Wealthy Sir Hubert Handesley's original and lively weekend house parties are deservedly famous. To amuse his guests, he has devised a new form of the fashionable Murder Game, in which a guest is secretly selected to commit a 'murder' in the dark, and everyone assembles to solve the crime. But when the lights go up this time, there is a real corpse....
"Classic Upper Crust Mystery"
Ngaio Marsh’s most popular novel begins when a young New Zealander’s first contact with the English gentry is the body of Lord Wutherford - with a meat skewer through the eye.... The Lampreys had plenty of charm - but no cash. They all knew they were peculiar - and rather gloried in it. The double and triple charades, for instance, with which they would entertain their guests - like rich but awful Uncle Gabriel, who was always such a bore.
"Worth waiting for!!!"
Sir John Phillips, the Harley Street surgeon, and his beautiful nurse, Jane Harden, are almost too nervous to operate. The emergency case on the table before them is the Home Secretary - and they both have very good, personal reasons to wish him dead. Within hours he does die, although the operation itself was a complete success, and Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn must find out why....
A body in the back of a taxi begins an elegantly constructed mystery, perhaps the finest of Marsh’s 1930s novels. The season had begun. Débutantes and chaperones were planning their luncheons, teas, dinners, balls. And the blackmailer was planning his strategies, stalking his next victim. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn knew that something was up. He had already planted his friend, Lord Robert Gospell, at the scene. But someone else got there first....
"Terrible sound quality ruins the experience"
A classic Ngaio Marsh novel which features blood-curdling murders in the confines of a riverboat, the Zodiac, cruising through Constable country. 'He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities', reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as 'the Jampot'.
Ngaio Marsh returns to her New Zealand roots to transplant the classic country house murder mystery to an upland sheep station on South Island - and produces one of her most exotic and intriguing novels. One summer evening in 1942, Flossie Rubrick, MP, one of the most formidable women in New Zealand, goes to her husband’s wool shed to rehearse a patriotic speech - and disappears.
"Don't miss this one"
The poison was cyanide, slipped into the sacred wine of ecstasy just before it was presented to Miss Cara Quayne at the House of the Sacred Flame. The victim was a deeply religious initiate who had trained for a month for her last ceremony. She was also a very beautiful woman.... The suspects were the other initiates and the high priest. All claimed they were above earthly passions. But Cara Quayne had provoked lust, jealousy - and murder.
A country house murder, artistic insight and the postwar reunion of Alleyn and Troy combine in Ngaio Marsh’s wittiest and most readable novel. Agatha Troy, world-famous portrait painter, is inveigled into accepting a commission to paint the 70-year-old Sir Henry Ancred, Bart., the Grand Old Man of the stage. But just as she has completed her portrait, the old actor dies.
"Classic crime - well done!"
In a poisonous cloud of spray, the curtain falls on a drama queen. Little did beloved British actress Mary Bellamy know that she would be done in at her own birthday party - choked by toxic mist from the bottle of Slaypest, a deadly insecticide. Basking in the glow of her most adoring fans - who all happened to be her most duplicitous enemies - Mary would make her final performance.
The crime scene was the stage of the Unicorn Theatre, when a prop gun fired a very real bullet; the victim was an actor clawing his way to stardom using bribery instead of talent; and the suspects included two unwilling girlfriends and several relieved blackmail victims. The stage is set for one of Roderick Alleyn's most baffling cases.
The April Fool’s Day had been a roaring success for all, it seemed - except for poor Mr. Cartell, who had ended up in the ditch - forever. Then there was the case of Mr. Percival Pyke Period’s letter of condolence, sent before the body was found - not to mention the family squabbles. It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn.
"The audiobook would have been better if Saxon narrated"
A spa stay turns into a homicidal holiday.... A bit snobbish and a trifle high strung, Sybil Foster prides herself on owning the finest estate in Upper Quintern and hiring the best gardener. In fact she is rapturous over the new asparagus beds when a visit from her unwelcome stepson sends her scurrying to a chic spa for a rest cure, a liaison with the spa's director...and an apparent suicide. Her autopsy holds one surprise, a secret drawer a second.
A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh’s most ambitious and innovative novels. New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer wanted to celebrate his wife’s birthday in style. The piece de résistance would be the jeroboam of champagne which would descend gently into a nest of fern and coloured lights on the table, set up on stage after the performance. But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself.
"Great Imagery of New Zealand"
The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes. Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout. Both died by violence - but Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn's murder investigation seems to be much more interested in the fish.
"Cumberbatch is a great narrator!"
The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes. Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout. Both died by violence - but Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn's murder investigation seems to be much more interested in the fish.... Scales of Justice was first published in 1955.
"Delightful fish story"
The luxury mansion on New Zealand's Lake Waihoe was the ideal place for the world-famous soprano to rest after her triumphant tour. Chief Superintendent Alleyn and his wife were among the houseguests - but theirs was not a social visit. When tragedy struck, the peace of the island was shattered. With a houseful of suspects now isolated by one of the lake's sudden storms, Alleyn was to face one of his trickiest cases....
The season had begun. Débutantes and chaperones were planning their luncheons, teas, dinners, balls. And the blackmailer was planning his strategies, stalking his next victim. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn knew that something was up. He had already planted his friend Lord Robert Gospell at the scene. But someone else got there first...
"Abridgment, Narration Highlight Weaknesses"
One of Ngaio Marsh’s most famous murder mysteries, which introduces Inspector Alleyn to his future wife, the irrepressible Agatha Troy. 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 reenacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed forever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It’s a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn.
A winter weekend ends in snowbound disaster in a novel which remains a favourite among Marsh readers. It began as an entertainment: eight people, many of them enemies, gathered for a winter weekend by a host with a love for theatre. They would be the characters in a drama that he would devise. It ended in snowbound disaster. Everyone had an alibi - and most had motives as well. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, when he finally arrived, knew it all hung on Thomas, the dancing footman....
"NOT PHILIP FRANKS READING!!!"
The elderly Emily Pride is perfectly pleased to have inherited an island, even if her starchy pragmatism is ever so faintly appalled by the Pixie Falls spring and its reported miraculous healing properties. But really, the locals' attempts to capitalize on the 'miracles' are entirely too tacky - Ye Olde Gift Shoppe, the neon signs…not on Miss Emily’s watch, thank you.
"Murder in the Highlands"