It was planned as an act of charity: a new piano for the parish hall, an amusing play to finance the gift. But its extension was doomed when Miss Campanula sat down to play. A chord was struck, a shot rang out and Miss was dead. A case of sinister infatuation for the brilliant Inspector Alleyn.
When the Sword Dancer's mock beheading becomes horribly real, it is Superintendent Roderick Alleyn who must discover who had the best motive for murder.
Ngaio Marsh's bestselling and ingenious third novel remains one of the most popular pieces of crime fiction of all time. Sir John Phillips, the Harley Street surgeon, and his beautiful nurse Jane Harden are almost too nervous to operate. The emergency case on the table before them is the Home Secretary -- and they both have very good, personal reasons to wish him dead. Within hours he does die, although the operation itself was a complete success, and Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn must find out why.
Peregrine Jay, owner of the Dolphin Theatre, is putting on a magnificent production of Macbeth, the play that, superstition says, always brings bad luck. But one night the claymore swings and the dummy's head is more than real: murder behind the scene. Luckily, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn is in the audience.
Rickie Alleyn had come to the island to write, but village life was tedious - until he found a dead stablehand. It might have ended there had Rickie not noticed some strange and puzzling things. Rickie's father, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn, is called in to investigate.
The April Fool's Day had been a roaring success for all, it seemed - except for poor Mr Cartell who had ended up in the ditch - for ever. Then there was the case of Mr Percival Pyke Period's letter of condolence, sent before the body was found - not to mention the family squabbles. It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn.
Despite two husbands being dead and a daughter marrying the wrong man, no one believed Sybil Foster was the type to commit suicide, especially Superintenent Roderick Alleyn. For the field was ripe with unfortunate engagements - one of them a very grave mistake.
A country house murder, artistic insight and the post-war reunion of Alleyn and Troy combine in Ngaio Marsh's novel.
Mary Bellamy, ageing darling of the London stage, holds a 50th birthday party. But someone uses a deadly insect spray on Mary instead of on the azaleas. The suspects are playing the part of mourners. Superintendent Alleyn has to find out which one has played the part of murderer.
Alleyn's friend, Nigel, stood near the centre of the stage. He had moved forward towards the wings, when a voice warned him to look out. An instant later, Inspector Alleyn hurled himself at Nigel, driving him backwards and out of the way of a falling object.