bridge when a train was coming, claiming later that the signal wasn’t working, when it was. Subsequently he alienates Gaunt,

During all this, another unusual guest, Septimus Falls turns up, ostensibly to undergo treatments for lumbago. Simon suspects him to be in league with Questing, based on witnessing him tapping his pipe in what sounds like Morse code.

You guessed it. Questing ends up dead, falling into one of the dangerous sulfur pits. And there is no shortage of suspects with motives–Claire, Ackrington, Smith, Simon, Gaunt, and the mysterious Septimus Falls, as well as several people from the Maori village. Septimus Falls, who had been walking at some distance behind Questing, heard him scream, and subsequently gets them all discussing their stories, to prepare for questioning from Detective Sergeant Webley, the local man.

In all this, Alleyn is noticeably absent and you keep waiting for him to turn up, one of the interesting twists in this story. There are really three mysteries in the story: who is the spy, who murdered Questing, and where is Alleyn? Have fun figuring all that out. I sure did!
… (mer)
BobonBooks | 20 andra recensioner | Oct 19, 2023 |
With Alleyn in New Zealand on an extradition case over Christmas, Troy is staying with a client as she paints his picture.

There's a christmas pagent and afterwards the main participant disappears. Considering that many of the staff are ex-offenders (murderers) and the missing man known to be disliked by the staff, it's not long before people are worried. Alleyn returns earlier than expected and soon gets involved.

Not perhaps the best one of Marsh's - the "oncers" are a little too over wrought and some of the other characters under developed. Once again, Troy is in the forefront during the first half of the book, but is soon faded to background once Alleyn turns up.… (mer)
nordie | 20 andra recensioner | Oct 14, 2023 |



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