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Artists in Crime | [Ngaio Marsh]

Artists in Crime

It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion.
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Publisher's Summary

It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen.

It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion.

©1938 Ngaio Marsh; (P)2008 Hachette Digital

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (98 )
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Story
4.7 (81 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Olympia, WA, United States 06-05-11
    Charles Olympia, WA, United States 06-05-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Aii! Abridged"

    I love the narrator but I forgot to check that this was an unabridged version. Sigh. Why would anyone even make an abridged recording?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elena Christchurch, New Zealand 03-16-12
    Elena Christchurch, New Zealand 03-16-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A good old-fashioned detective story"

    I've been wanting to get acquainted with Ngaio Marsh's books for some time, but kept postponing it. In the end, this was the book I've decided to start with. And I've really enjoyed it.

    It is a good old-fashioned detective story along the lines of Agatha Christie. A big house, a bunch of people come there for a short stay, and a murder. There is also a piquant bit of New Zealand flavour, as in all the books by Ngaio Marsh, I believe. I literally fell in love with the character of the gentleman detective Roderick Allein. (I am planning to dig up the old BBC series on the topic). And I definitely liked a bit of romance going on in the midst and despite all the grisly happenings.

    Because this is an abridged version, some episodes and conclusions seem a bit abrupt, but cannot be helped, I suppose.

    The narration by Benedict Cumberbatch is simply fantastic. The number of accents and voices he puts on here is really impressive, and I am definitely listening to the other two Ngaio Marsh's books read by him.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Willard San Diego, CA USA 01-06-12
    Erin Willard San Diego, CA USA 01-06-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Ngaio Marsh and Benedict Cumberbatch together!"
    Would you listen to Artists in Crime again? Why?

    Ngaio Marsh is one of my very favorite authors. Her mysteries are tight, settings - 1930s and later, usually British - charming, detective and cronies are wonderful people with whom to spend time, and stories are a bit edgier than Christie's. We meet Agatha Troy in this book; she returns in subsequent Det. Alleyn mysteries. I reread Marsh books frequently, and now will re-listen as well.


    What about Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance did you like?

    He has a charming voice which is very easy to listen to and understand, and he does a nicely reasonable job of varying character voices. His female characters don't sound ridiculous, though his fortunately-infrequent attempt at voicing an American woman from the south is an unintentional riot.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leora United States 12-12-11
    leora United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful read"
    Would you listen to Artists in Crime again? Why?

    Yes. Cumberbatch's read was exceptionally nuanced and interesting.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge of my seat, no. That genre of detective fiction is not thrilling--it unfolds as we get to know the characters and put the pieces together.


    Have you listened to any of Benedict Cumberbatch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. He is always excellent. A truly gifted actor and reader.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Love the English country house mystery genre. So delightful because it's not of this time and place. Never crass or ultra violent. Eccentric. Always surprising. Marsh is a master.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Tolland, Australia 10-30-10
    Jenny Tolland, Australia 10-30-10

    Jen

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    "Very Enjoyable Indeed"

    I listened to this audiobook – read by the ever-wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch – in one sitting, and had a great deal of fun doing so. True, I did work out "whodunnit" before the detective himself did, but I didn't particularly mind, having grown rather fond of Alleyn, and therefore finding myself more than happy to excuse his slowness.

    Besides, I simply enjoyed the world created in this tale. And the subtle romance. And the marvellous voice of the narrator, who rather surprised me with his ability to make me forget that there was just one man behind the multiplicity of characters. You know how it goes.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. R. Boyev Northbrook, IL United States 12-12-12
    L. R. Boyev Northbrook, IL United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Like a dramatisation; outstanding narrator"
    If you could sum up Artists in Crime in three words, what would they be?

    Classic Detective Story


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Roderick Alain; Although the author didn't spend an inordinate amount of text towards his inner dialogue, his actions and sense of humor were so well-demonstrated in the story I felt that I knew him very well by the end. This is the first Ngaio Marsh book I've read, so this has been my introduction to the character.


    Which character – as performed by Benedict Cumberbatch – was your favorite?

    A tie between Inspector Fox and the brief but hilarious appearance of Sonia's girlfriend (Bobbi?)


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    She died for art.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the narrator's voice acting, accents and characterizations were so good I forgot it was an audiobook; it was like a BBC dramatisation with a full cast.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ailiw New york 05-14-12
    Ailiw New york 05-14-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing!"
    Any additional comments?

    He does so many different voices, I kept forgetting it was an audiobook and not a drama! Fun golden-age British mystery, and well edited- I didn't feel that I was missing anything. Brilliant!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon McCauley Smith 04-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Comfortable Cozy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to a friend. It's a wonderful listen...enough to keep you pleasantly interested but still relaxed.


    What other book might you compare Artists in Crime to and why?

    Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers


    What about Benedict Cumberbatch???s performance did you like?

    Cumberbatch's performance supported the story. His charcters were recognizabeth without being cartoons. Emotions and attitutes were there without being distracting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lilian Eight Mile Plains, Australia 02-11-12
    Lilian Eight Mile Plains, Australia 02-11-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Worth Listening for Cumberbatch's performance"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Artists in Crime to be better than the print version?

    I'm not a fan of Ngaio Marsh but I was drawn to this audio book because of Benedict Cumberbatch. Normally, I avoid abridged editions altogether. The story was alright, but nothing to write home about.


    What about Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance did you like?

    Cumberbatch really is a one-man band in this performance, doing a multiplicity of roles and voices.But I can listen to him read anything, really. He's that good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book in one sitting and was pretty disappointed when it was all over.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    moonshroob Dillon, CO, United States 10-20-11
    moonshroob Dillon, CO, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Great mystery wonderfully narrated!"

    Enjoyed the mystery very much. The narrator was very good. Thought the shortened version well done and just the right length to spend the afternoon listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Malie Lalor
    UK
    1/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic mystery, appealing detective, 5 star narrator"
    What did you like most about Artists in Crime?

    Clever mystery, along the lines of Dorothy L Sayers. Have now listened to a couple of others by Ngaio Marsh and they have also not disappointed. Looking forward to listening to more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Roderick Alleyn (the detective) - gentle, intelligent and humane.


    What does Benedict Cumberbatch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Lovely voice, and commitment to dramatizing all the characters subtly and skilfully. (Well, he is an excellent actor after all!)


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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