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25 Reviews
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Christie & Sayers, Ngaio Marsh was the Crime Queen.
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...
Published on 14 Oct 2001

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition: misleading description
The Kindle edition of this book is advertised as containing 848 pages, and states that the price (£3.99) represents a saving of 60% on the list price of £12.99. However, if you check the ISBN for the print edition, it refers to an omnibus containing three Ngaio Marsh titles: the Kindle edition contains only one book, at nothing like the advertised 848 pages - and...
Published on 27 Nov 2012 by Hugh Forbes


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Christie & Sayers, Ngaio Marsh was the Crime Queen., 14 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Death in a White Tie (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ngaio Marsh I have read, 1 Jan 2002
By A Customer
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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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same book US to UK just a different title, 3 Mar 2000
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder and Morris Dancing, 15 Aug 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story - beautifully read, 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Death In A White Tie (Audio CD)
If you love 1930's detective novels, then this one is a good one! I've loved Ngaio Marsh murder mysteries since my childhood, and how wonderful to have the story told by such an accomplished actor as Benedict Cumberbatch. Each character (and there are a fair number) has it's own distinct voice and the overall pace of the piece is good. Yes, it is an abridged version of the book, but the cutting has been done very well and is not really noticable, unless you know the original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Packaging Niggle, 13 Oct 2011
This review is from: Death In A White Tie (Audio CD)
Excellent story as usual from Ngaio Marsh, would recommend highly. My only niggle with this item was the changes made to the packaging. The thin sleeve on the box is flimsy and looks cheaper than the previous boxes which were printed on. As I keep my audiobooks long term I believe the new packaging will become tatty rather quickly. Only a minor irritation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition: misleading description, 27 Nov 2012
The Kindle edition of this book is advertised as containing 848 pages, and states that the price (£3.99) represents a saving of 60% on the list price of £12.99. However, if you check the ISBN for the print edition, it refers to an omnibus containing three Ngaio Marsh titles: the Kindle edition contains only one book, at nothing like the advertised 848 pages - and naturally, the price for one is lower than the price for three: the saving isn't a saving at all. I love the convenience of my Kindle when I'm travelling, but I'm really not impressed by this sort of dishonesty. The book itself is wonderful: the low rating here only refers to the inaccuracy of the sales tactics.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT HAPPY, 6 Feb 2013
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Bought this from a product description of three books in one volume. The Kindle edition was cheap and therefore downloaded the kindle edition to read on holiday. Got to end of first story and found that was it. The Kindle edition only includes one of the three novels.

The story "Death in a White Tie" was excellent but buy the book rather than the kindle download as then you will actually get the product as described.

Couldn't say if this is sharp practice by Amazon or just incompetence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 July 2014
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wonderful period writing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, spohisticated mystery., 7 April 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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. There are similarities between Roderick Alleyn and Peter Wimsey, both from the upper crust, both gentleman detectives, both attractive and highly intelligent, though one was an amateur and the other a Detective Inspector. Well, that's my little theory! If so, perhaps what occupied Ngaio Marsh's mind (and therefore Troy's) may have been the struggle between insisting on being an independent woman with a career and the pressure to surrender to a man and therefore to his needs and lifestyle. in the thirties, to be both married and your own person was undoubtedly very difficult, because of the then perception of a wife's role in life. And that's my little digression.
There are plenty of plot twists and red herrings before Alleyn finds the murderer. As ever, Marsh's strong sense of place and scene brings the background vividly alive and the story progresses at a good pace. She really is an excellent writer!
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Death in a White Tie
Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh (Paperback - 18 Mar 2011)
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