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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangled family relationships, 25 Dec. 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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Agatha Troy - artist - is married to Roderick Alleyn - a Scotland Yard detective. Troy, as she is usually known, is commissioned to paint a portrait of Henry Ancred at his country house, Ancreton. It is clear from the start that the members of his family do not get on and that Sir Henry's mistress, Sonia, is very unpopular.

Troy endeavours to stay out of the arguments as she wants to get the portrait finished as soon as possible and get home in time to welcome her husband who has been away for over three years working for Special Branch. Sir Henry is found dead just before Troy leaves and she finds herself unwillingly mixed up in a murder enquiry that her husband is investigating.

This is a detective story in the classic mould and it will appeal to readers who enjoy Dorothy L Sayers, Gladys Mitchell, Patricia Wentworth and Agatha Christie. I found it an intriguing story with some interesting characters and it kept me guessing until almost the end. I liked the writing style and found that the scenes and characters came to life as I was reading. Very enjoyable and I shall be reading other books by this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Final Curtain (Paperback)
A very entertaining murder mystery with enough twists to keep you gripped to the end. I cannot find fault in this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars That which should accompany old age..., 31 July 2013
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Ms Marsh invites the reader to a hideous Victorian mansion whose pretentious ugliness reflects the dysfunctional family in residence. The tale is vividly of its time: the war is staggering to its close, rationing has encouraged overseas friends to send canned food to Britain, childish tricks can spur on homicide and Agatha Troy is commissioned to paint a silly, grand old man of the theatre whose 'borrowed robes' are too big for him...

Ms Marsh's novels interest me because she shows how serious crimes are rarely the result of impulse but have been brewing for years. They are the outcome of many small life-events, perceived slights and insults, however mistaken, that twist the perpetrator's view of themselves and their victim. What the killers have in common is their focus on self, in which the decision that the victim has no right to live comes to seem logical and justified. Ms Marsh comes back to 'Macbeth' at the end of her writing career' in 'Light Thickens', another compelling read that shows her deep-rooted pity for warped humanity and at the same time her faith in the regenerative powers of kindness and courage.

I would recommend 'Final Curtain' to anyone who likes a bizarre puzzle and a wide range of characters living in a damaged wartime society, where old values and patterns of power are challenged and money is still the root of all evil. The book is sometimes comic, sometimes pathetic, always true to its purpose, which is to show the terrible consequences of 'vaulting ambition.' The Scottish Play is here only a part of the theatrical history and fantasy of an actor whose 'life is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf.'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful characters, 26 May 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
In 'Final Curtain', the fourteenth Alleyn novel, the war is finally over, and he returns from New Zealand to join his wife, the painter Agatha Troy, in London. Troy, however, has had a pressing invitation from a distinguished actor, Sir Henry Ancred. He wants her to go to his estate, Ancreton, and paint him. He is very egotistical and rather unpleasant and only inherited his title when he feels he should have been given it by a grateful nation.
Troy finds herself plunged in the middle of a family gathering of eccentric theatricals, outraged by Sir Henry's impending engagement to the awful but beautiful chorus girl, Sonia Orrincourt. Unpleasant tricks ensue and Troy alerts Alleyn, who investigates the peer's sudden death.
This classic, country house detective story is written with Marsh's usual wit, ingenuity and brilliant characterisation. The murderer is difficult to guess and, as ever, Marsh keeps us guessing with plot twists, red herrings and sharp wit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller, 15 Aug. 2013
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Anyone who loves N Marsh will have to have this in their collection. A very good read. I keep them and read over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a ghastly child, 22 Feb. 2013
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This must be one of Marsh's best. Most of the characters are so terribly theatrical darling, and likeable ones thin on the ground apart from the regular ones. The whole Ancred family is grotesque, the child Panty (yeugh!) is foul. My entire sympathy is for the poor cat. I have read all Marsh's books and wish there were more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Marsh, 20 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Final Curtain (Paperback)
This must be one of Ngaio Marsh's best books. It's all there - colourful characters, a sleuthing Troy and Inspector Rory Alleyn the supreme upper-crust police detective. What more can one ask?
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5.0 out of 5 stars FINAL CURTAIN, 7 April 2013
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NGAIO MARSH IS AN EXCELLENT WRITER FINAL CURTAIN IS ONE IN AN EXCELLENT COLLECTION BY HER WELL WORTH READING IT.
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