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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite Marsh books
This story once again involves Inspector Alleyn and the theatre, this time in a case in New Zealand.

Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnesses the death of Alfred Meyer, a theatrical manager, and has to work out which of the theatre company's members is responsible and whether Maori superstitions are in some way responsible.

The travelling theatre...
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by A Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a vintage Marsh, but...
Spoilers alert!!! This book has some good bits and some bad bits and some terrible bits. She reworked the backstage drama several times (this one comes after the excellent Enter a Murderer); in this one we see the seeds of later books (Death at the Dolphin, the wonderful Opening Night). It starts well, with Alleyn convalescing in New Zealand (Marsh's home), spending a...
Published 10 months ago by Ms. L. R. Fisher


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite Marsh books, 4 Jan 2011
This story once again involves Inspector Alleyn and the theatre, this time in a case in New Zealand.

Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnesses the death of Alfred Meyer, a theatrical manager, and has to work out which of the theatre company's members is responsible and whether Maori superstitions are in some way responsible.

The travelling theatre background is an excellent and ambitiously created example of Marsh's theatrical-related books with convincing characters and New Zealand backdrop. A noteworthy feature in this book is a floor plan of the theatre that, unusually, really is useful to solve the murder.

Do note that the solution to the author's earlier story entitled 'Enter a Murderer' is disclosed in this book.

This is definitely one of my favourite Marsh stories and I would recommend crime fiction readers to this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too much champagne, 31 July 2013
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In this Marsh novel the reader gets two of her great strengths, the worlds of theatre and New Zealand. Her respect for both displays itself in the detail. For instance, you can almost smell the manuka bush, and feel the changes of air in the (fictional) town and its wild hinterland. Her ability to create such different characters as Weston and Dr Rangi Te Pokiha is one of Ms Marsh's great strengths, but every single character is rounded and engaging. The crime, which begins by seeming incredible, turns out to be just what you might expect, but you won't guess the killer until the end. Just buy it and get involved.

I have now read all of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn novels and, although the earliest one, (A Man Lay Dead) creaks here and there, because she was very young when she wrote it, she got into her stride very quickly and there isn't a dud. Even Alleyn's facetiousness in some of them has its explanation: he hates murder and yet pities the damned soul.

Interestingly, however, at least one killer, not in this book, wins her sympathy and escapes the law...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder in New Zealand, 3 Jun 2012
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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DCI Roderick Alleyn is on holiday in New Zealand recuperating from an operation. He travels on the same train as an English touring theatre company. He has met two of the company's members before and tries to make sure his job his kept secret but he is not successful. When an attempt is made on the life of one of the owners of the company Alleyn is drawn into the mystery. When the man is subsequently murdered Alleyn finds himself helping the New Zealand police in their investigations.

This is a complex and intriguing mystery which is very well plotted and certainly kept me guessing until the last few pages. I loved the background of the theatre and thought the way actors behave when they aren't acting was very well done. I liked the detail about Maori culture and I thought New Zealand and its scenery were brought to life in evocative writing.

Vintage Murder is a classic of detective fiction and any aspiring crime writer would do well to study it closely. It is also a very enjoyable read for those who like their crime fiction in the classic mould.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great New Zealand setting, 7 April 2014
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Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the fifth Roderick Alleyn whodunnit, published in 1937 during the Golden Age of murder mysteries. Having struggled a bit to establish the characters of Alleyn and his assistant, Inspector Fox, Ngaio Marsh is really getting into her stride. The queens of that Golden Age were some great women writers, Agatha Christie, Marjorie Allingham, Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. My favourites are Allingham and Marsh because of their wonderful characterisations, keen sense of humour and wonderful writing styles. I first read this book many years ago and it was good to revisit it.
Ngaio Marsh set eight of her books in the theatre and four of them in New Zealand, her native land, In this one, an English touring theatre company in in New Zealand. The leading lady is stunningly beautiful and no one (including her lover) understands why she has married the pudgy producer, nice man though he is. Planning to give a surprise present to his darling wife, he dies a horrible death when a huge jeroboam of champagne strikes him. Was it she who rigged the trap that killed her husband during a cast party, or her lover, or some other person? Roderick Alleyn is on holiday in New Zealand when he finds himself cornered into having to try to solve this mystery...
The new Zealand setting is fascinating. Apart from a very unusual Maori doctor and an amusing, likeable antipodean policemen, Alleyn's picnic trip into the countryside is beautifully described. Miss Marsh loved her homeland and makes some enjoyable observations about what life is like there.
Ngaio Marsh knew the theatrical world very well, too, and her witty description of the lives and foibles of actors in a theatrical troupe enliven the plot; she was herself a successful theatre director. Her descriptions of the actors, with their artistic temperaments, the squabbles and tensions, the struggle to make a profit and the technical descriptions of handling props and flats open that world up to us.
As usual, this is a tightly woven, well-plotted story with plenty of surprises. Marsh is very skilled with words and her style is economical, witty and often rather beautiful. Most enjoyable!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as ever, 7 July 2014
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Classic Marsh. Brilliant as ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best., 14 Jun 2014
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Five stars for atmosphere and beautiful writing. I first read this in the mid 70's then in 2006 I was able to read it in New Zealand and discover that Ms Marsh's lyrical descriptions were so very true. Also the plot is good as are the characters even if the how done it is a bit laboured.
A great classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Murder, 25 Nov 2013
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Dr. R. Jameson (Liverpool England) - See all my reviews
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In the 1950s this author and Agatha Christie were amongst the few writers of crime fiction available. This book is worth reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a vintage Marsh, but..., 24 Aug 2013
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Spoilers alert!!! This book has some good bits and some bad bits and some terrible bits. She reworked the backstage drama several times (this one comes after the excellent Enter a Murderer); in this one we see the seeds of later books (Death at the Dolphin, the wonderful Opening Night). It starts well, with Alleyn convalescing in New Zealand (Marsh's home), spending a night on a train with a theatrical company. (When young, Marsh spent some time as an actress touring Australia and NZ.) He meets and chats with several of the cast as the manager thinks someone has tried to push him off the viewing platform. Many of the characters are attractive: Hayley Hambledon, leading woman Carolyn Dacres, and her husband Alfred Myers - a gentle and affectionate buffoon; even the feckless George Palmer. There are good scenes - particularly when Alleyn takes Carolyn for a picnic in the bush to try and get the truth out of her. But the book as a whole doesn't hang together; the interrogation scenes drag. She tried her hand at complicated murder methods without much success. Some characters are tedious (the Shakespeare-spouting alcoholic doorman). There's some embarrassing "business" with a fat copper. People may throw up when they've seen a friend killed, but she does like to dwell on it. There's a "rotter" character called Francis Liversedge whose conversation is peppered with "What?" and "Old bean". "Is this supposed to be the Oxford manner?" Alleyn asks himself. I ask myself if he's supposed to be a parody of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey. (What was the Oxford manner? Did people really call each other "old bean"?)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good buy, 11 July 2013
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Anyone who likes a good mystery and wants to add to their collection, I thoroughly recommend this book. I really enjoy reading it.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, 25 May 2009
By 
L. E. Wellington-garrett "polar" (1066 country UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vintage Murder (Paperback)
N.Marsh always tells a good storey.This is no exception. Of course her detctive is always a fascintating
character,she gives him life.
A good read you don't really want to put down
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Vintage Murder: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #5 (Inspectr Roderick Alleyn)
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