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Death in a White Tie Hardcover – 31 Dec 1981


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (31 Dec. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884114791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884114796
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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

‘Ngaio Marsh’s Death in a White Tie is the best detective story I have ever read…’
Dashiell Hammett

‘[This book has] a distinction that puts the author in the front rank of crime story writers’
Times Literary Supplement

‘A brilliant, vivacious teller of detective novels.’
News Chronicle

‘The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunnit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress.’
The Sun

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A body in the back of a taxi begins an elegantly constructed mystery, perhaps the finest of Marsh's 1930s novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Roderick Alleyn, the younger son of a Buckinghamshire family and the star of Ngaio Marsh's novels is the perfect English detective. A gentleman, intelligent and not afraid of his emotions. In "Artists in Crime" he was introduced to painter Agatha Troy, and this novel sees their relationship develop. However, this is not a soppy romance set against a detecive background. Set during the London "season", society scandals end in blackmail and murder. As old friends are suffering can Alleyn find the culprits and get justice, avenging the late Robert "Bunchy" Gospel? Plotted to perfection, the murderer is well hidden enough to keep the readers guessing with out being completly unexpected. Marsh really was thye master of her craft.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for readers of Crime fiction. There is an excellent plot that has you either loving or hating the charaters in her web of death and lies. Roderick Allyen and Brer Fox are shown to work tierlessly to solve the murder of one of Alleyn's oldest friend and the clues lead... well its too good to give the game away Read this for yourself!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Morris dancing tradition and some pretty unpleasant people lead to murder in a small village at Christmas and Roderick Alleyn is called in to investigate a complex case. Camilla Campion has been invited to meet her estranged family, the Andersens, who make up most of the cast in the Dance of the Five Sons.

Unfortunately her grandfather, William Campion, is murdered during the dance on Sword Wednesday, close to Christmas. The villagers suspect Mrs Bunz - a German visitor collecting information about rural traditions - of somehow being involved in the murder but it seems impossible that anyone could commit a murder in full view of a crowd of people.

There are many unpleasant undercurrents in this well plotted mystery with plenty of family feuds and hidden motives. Unless the reader is very good at putting all the bits together they will be unlikely to work out who committed the murder and how it was done. The ending - which involves a reconstruction of the crime - is very well done and a tense and exciting read.

The characters are well drawn as ever and Alleyn himself is much in evidence in this story as the murder happens quite early on. Inspector Fox also plays quite a large part in it as well. This is an enjoyable and well constructed story and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their crime novels in the classic mould.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Roderick Alleyn - Scotland Yard detective - enlists the help of his friend Lord Robert Gospell to try and find out more about what appears to be a case of blackmail. Unfortunately Lord Robert, known as Bunchy to his friends, is murdered after he discovers who is responsible for the blackmail. Alleyn now feels the case is personal and vows to track down the murderer if it is the last thing he does.

This is a complex mystery involving some long hidden secrets and some very nasty characters who prey on people's weaknesses. Agatha Troy appears in this novel and Alleyn renews his attempts to persuade her to take him seriously as a possible husband. I enjoyed this book and found it difficult to work out who committed the murder as there are plenty of clues but plenty of red herrings too.

If you like your crime novels in the classic mould then try this Ngaio Marsh. The novels can be read in any order though if you read them in the order in which they were published the relationships between the series characters are easier to follow.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Mar. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Please be aware that this book is titled differently in the UK compared to the US. The UK title for this book is "Off With His Head" while the US title is "Death of a Fool"
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By Aletheuon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Death in a White Tie is the seventh Roderick Alleyn mystery, first published in 1938. Confusingly, it is also titled 'Off With His Head' (one title was used in the US, the other in the UK, I think). It is set in London during the Season and its central characters come from the British aristocracy. Their elegant, cultivated, bitchy, often small-minded society provides the backdrop. Blackmail is in the air and Alleyn asks a friend, Lord Robert Gospell, to do a little espionage in his behalf. When Gospell is found dead, Alleyn feels both guilty and angry, and sets himself to solve the mystery of Lord Robert's death...
As ever, Ngaio Marsh's accomplished prose is a pleasure to read. She writes intelligently and with sharp wit and acute observation. Every detail is telling and vivid. As ever, too, the characters are beautifully imagined and drawn. One really likes Lord Robert and feels Alleyn's grief and anger at his death. This means that one does no read the book merely to find out the solution to the puzzle, but for the sheer pleasure of the journey.
Alleyn's relationship with Agatha Troy is developing nicely, from his point of view, and he is a little obsessed with her. Personally, I find her a bit irritating and much preferred Belinda Lang in the TV dramatization of this story, who was less eccentric and complicated than the Troy of the books. She is so dishevelled and hung up about actually committing to Alleyn that she got on my nerves. It is interesting to me that Ngaio Marsh originally planned to be a painter before becoming an actress and producer and a writer. This caused me to wonder whether she was Troy, in the same way as Dorothy L Sayers was Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey the ideal man of her fantasies.
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