Author bio

Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio Marsh - book author

Dame Ngaio Marsh, born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900, but she was born in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Of all the "Great Ladies" of the English mystery's golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh alone survived to publish in the 1980s. Over a fifty-year span, from 1932 to 1982, Marsh wrote thirty-two classic English detective novels, which gained international acclaim. She did not always see herself as a writer, but first planned a career as a painter.

Marsh's first novel, A MAN LAY DEAD (1934), which she wrote in London in 1931-32, introduced the detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn: a combination of Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey and a realistically depicted police official at work. Throughout the 1930s Marsh painted occasionally, wrote plays for local repertory societies in New Zealand, and published detective novels. In 1937 Marsh went to England for a period. Before going back to her home country, she spent six months travelling about Europe.

All her novels feature British CID detective Roderick Alleyn. Several novels feature Marsh's other loves, the theatre and painting. A number are set around theatrical productions (Enter a Murderer, Vintage Murder, Overture to Death, Opening Night, Death at the Dolphin, and Light Thickens), and two others are about actors off stage (Final Curtain and False Scent). Her short story "'I Can Find My Way Out" is also set around a theatrical production and is the earlier "Jupiter case" referred to in Opening Night. Alleyn marries a painter, Agatha Troy, whom he meets during an investigation (Artists in Crime), and who features in several later novels.

Series:
* Roderick Alleyn

Ngaio Marsh is the author of books: A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn #1), Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7), Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn #6), Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn #10), Enter a Murderer (Roderick Alleyn, #2), Clutch of Constables (Roderick Alleyn #25), Scales of Justice (Roderick Alleyn, #18), Final Curtain (Roderick Alleyn, #14), Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn #8), Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11)


Author books

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Title
Description
01
At Sir Hubert Handesley's country house party, five guests have gathered for the uproarious parlor game of "Murder." Yet no one is laughing when the lights come up on an actual corpse, the good-looking and mysterious Charles Rankin. Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to find a complete collection of alibis, a missing butler, and an intricate puzzle of betrayal and sedition in the search for the key player in this deadly game.
02
A body in the back of a taxi begins an elegantly constructed mystery, perhaps the finest of Marsh's 1930s novels.The season had begun. Debutantes and chaperones were planning their luncheons, teas, dinners, balls. And the blackmailer was planning his strategies, stalking his next victim.But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn knew that something was up. He had already planted his friend Lord Robert Gospell at the scene.But someone else got there first...
03
It was a bizarre pose for beautiful model Sonia Gluck--and her last. For in the draperies of her couch lay a fatal dagger, and behind her murder lies all the intrigue and acid-etched temperament of an artist's colony. Called in to investigate, Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn finds his own passions unexpectedly stirred by the fiesty painter Agatha Troy--brilliant artist and suspected murderess. First published in 1938.
04
Murder becomes a family affair...

The Lampreys were a charming, eccentric happy-go-lucky family, teetering on the edge of financial ruin. Until the gruesome murder of their uncle-and unpleasant Marquis, who met his untimely death while leaving the Lamprey flat-left them with a fortune. Now it's up to Inspector Roderick Alleyn to sift through the alibis to discover which Lamprey hides a ruthless killer behind an amiable facade...
05
A classic Ngaio Marsh novel reissued - the second Roderick Alleyn Mystery. The crime scene was the stage of the Unicorn Theatre, when prop gun fired a very real bullet; the victim was an actor clawing his way to stardom using bribery instead of talent; and the suspects included two unwilling girlfriends and several relieved blackmail victims. The stage is set for one of Roderick Alleyn′s most baffling cases...
06
Five Days Out of Time

… that was how the ad had described the Zodiac cruise on the “weirdly misted” English river. The passengers were the usual, unusual lot: a couple of unpleasantly hygienic Americans, an aloof Ethiopian doctor, a snooping cleric with a wall-eye, an artist running away from her success…

But they were not all what they seemed.

For Inspector Alleyn knew that one of them was the faceless “Jampot”—the ruthless killer who could take on any personality, whose thumb was a deadly weapon. The problem was, which one?

Alleyn had five days to trap him, or the other passengers would pay with their lives—and one of those passengers was Alleyn’s wife!
07
The quiet village of Swevenings seemed an English pastoral paradise, until the savagely beaten body of Colonel Cartarette was found near a tranquil stream. Suddenly, the playground of British blue bloods has been soiled by murder and the lowest sort of intrigue. But if anyone can clean it up, it's the famous Inspector Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard.
08
Troy Alleyn, Inspector Roderick Alleyn's beautiful young wife, is engaged to paint a portrait of Sir Henry Ancred, famed Shakespearean actor and family patriarch, but she senses all is not well in the dreary castle of Ancreton. When old Henry is found dead after a suspicious dinner and an unfortunate family fracas, Troy enlists the impeccable aid of her husband to determine who among a cast of players would have a motive for murder -- and the theatrical gift to carry it out.
09
It s murder in the little English village, but the two local spinsters, Miss Campanula, the victim, and Miss Prentice, her friend who may have been the intended victim, are not exactly the beloved little old ladies of song and story. They were (and are) waspish, gossiping snobs, passionate only about their own narrowly defined religion .and, perhaps, about the local vicar. But could they have been sufficiently unpleasant to provoke a murderer?