Artists in Crime Paperback – 18 Mar 2011
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‘Marsh moves into top gear.’
‘The queen of the straight crime novel – long may she reign!’
‘I rate Ngaio Marsh’s novels among the best in this genre, having read and re-read them many times over the years.’
‘The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress.’
About the Author
Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh’s real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handedly revived the New Zealand public’s interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her ‘damery’ in 1966.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Sonia - an artist's model - has been murdered in very ingenious way. All the artists studying with her are suspects - including Troy herself. Alleyn finds this very difficult to deal with as he is increasingly attracted to the prickly Troy and doesn't want to find out she has committed murder.
This is a very well plotted mystery which will keep readers guessing for quite a while. I failed completely to work out what had happened and who was responsible. When you look back then it is easy to see that the clues were there. I thought the artists' colony atmosphere was well drawn as were the artists themselves with their various temperaments.
This may be a crime novel without much graphic violence but the worst aspects of human nature are not glossed over. `Artists in Crime' is an enjoyable well written mystery with some likeable police characters and an interesting insight into Alleyn's relationship with his mother.
In the first few novels, the character of Alleyn was not fully formed in her mind and he sometimes came across and fatuous and flippant. By this time, however, Alleyn, his assistant 'Brer' Fox, his journalist friend Nigel Bathgate were developed and clearly established characters and they are joined by Troy, also a permanent resident of the stories.
Troy and Alleyn have returned from New Zealand on the same ship and Troy is now running a school for artists. Their artists' model is Sonya, an abrasive person who knows how to create a scene - in the emotional sense. She also turns out to be a blackmailer and she is, it emerges, pregnant.
It is no aurprise that someone wants to kill her but she is murdered in a particularly unpleasant way. A trap has been set and the person who actually kills her could be the helpless dupe of the person who set the trap (a plot device sometimes used by Marsh elsewhere). Roderick Alleyn must investigate the murder, although his doing so puts a great strain on his budding relationship with Troy; she is affronted, in a very upper-class way, by the intrusion into the private lives of her friends and by feeling that she is required to betray their confidence.
Ngaio Marsh was one of the 'big four' women mystery writers of the nineteen-thirties and forties, with Agatha Christie, Marjorie Allingham and Dorothy L Sayers. She always produces very well-constructed plots. It has often been pointed out that she is not as ingenious as Agatha Christie, but in my opinion, she is a much better writer.Read more ›
But why does Amazon not label this the second (2) in the Ngaio Marsh collection? All the others (10 of them) are numbered, but this one isn't. Can't understand it.
I have tried (twice) to get them to change the listed name -- it is so much harder to find all of them if this one isn't labelled like all the others -- but my modifications aren't accepted.
Ho Hum. Make sure you buy it along with all the others.
Three great who dunnit tales would recommend to anyone who enjoys Agatha Christie styled tales to read
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for a very old friend and he was wanting to re-read Ngaio Marsh so this was an ideal gift. ThanksPublished 4 months ago by I. E. Macivor
Very pleased with purchase, book came speedily and as described, would definitely use seller again.Published 6 months ago by Mrs. F. Dynowski
Really love this writer's books. I've read quite a few and not a dud yetPublished 8 months ago by Terry Quarterman
Introducing Agatha Troy into the Alleyn series. A tale of possible romance in the setting of a murder mystery. An enjoyable read although Ngaio Marsh's books are now dated.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed the book but found the 1930's language a little difficult,using words which do not appear in books these days.Published 18 months ago by Patricia Goodison