Murder, blackmail and drug-dealing on the Tiber combine in one of Ngaio Marsh's liveliest and most evocative novels. When their guide disappears mysteriously in the depths of a Roman Basilica, the members of Mr Sebastian Mailer's tour group seem strangely unperturbed. But when a body is discovered in an Etruscan sarcophagus, Superintendent Alleyn, in Rome incognito on the trail of an international drug racket, is very much concerned.
A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh's most ambitious and innovative novels. New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer wanted to celebrate his wife's birthday in style. The piece de resistance would be the jeroboam of champagne which would descend gently into a nest of fern and coloured lights on the table, set up on stage after the performance. But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself. Was Meyer's death the product of Maori superstitions? Or something much more down to earth?
Christmas time in an isolated country house and, following a flaming row in the kitchen, there's murder inside. When a much disliked visiting servant disappears without trace after playing Santa Claus, foul play is at once suspected -- and foul play it proves to be. Only suspicion falls not on the staff but on the guests, all so unimpeachably respectable that the very thought of murder in connection with any of them seems almost heresy. When Superintendent Roderick Alleyn returns unexpectedly from a trip to Australia, it is to find his beloved wife in the thick of an intriguing mystery.
When Lord Pasern Bagott takes up with the hot music of Breezy Bellair and his Boys, his disapproving wife Cecile has more than usual to be unhappy about. The band's devastatingly handsome but roguish accordionist, Carlos Rivera, has taken a rather intense and mutual interest in her precious daugher Felicite. So when a bit of stage business goes awry and actually kills him, it's lucky that Inspector Rodrerick Alleyn is in the audience.
Ngaio Marsh's most popular novel begins when a young New Zealander's first contact with the English gentry is the body of Lord Wutherford -- with a meat skewer through the eye... The Lampreys had plenty of charm -- but no cash. They all knew they were peculiar -- and rather gloried in it. The double and triple charades, for instance, with which they would entertain their guests -- like rich but awful Uncle Gabriel, who was always such a bore. The Lampreys thought if they jollied him up he would bail them out -- yet again. Instead, Uncle Gabriel met a violent end.
High in mountains stands the magnificent Saracen fortress, home of the mysterious Mr Oberon, leader of a coven of witches. It is not the historic castle, however, that intrigues Roderick Alleyn, on holiday with his family, but the suspicion that a huge drugs ring operates from within its ancient portals. But before the holiday is over, someone else has stumbled upon the secret. And Mr Oberon decides his strange and terrible rituals require a human sacrifice.
On a cold February night the police find the third corpse on the quayside in the Pool of London, her body covered with flower petals and pearls. The killer walked away, singing. When the cargo ship, Cape Farewell, sets sail, she carries nine passengers, one of whom is known to be the murderer. Which is why Superintendent Roderick Alleyn joins the ship at Portsmouth on the most difficult assignment of his professional career.
A brutal murder with a golf club and an ingenious plot bursting with snobbery, suspicion , adultery and secrets -- to say nothing of the dreadful crime of catricide... The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes. Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout.
A story of attempted murder on a beautiful lake in a remote part of New Zealand.
From the leading lady's liaison to the harassment of an aging juvenile lead -- there's never a dull moment, darling, at the Vulcan Theatre. But vanity and hysterics, suspicion and superstition, brandy and jealousy, are upstaged by a death on opening night. Was it really suicide? Or a macabre encore to a long-ago murder in the same backstage room? Scotland Yard's Inspector Alleyn sets to work assembling a cast of suspects for the final curtain.