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8 Reviews
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gruesome murder, great book
With drugs, mistresses and promiscuity this novel could be set in any era. It was, in fact, first published in 1938 and was probably regarded as a racy little number at that time. I feel it has stood the test of time. There is a small amount of romantic interest for 'our' hero, (which continues in later novels) All characters are well introduced and there are an...
Published on 20 May 2001

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor dramatisation of a good book
Spoilers alert!

The original book (which the other reviewers are referring to) is a good read, and an insight into the back-stabbing world of an upmarket arty summer school. This dramatisation has some good points (Kati Bostock is obviously gay in the book - here she is also in love with Sonia, the model and murder victim). Belinda Lang is good as the rather...
Published on 30 April 2011 by L. R. Fisher


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gruesome murder, great book, 20 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Artists in Crime (Paperback)
With drugs, mistresses and promiscuity this novel could be set in any era. It was, in fact, first published in 1938 and was probably regarded as a racy little number at that time. I feel it has stood the test of time. There is a small amount of romantic interest for 'our' hero, (which continues in later novels) All characters are well introduced and there are an abundance of suspects some you will hope have not commited the murder and some you think certainly did.
In addition to the murder for which Alleyn is called in to investigate, there is a particularly horrific second murder which is graphically described.
It is possible to solve the mystery, all the clues are there. I didn't, but I am a bit lazy and sometimes don't even try, just enjoy the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Artists In Crime (Audio CD)
Prompt delivery; good packaging.

Well read and interesting. As with all the best readings, you forget the reader's voice and listen to the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deathly Party, 13 July 2013
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This review is from: Artists In Crime (Audio CD)
Very entertaining, typical murder mystery from the time period. One of Ngaio Marsh's best stories read well by Benedict Cumberbatch
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5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite author, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Artists In Crime (Audio CD)
added to my collection of easy listening in the car. I already have every book, and now getting them in audio
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ngaio Marsh, 20 Dec 2012
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Peter Joiner (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Artists In Crime (Audio CD)
Good story, keeps your interest throughout, abridged version so story is a good afternoons read, story may have some age but still enjoyable
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5.0 out of 5 stars from inside cover...., 17 Oct 2007
This review is from: Artists in Crime (Paperback)
There is sometimes a macabre pleasure in planning a murder, in going into every detail as to how the victim can be killed beyond any possible doubt. It can even be rather amusing to try to prove - theoretically at least - that such a violent deed can be perpetrated without the criminal being found out.
The group of art students gathered in Agatha Troy's studio spent just such a morning discussing how a model could be killed by the simple expedient of placing her in a certain pose in which she would certainly be stabbed, quickly, and one might almost say unobtrusively. The rub that detracts from such ghoulish enjoyment is of course the fact that unless you are prepared to run grave risks, the foolproof murder remains simply an idea. In this case, however, it gave someone the very idea that was wanted, for this person decided that it would be the best way of eliminating little Sonia Gluck - the model herself - who, although exceedingly good to behold, was vastly provoking to live with. Whoever planned the murder would, with a little judicious manipulation, not actively have to carry it out. The `props' and an unfortunate third party would do the rest.
Such is the situation that in fact develops; such is the problem, at once neat and complex, that confronts Inspector Alleyn. The mystery is further complicated by the students themselves, who exploit this dramatic situation to indulge in histrionics that are as baffling as they are amusing.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor dramatisation of a good book, 30 April 2011
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Spoilers alert!

The original book (which the other reviewers are referring to) is a good read, and an insight into the back-stabbing world of an upmarket arty summer school. This dramatisation has some good points (Kati Bostock is obviously gay in the book - here she is also in love with Sonia, the model and murder victim). Belinda Lang is good as the rather buttoned-up professional, Troy, who has turned her inherited manor house into a business. And Simon Williams is perfect as gentlemanly Inspector Alleyn (the guy who plays his sidekick is good too). But, but, but... this crime has the director and script-writer's fingerprints all over it. Alleyn is given Wimsey's shell shock and an annoying habit of going vague and humming "Men of Harlech". (In the books he just cracked jokes and quoted Shakespeare.) I suppose it was a good wheeze to give Cedric Malmsey a guilty secret - he's a drag artiste who doesn't want his wife to know. The girl who plays the vamp is far too obvious. And then they give Alleyn a nervous breakdown and the story just s - a - a - gs irretrievably. Love stories in mysteries should take place on the sidelines, not take centre stage. We want to know whodunnit, dammit! I gave up watching at this point. Simon Williams quit the role and in later eps it was taken over by Patrick Malahide, a reliable actor who also struggled with the director's silly ideas of how the story /ought/ to go.

If you're reading the book, watch out for a gruesome scene near the end.
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2 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dated, 23 Nov 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Artists in Crime (Paperback)
I found the characters and plot difficult to take seriously because the book has dated so badly. It was written in the 30s (in contrast, I have recently reread some Agatha Christie, and found that she has aged superbly well). Everyone says things like "what a bloody stink", there is a "sex-mad student", and well, darn it all, it just gets on your nerves after a while. I gave up caring. Loosen up, man. Thank God for the 60s. Having said all that, it's a pleasant enough, easy read, and it all makes perfect sense.
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