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Night at the Vulcan (Inspector Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Ngaio Marsh
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Feb 2007 Inspector Roderick Alleyn Mysteries (Book 16)

A classic Ngaio Marsh novel reissued in B-format.

Dreams of stardom had lured Martyn Tarne from faraway New Zealand to make the dreary, soul-destroying round of West End agents and managers in search of work. The Vulcan Theatre had been her last forlorn hope, and now, driven by sheer necessity, she was glad to accept the humble job of dresser to its leading lady.

And then came the eagerly awaited Opening Night. To Martyn the night brought a strange turn of the wheel of fortune – but to one distinguished member of the cast it was to bring sudden and unforeseen death…

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

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; Reprint edition (3 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312966687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312966683
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,048 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


‘Miss Marsh at her best… she is thoroughly at home in the wings with a pack of actors locked in the grip of rehearsals and jealous intrigue.’
New Statesman

‘Miss Marsh’s best yet.’

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

Book Description

The usual opening night scandals behind the scenes at the Vulcan Theater - including the leading lady's tumultuous love affair - are upstaged by a death, bring Scotland Yard's Roderick Alleyn scurrying to the wings. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening Night 8 Mar 2008
By Marcus
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of Ngaio Marsh's best, and that means it is very good, but beware that "Night at the Vulcan" is the American title. In the UK it has always been published as "Opening Night".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theatrical murder 4 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Martyn Tarn has travelled to England to try and get work as an actress. The Vulcan is the last theatre she tries when she has practically run out of money and still has no work. She arrives just at the right time and is offered a job of dresser to the leading lady, Helena Hamilton.

It's not quite what she was hoping for but she accepts in desperation. It soon becomes clear that are many tensions between the players and the outspoken author of the play. When one of the actors is found dead in what appears to be suicide no one is surprised as he was an alcoholic and unhappy in his marriage to Helena Hamilton.

Enter Roderick Alleyn who is not convinced by the appearance of suicide. This is a tense and well written mystery with some very convincing characters and relationships. I enjoyed the theatrical background and thought it was well done and the murder and the reasons for it were convincing. I thought I'd worked out who the murderer was but couldn't work out the motive behind it. Of course it is obvious once you know.

If you like your crime novels in the classic mould - more mystery than crime - then Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn novels are well worth reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night at the Vulcan/opening night 6 Aug 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book confirms Ms. Marsh in the topflight of the genre. We follow the beautifully detailed and knowledgeably described course of a new play from dress rehearsal to the opening night. The cast is a richly and sympathetically imagined group and into this mixture enters a breathless ingenue who has the classical dream that "next day on your dressing room they hang a star"!. Sounds like a cliche? Well yes okay but what is a cliche but a much told truth? And here it is told with mouthwatering skill. Oh and by the way there is a very satisfactory murder,each member of the cast has a motive and Supt Alleyn has the job of disentangling them. This is a book to read and re reread. You will stick the pages with sellotape as they fall out with too many uses. You will perhaps not be suprised to hear that I love this book. Its up there with Caroline Graham's "Death of a hollow man", which it slightly resembles.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Marsh's top ten 31 Mar 2009
This is Miss Marsh at the very top of her form. The story is beautifully written and extremely entertaining. The characterisation is sophisticated and memorable. A delight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A play within a play! 16 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Set in the world of the theatre, a story of conflicts and personal history's and petty jealousies. A good story line, will keep the listener interested throughout.
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