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 restoration of a bombed-out London theatre ends in violent death -- and one of Marsh's most vivid and dramatic novels When the bombed-out Dolphin Theatre is given to Peregrine Jay by a mysterious wealthy patron, he is overjoyed. And when the mysterious oil millionaire also gives him a glove that belonged to Shakespeare, Peregrine displays it in the dockside theatre and writes a successful play about it. But then a murder takes place, a boy is attacked, the glove is stolen. Could it be that oil and water don't mix? Inspector Roderick Alleyn is determined to find out.