Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if rather old-fashioned, whodunit
This was Marsh's first detective story, written as a pleasant diversion in 1932. As such, it's really quite impressive, although not up to the standard of her later books. The plot is very conventional - a Murder Game producing a genuine corpse - but the solution is clever and original, and the murderer comes across as pitiable, rather than evil. The only thing that...
Published on 19 May 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "Perhaps the butler did it."
Taking place at an English country estate during a house party weekend, Ngaio Marsh's first Roderick Alleyn mystery, written in 1934, forecasts the later success of her successful thirty-two book Alleyn series. Invited to the home of Sir Hubert Handesley, where they will participate in a "murder" game, the houseguests know that one of them will be chosen to be the...
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by Mary Whipple


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if rather old-fashioned, whodunit, 19 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Man Lay Dead (Paperback)
This was Marsh's first detective story, written as a pleasant diversion in 1932. As such, it's really quite impressive, although not up to the standard of her later books. The plot is very conventional - a Murder Game producing a genuine corpse - but the solution is clever and original, and the murderer comes across as pitiable, rather than evil. The only thing that spoiled the book for me was the introduction of a silly sub-plot involving members of a Russian brotherhood: this sort of thing belongs to the spy thriller,not the classical detective story. Marsh's detective, the urbane, public-school educated Inspector Alleyn, is a pleasant change from the "ordinary" plodding policeman preferred by many writers of the time. Less successful, however, is her creation of a "Watson" figure in the shape of journalist Nigel Bathgate, a completely stereotypical young Englishman. Thankfully, he is absent from most of her later novels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars "Perhaps the butler did it.", 31 Oct 2007
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Taking place at an English country estate during a house party weekend, Ngaio Marsh's first Roderick Alleyn mystery, written in 1934, forecasts the later success of her successful thirty-two book Alleyn series. Invited to the home of Sir Hubert Handesley, where they will participate in a "murder" game, the houseguests know that one of them will be chosen to be the "murderer" and that s/he will select and "murder" one of the other guests. In this case, however, when the gong sounds and the lights come on, they discover that one of the guests has actually been murdered.

Written in the tradition of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham, this "closed room" mystery draws Inspector Alleyn of Scotland Yard into the case. A character who, at this point, has yet to achieve the unique characteristics which eventually made him such a popular detective, Alleyn interviews the guests and staff, and, surprisingly, draws guest Nigel Bathgate, the cousin of the victim, into the investigation of the murder. As Alleyn and Bathgate investigate, subplots involving an antique Oriental dagger, an anarchist Russian secret society, a grisly murder in London, and the romantic attachments of the victim unfold.

No more realistic than other mysteries of the period, this one, too, follows a formula, with surprising discoveries which strain credulity, at the same time that the author is tempting the reader to solve the case. Much is made of the floor plan of the estate and the alibis of the guests, but ultimately, the solution depends not on logic, but on information which the author does not give her readers until the conclusion, making logical deduction impossible here. Still the novel is fun to read as a period piece, a mystery which calls to mind a long-lost way of life with all its superficial pleasures and amusements. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Man Lay Dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A MAN LAY DEAD (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A man lay dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Man Lay Dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Man Lay Dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A man lay dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Man Lay Dead (Paperback)
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man lay dead: Ngiao Marsh - Enter Alleyn, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
A man lay dead (first published in 1934) was Ngiao Marsh's first novel to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a country house party the guests play a game of murderers, which seems a lot of fun until one of them really is murdered. Alleyn is called in to investigate, and he soon finds that everyone has shaky alibis and motive, and what physical evidence there is suggests a very remarkable method indeed. It's a decent enough mystery as Alleyn peels back the layers to get to the truth, though I felt that the ending was a little weak, with Alleyn seeming to base his accusation on very little evidence and the murderer just admitting it when s/he could have kept quiet and probably have got away with it. It is certainly not the best in the series, but for all that is a decent read. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Man Lay Dead
A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh (Paperback - 4 Dec 2000)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews