Dame Ngaio Marsh DBE (April 23, 1895 - February 18, 1982), born Edith Ngaio Marsh was an author and theatre director from New Zealand. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900, but she is believed to have been born in Christchurch on 23 April 1899. Marsh worked as an actress, theatrical producer and interior decorator before publishing her first novel, A Man Lay Dead, in 1934. This, and all subsequent novels, featured her series character Chief-Inspector Roderick Alleyn.
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.