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.
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.