Killer Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn books are comfort reads for me. When I'm tired or grouchy or don't know what I feel like reading, I pick one up. Whenever I see one at a used bookstore I pick it up, but I'm thrilled that they've published a bunch for the Kindle. This one opens with an odd set of circumstances that ends with Peregrine Jay restoring the Dolphin Theater and the opening production is his original play, The Glove, with the Shakespearean glove itself on display. The first half of the book lets us peak backstage. We meet the various actors, witness their petty feuds and jealousies. I enjoy this part of Marsh's books in general, the characters are always fun, sometimes stereotypical, but she always pulls together great casts. And of course, you're wondering who's going to die, because someone is. The second half of the book deals with Alleyn's investigation, which consists of lots of interviews and some clue-searching. I really...
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When in Rome by Ngaio Marsh

When in Rome is my first TBR challenge pick. I haven't decorated my TBR jar yet, but when I do I'll post a picture. I have a jar and put about 11 titles in it, but I'll add to it as the year goes by. They're a mix of ones that have been sitting on my shelf for a while and recent additions to the list. Usually I wouldn't read two Marsh's so close together, but you just can't argue with random from a jar. When in Rome was first published in 1970 and you can tell in some of the dialogue and phrases, like groovy. It's also very drug heavy and there's a "party" that fits into the fictional version of the era. Aside from that, it's a typical Marsh mystery. Some interesting characters, Inspector Alleyn being his usual handsome, intelligent self.  The characters are a particularly interesting lot: a Dutch couple clearly in love; a man and his aunt, both rather...
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Light Thickens by Ngaio Marsh

This was Marsh's last book and it seems appropriate that she returns to the theater as her backdrop. We know her as a mystery writer, but probably her great passion was the theater, and it shows. The real strength in this story is the play production. The murder actually doesn't take place until may two-thirds through the book with Alleyn only entering the story then. The play is Macbeth and the director is making it a memorable performance. The characters are wonderful, some maybe stereotypical, gabby and egotistical and "actory." But they all manage to work together. Apparently there are a lot of superstitions revolving aroung Macbeth and the story plays off them well, with some believers and some clearly not. I enjoyed seeing how they did scenes and practiced fights, witnessing the bickering and wooing. Alleyn is not a detective who lets us in on every little clue he sees, but he does pay attention to everyone, even children. He's a gentleman...
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