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A Surfeit of Lampreys Paperback – 18 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (18 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006512364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006512363
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh's real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handedly revived the New Zealand public's interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her 'damery' in 1966.

Product Description

Review

‘The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Brilliantly readable… first class detection.’
Observer

‘Ngaio Marsh transcended the detective genre by the power of her writing and the rich variety of characters who people her novels.’
P.D. James

‘Ngaio Marsh is among the most brilliant of those authors who are transforming the detective story from a mere puzzle into a novel with many other qualities.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘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

Book Description

Often considered crime queen Ngaio Marsh's finest book, SURFEIT OF LAMPREYS sees Roderick Alleyn dealing with murder and a very odd family... --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Hatleydell on 3 Aug. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't improve on the previous review - however I thought some Ngaio Marsh addicts should know that this book was previously released under the title A Surfeit of Lampreys; this might prevent duplicate purchases.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is arguably Ngaio Marsh's most renowned and praised book because of the well-drawn collection of genteel, humourous but irresponsible characters that make up the Lamprey family, grown-ups and children, which takes centre-stage in this story.

The story is told principally through the eyes of New Zealander Roberta Grey who is recontacting the Lamprey family whom she first met in NZ and who have invited her to stay with them at their Central London flat.

The Lampreys have no money and Uncle Gabriel, otherwise The Marquis of Wutherford, visits London to bail them out, or so they hope. Uncle Gabriel, soon after refusing their request for help, is found dead in the lift to their flat with a kitchen skewer driven through his eye. Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn is called in to investigate which member of the Lamprey family killed him.

The customary murder occurs relatively late in this book and gives Marsh an opportunity to develop both characters and the London setting in some detail. The result is a very well written story, worth including in any crime fiction collection.

Definitely a buy recommendation!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
A surfeit of Lampreys (first published in 1941) was the tenth book in Ngiao Marsh's series of Roderick Alleyn mysteries. In this one a very rich peer is visiting some impoverished relatives when he is suddenly and rather brutally done to death. This seems to be much to the advantage of the people he was visiting, and they become the obvious suspects. The Lamprey family do what they can to throw dust in the detective's eyes, trying to dig themselves out of a hole but just digging in deeper. The tale winds through some very dark places and is reminiscent at times of a good old fashioned gothic horror, before the culprits and their motives are revealed in a great conclusion. This is one of the better entries in the series, only marred by the titular family, many of whom are downright annoying and hard to feel sympathy for.

So four stars for the book, mainly for the Gothic elements and the mystery. The annoyingness of the Lamprey family cost it a start as it slightly mars my enjoyment of the book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
The Surfeit of Lampreys is a nearly "perfect" R. Alleyn mystery in that it is funny, engaging and has that flair of light humour and deep sentiment that is vintage Marsh. There is a dash of New Zealand, lots of aristocratic strutting and genuine fun in the slightly overdrawn portrait of poor gentility with no sense of responsibility. Still, those who live on glimpses of the detective's personal life will be dissappointed; no Troy in this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
A surfeit of Lampreys (first published in 1941) was the tenth book in Ngiao Marsh's series of Roderick Alleyn mysteries. In this one a very rich peer is visiting some impoverished relatives when he is suddenly and rather brutally done to death. This seems to be much to the advantage of the people he was visiting, and they become the obvious suspects. The Lamprey family do what they can to throw dust in the detective's eyes, trying to dig themselves out of a hole but just digging in deeper. The tale winds through some very dark places and is reminiscent at times of a good old fashioned gothic horror, before the culprits and their motives are revealed in a great conclusion. This is one of the better entries in the series, only marred by the titular family, many of whom are downright annoying and hard to feel sympathy for.

So four stars for the book, mainly for the Gothic elements and the mystery. The annoyingness of the Lamprey family cost it a start as it slightly mars my enjoyment of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2013
Format: Unknown Binding
A surfeit of Lampreys (first published in 1941) was the tenth book in Ngiao Marsh's series of Roderick Alleyn mysteries. In this one a very rich peer is visiting some impoverished relatives when he is suddenly and rather brutally done to death. This seems to be much to the advantage of the people he was visiting, and they become the obvious suspects. The Lamprey family do what they can to throw dust in the detective's eyes, trying to dig themselves out of a hole but just digging in deeper. The tale winds through some very dark places and is reminiscent at times of a good old fashioned gothic horror, before the culprits and their motives are revealed in a great conclusion. This is one of the better entries in the series, only marred by the titular family, many of whom are downright annoying and hard to feel sympathy for.

So four stars for the book, mainly for the Gothic elements and the mystery. The annoyingness of the Lamprey family cost it a start as it slightly mars my enjoyment of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
A surfeit of Lampreys (first published in 1941) was the tenth book in Ngiao Marsh's series of Roderick Alleyn mysteries. In this one a very rich peer is visiting some impoverished relatives when he is suddenly and rather brutally done to death. This seems to be much to the advantage of the people he was visiting, and they become the obvious suspects. The Lamprey family do what they can to throw dust in the detective's eyes, trying to dig themselves out of a hole but just digging in deeper. The tale winds through some very dark places and is reminiscent at times of a good old fashioned gothic horror, before the culprits and their motives are revealed in a great conclusion. This is one of the better entries in the series, only marred by the titular family, many of whom are downright annoying and hard to feel sympathy for.

So four stars for the book, mainly for the Gothic elements and the mystery. The annoyingness of the Lamprey family cost it a start as it slightly mars my enjoyment of the book.
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