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.
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.