Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh

The Final Curtain has a lot of similarities to many of Marsh’s other mysteries. We’ve got a country house party. Inspector Alleyn doesn’t show up until about halfway through. We’ve got a young couple who are meant to be together but have difficulties in the way. We’ve got a tie …

Swing, Brother, Swing by Ngaio Marsh

Swing, Brother, Swing is fairly typical for Marsh. We have a dysfunctional family, headed by Lord Pastern and Baggott, whose newest obsession is playing the timpani for a swing band. Pastern’s step-daughter, Fee, is not quite but almost engaged to Carlos, who plays the accordion. Carlos is sleazy and overly …

Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh

I love mysteries, but if I had to narrow the genre down to my favorite type, I’d pick vintage mysteries. Even narrower, I’d go with country house mysteries, preferably at Christmastime, but winter will do. Death and the Dancing Footman is one of those. Our Inspector Roderick Alleyn doesn’t show …

Death of a Fool by Ngaio Marsh

Death of a Fool takes place around the winter solstice. In South Mardian, a sword dance/fertility ritual/mummer play is performed every year, but this time, the fool (the father) is actually beheaded. I don’t know anything about English folk dances, but the dance featured in Death of a Fool is interesting. Granted, …

The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh

I’ve gone back and finally read the first 3 of Ngaio Marsh’s Inspector Alleyn series, and actually read them in order to boot. Each one of these early entries is a bit better than the one before. In The Nursing Home Murder, which actually takes place in a hospital, we …