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Publisher's Summary

Pagan revelry and morris dancing in the middle of a very cold winter set the scene for one of Ngaio Marsh’s most fascinating murder mysteries.

When the pesky Anna Bünz arrives at Mardian to investigate the rare survival of folk dancing still practised there, she quickly antagonizes the villagers. But Mrs Bünz is not the only source of friction - two of the other enthusiasts are also spoiling for a fight.

When the sword dancers' traditional mock beheading of the Winter Solstice becomes horribly real, Superintendent Roderick Alleyn finds himself faced with a case of great complexity and of gruesome proportions....

©1957 Original Text of 1957 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"The incomparable Ngaio Marsh." ( Daily Express)
"Mrs Marsh’s work has the hallmark of the master. She is at the top of her form. Definitely first-class plus." ( Queen)

What listeners say about Off with His Head

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This was a no... thumps down... for me.

I am a fan of Ngaio Marsh's mysteries. This novel seemed inordinately disjointed. The narrator or should I say the performance was totally disappointing.

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  • Kris
  • 10-05-20

A sense of time and place

I’ve recently embarked on a rereading on the Ngaio Marsh mysteries and am really enjoying them. I find it interesting that I missed the sense of a place in time the first time I read them (about 40 years ago). The characters in this one are firmly placed in a post war era, when pre war values are being eroded and the men who came back from fighting brought with them sights that they had seen on the battlefields and skills that have no place in peace time.
The narrator was a minor irritation, however, with a tendency to put the emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence or through haste read the wrong word eg referring to a male character and ‘her’ father. Fortunately he’s not reading the next in the series!

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  • Juanita Fogarty
  • 04-08-18

A slow burner

The narrator, Rio Jerrom, did a great job with a very slow paced story that I might well have abandoned had he not injected some life into it. Fair but not vintage Ngaio Marsh.