The victim was a deeply religious initiate who had trained for a month for her last ceremony. She was also a very beautiful woman. But Cara Quayne had provoked lust, jealousy - and murder. Roderick Alleyn suspected that more evil still lurked behind the Sign of the Sacred Flame....
©1994 Ngaio Marsh (P)2010 AudioGO Ltd
One thing I like about Chief Inspector Alleyn is that, unlike today's detectives, he pretty much does things by the book--if you don't count letting that unreasonably discreet journalist hang around--and yet still manages to be rather dashing. Marsh is very much a writer of her time, so don't expect political correctness--stereotypes abound. Nevertheless, one of the pleasures of listening to DEATH IN ECSTASY rather than just reading it to oneself is that reader James Saxon is a master of dialects & accents. These add greatly to the characterization and even enhance a clue here and there.
Many of Ngaio Marsh's books are perfect for light, fun listening. The elegant Superintendent Roderick Alleyn never disappoints. Death In Ecstasy delves into the strange world of alternative religion and those poor souls gullible enough to believe.
This book is typical of many of Ms. Marsh's plots....introduce the characters, someone dies under questionable circumstances and the police are called. Superintendent Alleyn appears on the scene with his loyal sidekick Inspector Fox. They interview all the witnesses and soon deduce the death is not by natural causes and call in their Scotland Yard scene of crime experts. Then everyone is gathered together for Mr. Alleyn to announce the murderer and the motive.
Not all of Ms. Marsh's books follow this formula, such as Artists in Crime or a Clutch of Constables, which are among the best of her books and feature in his lovely, famous artist wife, Agatha Troy. But even when they do follow the formula, they are still fun and light hearted. If you are looking for a deep, intriguing storyline with sub-plots, this book is not for you. But if you just want some light, fun listening, you will find this entertaining.
James Saxon narrates many of Ms. Marsh's audio books, and does an excellent job. I have sought out other books narrated by him and always enjoy his portrayals of the characters.
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