Artists in Crime

Narrated by: Philip Franks
Series: Roderick Alleyn, Book 6
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion....

©1938 Original Text of 1938 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The queen of the straight crime novel - long may she reign!" ( Sunday Times)
"The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress." ( The Sun)
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant reading

This is a reasonably obvious Ngaio Marsh mystery, set up as a venue for the courtship between Alleyn and his future wife, Troy. It is the reading that makes this story delightful: Philip Franks is brilliant with the accents and characterizations, all of them, men and women alike. He is especially good with English social class. Most of the mystery characters are artists, and are sharply differentiated. This reader is so good that I am getting more of his books.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great voice for these familiar characters

This is one of Ms. Marsh's finest mysteries. In it we first meet the love interest of Inspector Alleyn, Agatha Troy. I'm not going to review the book itself, as it will stand on its own merits. But I must review the narrator, Philip Franks. He did a marvelous job of bringing the characters to life; each voice was different and distinguishable, and on point for the characters. So far he is the best narrator of Ms. Marsh's novels. I particularly liked the portrayal of interactions between Alleyn and Lady Alleyn; her voice was just perfect.

For Roderick Alleyn fans, this narrator is a must.

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Good mystery ruined by reader mispronouncing name

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

So how in the holy hell does a reader, who has performed other stories in this series, MISPRONOUNCE the famous detective's name and how does the director, who has ALSO directed other stories in this series, not CORRECT that colossal blunder? It was irritating to continually hear the name mispronounced - it almost ruined the story for me.

How could the performance have been better?

Could a start by correctly pronouncing the MAIN CHARACTER's name

4 people found this helpful

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So much better than the unabridged version

Any additional comments?

This version of Artists in Crime is much better than the unabridged version. There is more humor and byplay between the main characters. I am so glad I purchased this version even though I had the older unabridged one already.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ms Jane E. Knight
  • 12-02-15

Brilliantly read

Phillip Franks creates the characters beautifully. This is a very satisfying novel by a "Queen of crime". It is an audiobook I can imagine listening to again - like a well loved radio play. I will seek out the narrator again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sheryl Mason
  • 11-01-15

At last, more Golden Age Mysteries!

What made the experience of listening to Artists in Crime the most enjoyable?

Obviously, to me, the experience of hearing one of the few New Zealand authors to belong in the Golden Age of murder mysteries. Ngaio Marsh was also a member of The Detection Club in the UK in the 1930's.

Philip Franks does a superb job on this book. The characters are clearly sketched but not overdone (he even manages to get the Australian accent about right).

Overall, I'd have to say that this is my favourite Marsh book. The story combined with the narration make it a pure joy to listen to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Artists in Crime?

The first meeting between Troy and Alleyn.

Which character – as performed by Philip Franks – was your favourite?

To be honest, they all were. He did such a great job.

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

No real emotional reaction. This book (and the others by Ngaio Marsh) rate up there with Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. They're what I'd call cozy murders.

Any additional comments?

Can we have the rest please?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon Spiteri
  • 06-05-16

The pronunciation of Alleyn grates

It's pronounced Allen, the y is silent. Ngaio Marsh herself said so. Shame because the rest is fine. But I get a jolt every time I hear the pronunciation of Alleyn. And he's the main character. So he gets mentioned a lot. Groan.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Libby Hall
  • 02-29-20

Narration was brilliant

How I wish Philip Franks had narrated all of the unabridged Ngaio Marsh! You forget it is one man doing it all. His voices and accents are marvellous. The story itself is pretty more gruesome in parts. But then as with all the best 'Golden Age' mysteries, everything comes right in the end, justice is done and comforting cosiness is restored.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Alibone
  • 07-24-19

Brilliant

Great writing by Ms March and excellently narrated. Could not stop listening. looking forward to more of her work

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 12-24-17

Excellent

Superb story, and the narration was first rate. Will get more of Ms Marsh's books

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Pms
  • 08-10-17

Gets Alleyn's name wrong

Ngaio Marsh specified it is pronounced Allen. Really off putting to hear Allayne.

3 people found this helpful

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  • slb
  • 10-13-16

Wonderful

I devoured all the Alleyn books many years ago and still re read them. This Audible reading had me riveted. Although I knew the story well I was drawn completely into the world of the artists, Troy and Alleyn. Philip Franks has a very subtle style, the characters were credible and very distinctive, he never over plays things. So many male readers sound like pantomime dames when interpreting female parts...but his are quiet and distinctive. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Well done to all concerned.

1 person found this helpful