We do love a man in a uniform, but the "Constables" in question are not policemen but paintings—the landscapes, specifically, of the 19th-century painter John Constable. Her enthusiasm dims a little when it becomes clear that the ticket became available at the last minute only because a previous passenger was murdered in his cabin—and murdered, it seems, by a notorious international criminal known as the "Jampot.
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Book 1. And in true Golden Age fashion, her oeuvre opens with, yes, a country-house party between the two world wars — servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game. Enter a Murderer: Inspector Roderick Alleyn 2.
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Book 2. In Enter a Murderer, the Inspector has been invited to an opening night, a new play in which two characters quarrel and then struggle for a gun, with predictably sad results. Even sadder, the gun was not, in fact, loaded with blanks. Reviews Review Policy.
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See more. When in Rome: Inspector Roderick Alleyn Book In Ngaio Marsh took her own Roman holiday in part to research Italian police procedures and the change seems to have done her good: Both her British and U. As is so often and so satisfyingly the case, the tale concerns a murder within a closed group—in this case, a group of tourists visiting what Marsh calls the "Basilica di San Tommaso," who find themselves fumbling into a complex web of blackmail and drug-smuggling. Adding some irresistible color are depictions of both La Dolce Vita of which Marsh took a jaundiced view and the student radicals of the day, whom she seems to have found somewhat more persuasive.
All in all, a brilliant example of classic Golden Age plotting melded with a decidedly Space Age cast. Or—perhaps more likely—could the finger of blame come to rest on one of the manor-house servants, each of whom happens to be a recent prison parolee? What luck! Inspector Alleyn is on hand to wrap up the questions into the perfect Christmas parcel.
Happily for the Boomer, not only is Alleyn up to the task, but he is assisted by the rescued cat Lucy Lockett, who may have lost her pocket but proves extremely adept at finding clues. Last Ditch: Roderick Alleyn Ricky Alleyn — perhaps you know his father, Roderick? He's now 21, and has taken himself off to a secluded island to write a novel. Or think about writing a novel.
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Or look for distractions so he can avoid writing a novel. The distractions abound, mostly in the form of colorful local characters and a rather dishy one , so all is beer and skittles well, except for the novel until Ricky stumbles across a murder and then gets himself kidnapped. Which is too bad for Ricky and the murder-victim , but dandy for the reader, as it brings Inspector Alleyn to the island, and he's on top form. A subtheme involving drug-running may strike a jarring note, but remember, Last Ditch was first published in , and as such, it offers a remarkable look at what happens when the characters and conventions of the Golden Age fetch up in the distinctly tarnished present.
Photo Finish: Roderick Alleyn As in her previous book, Grave Mistake, Ngaio Marsh offers up a lady of a certain age, high-strung and hyperventilating, two ticks short of neurosis.
Photo Finish's dead diva, the soprano Isabella Sommita, was widely loathed, so much so that the problem is less a lack of plausible suspects than an embarrassment of options. Though the grand country-house — and with it, the country-house murder — was history by , when Photo Finish was originally published, Dame Ngaio got around the problem by setting the story on a lavish island estate, cut off from the mainland by a sudden storm.
Happily, Inspector Alleyn is among the guests, and can take charge in the coppers' absence. The penultimate book in the series, Photo Finish is also one of only four books set in Marsh's native New Zealand. It's nice to think that she came home at the end.
The Roderick Alleyn Mysteries: Hand in Glove 22 by Ngaio Marsh (1999, Paperback)
More featuring detectives. But when the spinster dies suddenly, her best friend kicks up a fuss loud enough to attract the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. And when Barnaby and his eager-beaver deputy start poking around, they uncover a swamp of ugly scandals and long-suppressed resentments seething below the picture-postcard prettiness.
In the grand English tradition of the quietly intelligent copper, Barnaby has both an irresistibly dry sense of humor and a keen insight into what makes people tick. Service of All the Dead. The moon beamed down genially on the turrets and battlements of Blandings Castle. Sleep, however, eluded Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth. To be compelled to play host to his younger son, Freddie, was enough; add his sister Veronica and a chap called Tipton Plimsoll and you have a situation at which the doughtiest earl might quail Cartell, who had ended up in the ditch - forever.
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