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Publisher's Summary

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 onstage after the performance.

But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself. Was Meyer’s death the product of Maori superstitions? Or something much more down to earth?

©1937 Original Text of 1937 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"The theatre detail is engrossing." (Margaret Lewis)
"A far more ambitious novel than anything Marsh had attempted before." ( American Journal of Popular Culture)
"Her work is as nearly flawless as makes no odds. Character, plot, wit, good writing, and sound technique." ( Sunday Times)
"The finest writer in the English languange of the pure, classical puzzle whodunnit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress." ( The Sun)

What listeners say about Vintage Murder

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  • Overall
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Great Imagery of New Zealand

Besides a good detective novel, the rich descriptions of New Zealand had me looking up the cost of Airplane tickets to there.

4 people found this helpful

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Old School Mystery

Too complicated, too many characters. That said, the characters were well drawn and well developed. The narrator was faultless - super job of giving each character a unique voice. I got this as it was the selection of the month for a book club. I did enjoy it and would recommend it if you want a cozy mystery that is not easy to figure out.

2 people found this helpful

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Ngaio Marsh always hits the mark.

I love all of her books. This one in New Zealand is delightful and gives the narrator a chance to show his talent at dialects. Each character is well drawn and well played. A great read.

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Great Inspector Allyn mystery.

This is a typical Marsh yarn, with plenty of suspects playing to type. Red herrings abound! The reader’s mastery of accents is delicious! I thought that it was easy to keep up with the large cast of characters due to emphasis in the writing and in the superb narration!

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A bit dull

I used to love reading Ngaio Marsh and I think several of her mysteries are more compelling than this one. But I’m afraid I found this one a little dull, Roderick Alleyn (who I considered a literary dreamboat) a little over the top, and the reader didn’t do much for me. He was skillful in his performance but he sounds like a rather fusty old-school BBC announcer.

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A great mystery and an excellent narrator.

Narration is a true skill and there are few maestros but Saxon is one. Plus a fine mystery and entertaining story. Recommended

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amazing voice acting

Marsh's characters come alive with the great voice acting. Good solid story set in New Zealand. Hard to guess how the murderer got to the scene of the action. Recommended

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Excellent Narration of A Classic Mystery

Disclaimer: I am already a fan of Ngaio Marsh books, so am rather biased in regards to the tale itself. This tale is especially lovely in that it takes place in New Zealand in the mid-1930s, the language is quaint, and the scene descriptions delightful. James Saxon, the narrator, uses charming accents and voices for the different characters. He is now one of my favorite narrators and I shall look for examples of his work just for the pleasure of hearing his portrayals of other characters.10/10 recommend this performance.

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Need to edit out the bits from the CD

Audible needs to remove the Chivers edition mention and the “end of disk 7” line.

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Vintage Murder

I am a reader who likes Ngaio Marsh more than Agatha Christie. I have read most of each author's work. But what are snapping eyes?

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  • Enrique Bonifacino
  • 08-27-17

I couldn't finish this book

I don't know what happened here, it is the first time I can't follow the story. Maybe it is the accent of the narrator, maybe it is the way it was written. I didn't enjoy it at all.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cat
  • 09-18-20

Love the books but this didn't work for me

I have been an avid reader of Ngaio Marsh for many years and thought I'd try listening to one. I'm afraid that this didn't work for me at all. I don't like the way the book is read, and I'm not impressed by James Saxon's rendition of it, but that may be personal prejudice. Don't think I'll be buying another one read by him, but may try the radio collection of Miss Marsh's stories.

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  • Val
  • 07-03-20

Brilliant performance!

Mr James Saxon's voices were just incredible. He brought Ngaio Sarah's story to life - a complicated but fascinating story. I was so enjoying it that I kept putting off getting to the end.

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  • Sarah
  • 09-30-19

Great story but poor denouement

The characters were nicely developed and the murder a good old logistical puzzle. The ending was a disappointment and rather ran out of steam. Usual stereotypes abound but overall the New Zealand setting was enjoyable.

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  • Rodney Wetherell
  • 05-01-17

Magnificent reading of old-style murder mystery

I was held by the great reading of this mystery, though the story was over-complicated.